Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

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I no longer blog on this site. You can now find me, my general blogs, and the work I am doing researching my forthcoming book on imagination, on my new blog.

Natural Plasters Book – Guilberth & Chiras (2004)

**The Natural Plasters Book Review – Guilberth and Chiras. New Society Publishing. (2004)**


The various techniques of natural building, strawbale, cob and so on, are well covered in a number of books, and although some of them touch on the subject of plastering, this is the first publication to focus entirely on natural plasters for natural buildings. Clearly, the plastering of a natural home requires a fundamentally different approach than conventional construction. Cement renders are out, due to their high embodied energy and to the fact that cement’s lack of breathability would make most natural materials fail. The options that remain, lime based plasters and earth based plasters, offer the benefits of breathability, durability, beauty, affordability, and require skills that are easy to learn. While the art of lime plastering has enjoyed a revival lately and many books and workshops offer this knowledge, the art of making earth plasters has all but died out in these Isles. People came to associate earth plasters with poverty and inferior durability, whereas the natural building agenda has put them firmly back on the map. One of the reviews of this book describes it as being “to mud what the Kama Sutra is to sex.