Sunday, February 28, 2016

Top of the small dome!

We got to the top of the small dome today! The secret surprise is a 21" salvaged porthole! We also did another row of the leaning arch. All the complicated maneuvers require extra time. We did rows over the solstice pipe window and secured it into place. The space defined for the sea life marble glass has been defined over the door.

The next row of the leaning arch will connect.
A view from inside the doorway.

Each wire can support 75 lbs and we have more than 12. The gap will be filled with stabilized earth and/or foam insulation,
Raquel is checking out the view of sunset around Goat Mountain.
The sunset was just OK today ;) 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A break from the grunt grind!

Today was cool! Instead of doing more dome rows, Jon and I started the day by actually permanently  attaching the door to the frame. Then I installed the window. I used a foaming insulating sealing product called "Great Stuff" and it seemed to work. I misjudged the amount I'd need, or rather how much was in the can. I got about halfway around the door frame and realized I probably wouldn't have enough for the window, so I switched to the window and barely had enough for that. After the door and window installation, we started the leaning arch. We could have probably finished it or at least done 2 more rows but the door and window killed a lot of time and I am satisfied with our ability to lock the dome,, that sounds weird. "yeah, I locked the dome before I left, no biggie..." HA!!! Its pretty amazing to think that we created a (very small) space, a place, an interior location.

From inside the small dome. 

I like these views, they feel very architectural. Perfect, but chaotically imperfect.

Shimming the jam, shim it up while the door is jumping and the jam is pumping.

More shim & jam. 
Great Stuff in the window, I'll possibly do a bead of epoxy or silicone before plastering for strength.

The word on the street is that a razor "should" get the stuff off the glass.
The way the symmetry and beauty of form happened organically is breathtaking!
I tripped, over thunk it and didn't think I had a good enough angle. But, I am actually pretty happy with this, there is barbed wire between every layer and in some cases it is woven, connecting the bags.
Leaning Arch aka Lancet Vault is happening... 
Window in, reflection of sunset and Joshua Tree. Oh btw, the flat mesa at the horizon which intersects the dome is Flat Top Mesa, part of the new "Sand to Snow" National Monument!

Above the door looking down. Ninja School is in session! 
5 minutes later it the sunset was INSANE. It was really red, but I was over the door balancing and tamping.

The pipe is temporary. Another surprise feature going in there. Stay tuned. Go visit to relax.

When I first saw a leaning arch and then now for sure, I think of Iron Maiden's Powerslave cover art!
Into the abyss I'll fall the eye of Horus
Into the eyes of the night watching me go
Green is the cat's eye that glows in this temple
Enter the risen Osiris risen again

Try to imagine how AWESOME it really was in reality. If only there was a device that could capture an analog representation of the image, maybe on some sort of celluloid or paper medium. But that would be horribly inefficient and dirty. This is a picture of the moon and Joshua Trees btw. :(

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Milestones abound!

The intersection of the two domes and the lanced arch doorway looks stellar from above, too bad this is getting covered with more bag.

What a day! You'll see in all the pictures that today was quite the productive day. But you can't see that it's like 40 mph winds and I'm standing on soft rows of bag and barbed wire 12 feet up over a doorway supported only by rebar and planks, while wrestling a 300 lb anaconda. I had help though, Jon gets to hear me cuss up a storm when I get caught on the barbed wire or jam my finger and exclaim unintelligible tongues when I lose my balance from the weight from the sudden shift of an earth filled bucket or the wind catching the bag like a sail.

The boards that will bridge the doorway. 

First section of bag over the doorway with rebar jammed in the bag too!

Even Jon is getting excited about the door fitting and prospects of completion!

Superadobe structures are 100% climbable!

You can see the gap we have to close with our leaning arch doorway, something I am very excited about.

300 lb Anaconda balancing on a toothpick.

From this angle it looks like we know what we're doing!
Don't let that fluffy, feathery foreground flora fool ya, ffs, it's got FANGS!

Prego beats Ragu! Pasta sauce jar windows... just you wait, you will see soon enough.

Focusing on delivering a bucket of stabilized Earth and NOT looking psycho.

Well, focused on the Stabilized Earth bucket, at least! ;)

Full moon, sunset, joshua trees, sigh.

Running the second row of bag over the doorway. Wedging the pasta jars in between the rows. Realize that there are 2 jars taped mouth to mouth for every window.
Sunset progress photo


The full moon shining through the arched window of the doorway.

Buffalo gals, won't you come out tonight...

Buffalo gals, won't you come out tonight, And dance by de light of de moon.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Too busy for pics, really!

The day flew by, much progress was made, but the phone battery didn't last. So tomorrow will seem like there was a lot of progress but it was today also. We got the rows past the front door elevation, but no pic, Tomorrow's big dome row will be the first COMPLETE circle since the foundation rows.

I HAD to pose in front of the NEW Morongo Valley "Sand to Snow Monument" sign! 
I like how it sits in the environment, but I can't wait till it has the Earth Plaster and "reptile" exterior.  
It's crazy how symmetrical yet organic it is.

Next build day is Sunday. The plan is to do a few more big dome rows and go over the DOOR GAP! 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Lotsa work = Lotsa photos!

Seems like closer to the top we get, the more crazy, fun, difficult things there are to do!

Jon says he's not a pictures kind of guy. Oops
When I was mixing my first batch of stabilized Earth, I saw this guy covered in cement dust. He was completely enveloped in a fine powder. I took him to the hose and to my surprise with a few short misty bursts he became completely clean and shiny black. Rock on little dude!

In a few rows it will be a "perfect" circle. The top is a secret, how were gonna close/ finish it. Stay Tuned. Check out and in the meantime!

Yes, I have some more chiseling to do in my future. Next time I will use another piece of wood to create a clean bag edge to compensate for the curve of the wall.

Features (holes) like windows and doors tend to interrupt the curve of the bag, but the curves recover in another row or two. 
Domes are natures oldest beauty enhancer. Again, because: Geometry 
Sorry, Folks! My excitement about being able to plank across the small dome opening is no excuse for CRACK! This one is too close to call.

Ninja School

I'm the cherry!
After 2 days and new rows. Pre Pull.

Trusting in Geometry isn't always easy when you decide to make modifications. But further inspection proves that this thing is insanely strong.

Solstice window.

The dome comes with a big hole, Negadome!

(Do it)   Just DO IT!!! Some people dream of success but you are going to wake up and work HARD AT IT!!!! MAKE YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE! Just DO IT!!!