Hands on Experience : Walls with mud plastered bamboo weave at Sarang, Attappady, Palakkad, Kerala

theytharamWe are re-structuring this 20 year old mud building. The first storey is constructed with pressed mud block. We are adding a second storey with bamboo and mud plaster. Here is an invitation if you would like to get some hands on experience on this technique. (Known under the  fancy term of wattle and daub among architects.)

 

We have successfully completed our first project of a small cabin using bamboo, wood and mud. (pictures shown below were taken during the process)

IMG_2326

Making walls by mud plastering on woven bamboo is an ancient technique. In Attappady, indigenous communities still use this for their homes. We modified the technique a little so that the finish is more modern. (Hence the non-bumpy, flat finish on the picture) It was a great learning experience for us to experiment with this technique. We have tried our own little ideas to avoid termite attack on the structure. 🙂

An opportunity for you!IMG_4320

We are inviting all who are interested in learning this technique and working as a team. We hope the experience to be a give and take, not just a resource person teaching a group. It will be more like a sharing of the experience we have gained through our experiments. You can decide the duration of your stay according to availability of your time. The site is located on a remote hilltop in Attappady, Palakkad district. If you are planning to come, please read the following important information.

Eating, Sleeping, Bathing and other things

Food is rice based and home-cooked. Food will be very simple and basic since currently we don’t have anything growing in the farm. Occasionally we have eggs on the menu. If you need to snack in between, keep yourself stocked from the small town 7 kilometers away. We don’t provide tea or coffee at the main campus, and the nearest tea shop is 30 minutes away by foot, if its a must for you.

Potable water is from a rainwater harvesting tank or from a spring in the valley. Boiled and cooled water will be available for drinking. Because of the severe draught of 2012, it is a scarce commodity and has to be used wisely. For bathing and washing clothes, all will have to walk down to the spring a half a kilometer away. Covered mud pit toilets will be there.

A single cottage is available for volunteers, where 4-5 people can sleep. There is also the newly built cabin which can sleep 4-5 people. There are no bedding or cot. We can provide mats. Please bring a sleeping bag or blankets & sheets. Nights are generally cold & windy. So, be prepared with warm clothes. Bring working clothes to work with mud. Bring hats, scarves or any protective gear you may need. And your personal medications. Bring a pair of slippers.

Electricity and Internet

The main house is powered with a Solar Electric System which takes care of all energy needs. Charging of mobiles can be done. Most mobile networks are available, so you can stay connected. Internet facility, if needed, will have to be availed from the nearest town about 7 Kilometers away.

Costs

Both the campuses run on our income from web designing and other small jobs, not on external funds. This is why a contribution of INR 150/head/day for food is expected. We are not yet ready for providing food and shelter in exchange of work.

Essentials for happy living at Sarang

  • Ability to communicate in Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi or English.
  • A broad mind to understand and respect our customs, manners and practices.
  • Avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs while you are with us. We have a very strict policy regarding this.
  • Loose fitting cotton clothes appropriate for our climate.
  • Since we use a minimum of furniture, enjoy sitting cross-legged on the floor and sleeping on mattresses or sleeping bags.

Contact us : email saranghills at gmail dot com  phone : 9447114482 / 8126895207 (Gautham) 8281211185 (Anuradha)