Here (left) is a view of the garden. Between the two greenhouses is where the Love Nest eventually found it's home! The image to the right is the phase of the then "Garden Bench" when I took over the build. There was a cob workshop at the time, and I took some of the participants around to scare up interesting artifacts that could possibly be made a part of the bench. The structure had not been worked on for about two months. Time and rain had been taking their toll. It was the moment for some love to be poured into the project.
The flow really got going with a few sketches and the expansion of the stone footings and addition of the four cedar posts. The simple bench was fast becoming a cozy little garden nook!
With two other cob projects going on at the same time, the decision was agreed upon to try out a faster way to make a whole lot of cob. Out came the bobcat. This really is a great way to make a lot of cob, but make sure that the batch is big enough to justify the method!
The ladies that stuck with the project for the length of the workshop were a lot of fun, and we got so much built in just the few days they were there. I hope they have continued to get their feet dirty!
Later we had a PDC (permaculture design course) and were able to start on the finish plaster with many artistic features from a variety of collaborators. Brandy came up with some sweet little red heart-shaped glass pieces, and on one of my walks around the property I stumbled upon a fallen birds' nest. The Garden Bench soon became known as the Love Nest.
We had a beautiful salmon coloured clay on hand, so I opted to use it as our base, adding a bit of orange pigment, getting the playful colour of the finish coat. I also used some lighter alises to create just the right amount of contrast to some key areas. The weather seal on the walls ended up being a 30:70 glue:water wash, which had shown good results on other structures on-site. The actual bench seat will receive a linseed oiling for durability.
Here are some nice little closeups of some of the artistic details that really bring the Love Nest together, including; the little corner nook, the mosaic window that was done the year before by the interns, and the birds' nest found on my walk.
These last two shots do a nice job of giving one the idea of shape, size, and feel. The design calls for a living roof (suitable for a bench in a garden) and I can't wait until that goes up!!