So another course has come and gone.
We had fun. and sun.
and got a lot of work and learning done.
So what happens on a John Byrne led lime workshop? We start with an introduction to the ingredients: limestone, quick lime, hydrated lime (lime putty), sand. mortar, old mortar, and completing the lime cycle – stone again.
Calcium carbonate, calcium oxide, calcium hydroxide, calcium carbonate
we mix up some mortar, talk about recipes, and where to buy ready mixed mortars ,and when and how, we add horse hair to make plaster. Then we practice pointing and practice plastering, dubbing out the wall, getting it level or at least not so uneven. The following day we look at finishing the pointing, pressing back and brushing off, we apply finishing plaster to our first days plastering, smoothing the surface, plastering corners All this is done on a real building not in some workshop on a concrete block wall, all the work produced by the participants becomes part of the fabric of the building and builds, course on course, until the building has been repaired, pointed, plastered. The only recycled work is the Plastering on a lath panel. but its good to be able to see both sides. Then we have a break from plastering and look at limewash and its pigmenting and application, and we end with lime slaking, which lays down lime for the next course.
It was a lot of fun and we learnt so much – thank you John. Your knowledge and experience of working with lime and developing your own plaster was fascinating. A brilliant intro and we can’t wait to try out our newly learnt skills on our cottage! Carolyn and Andy