alternative & natural building methods 

Green and 
Natural Building,
Adobe.  CEB-Cinva Ram Block Press,
Cob, Light straw, Lime plasters, Log, Papercrete, Pole, rammed earth,
Rub-R-Slate,  Rocket Stoves, Straw, Wood Chip Clay 
and more....... 
ONLINE or as Resource CD GUIDES!
    Order the NUWAY Building CD GUIDE                  and create a project of your own, from    something practical  like repairing the        floor in a closet to an arts and crafts idea.       One VERY easy project is to take a          leftover straw or wicker floral basket, and    plaster the outside with RRS, and        decorate with marbles,  shells, other bits,    and  use craft paint the finished  project. 


I  found a steel drum from a clothes dryer and turned it into a large flower planter.
The first image shows the white metal drum, It is open at the top and bottom. A small metal lip curls around the top edge. There are several small holes already in place around this lip. I used these holes for  adding a 'necklace' of glass pieces later.

I will use a version of Rub_R-Slate, (RRS)  and asphalt emulsion (AE) to coat the slick surface.

The 2nd image shows the drum with a painted coat of asphalt emulsion- right out of the  5 gallon pail.  Next I mixed sawdust and shredded paper with clay and asphalt emulsion to make a sticky brown plaster.  For extra adhesion I wrapped the drum with one layer of a polyester 'dress' netting. This material its used for ladies' clothing, but  any light weight netting can work.   The brown plaster is  smeared by hand (wear gloves) over the netting and directly to the drum surface.  The netting was a test, it may not be necessary to get the RRS  to stick. To get the netting to stick you can dab small amounts of AE  to the drum and tack the netting on by pressing it into the  wet AE.

Once the RRS was dry I coated it with a pure lime plaster. I wanted a white surface to decorate, but I could have left the RRS brown.
Because the RRS is bumpy the lime sticks to it well. You should also  coat the  drum with a lime wash onto the RRS before applying the lime plaster layer; it helps them stick to each other better.
While the lime is still soft you can smooth the surface, or add a texture by stamping, brushing, or troweling. You can also embed small times like keys, sea shells, pebbles, etc.

Here is the finished 'flower pot'. The colorful, broken glass pieces were rescued from an artisan glassblower. I used a heavy fishing line to string the glass, and ran it through the small holes around the rim. You can see twin holes spaced along the edge.  The deep blue and purple coloring is from lime-safe pigments- very pricey, and very low cost liquid laundry bluing, which can be purchased in any large supermarket.  I mixed the pigments with water, and drizzled it down the side of the  drum, and let  gravity control where the liquid went.  The bluing is  "Mrs. Stewarts"  brand, and cost under $3.00 for  8 ounces.  It can be mixed darker or lighter.  The drum wasplaced outside and has been sitting in the sun and rain all year around, the bluing fades out over  time, but not quickly, and it can be applied again.  The Rub-R-Slate and lime layers have held up very well over six years,a nd only a small amount of  crumbling , mostly at the lip edge, can be seen.

The lime plaster alone would not have stuck to the  steel drum, even with netting, so the layer of RRS allowed this project to succeed.