Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Memorial weekend plaster and Mojave Field Trip!

Plastering the top of the domes and reptiling in the gaps was the name of the game on Sunday. Monday, Memorial Day was filled with exploration and the whole weekend was filled with desert animals. On a rare blog entry we will include an adventure near by the dome!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Turtle style reptile

Hey, easy does it, slow and steady. After a week not building, it was good to get back out in the desert. Reptiling vertical walls ain't easy, but it goes pretty fast anyway. My goal is to finish exterior plaster by Summer Solstice. Seems fitting, and then I can spend the summer season indoors, plastering the interior, and creating the floor. I can't wait to test the cooling ability of the dome in 100 degree plus heat! In high 80's it has been cool and wonderful inside.

It may seem like a lot of work but I think it is easier than having to get a smooth professional surface. It won't crack and it is self shading!
This was early in the day, but you can see how the dried reptiles look. I am thinking about final colors and I want to get back closer to the sand color.
The seat finally got it's first coat of plaster.
We got balls all the way around!
Both sides!
Dream Actualization 
Beehive? Hobbit house? Doomsday bunker? Hippy Den?
The reptile probide shade and shelter from the elements for many desert creatures. 
The neighbors are listening in.
Piper the half-Coyote was riling up the neighbor's dogs, and chasing my car! I am pretty sure that's how she got hit before. Well she is showing no sighs of injury!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Reptiles Cont'd

Today was a family affair! The neighbors came over with lunch and tea and we went balls to the wall again, all the way around the small dome. Some spots have 2 or 3 layers and some spots we are just getting the first layer to stick. That is the hardest part, but our youngest reptile'r was in kindergarten and not only made perfect reptiles to fill in the gaps between first layer balls, but was able to stick good first layer reptiles on vertical walls repeatedly! First layer retiles need to stick well but don't need to be perfect because they are not seen, better balls will go on top of them.

The dried reptiles from last week. I have always been a form follows function kinda guy. These reptiles expand and contract and prevent most cracking, they keep the walls cooler in summer by shading part of the adjacent reptiles with each reptiles neighbor. An average 1/4  of the reptile may be in shade at any given time, at some times of day much more. In low sun winter months the effect is less, allowing for absorption of heat into the thermal mass to be released during the nighttime.
Not too shabby!
The top will be smooth and there will be a wave and random reptiles.
Crushing a whole section of main dome! You can't really just keep piling on reptiles when they're wet. You need them to dry a bit and be separate because if the are all one blob, you get cracks. The reptiles are the cracks. Also if you apply too many, too close and they crumble on top of other wet ones, you cant brush it off and the cracks between the reptiles get filled in and it becomes a big blob. It may crack. This is really a base layer, on top of which the sweet pretty reptile balls will be placed. So it doesn't matter too much as long as they stick out enough to hold the next layer of reptiles. 
Sunset status update.
The reptile machine was working well today!
5 rows of reptiles all the way around the big dome!
The sun gettin' low.
Close up of the little dome.
In front of Goat Mountain.

This is how I picture it in my mind when I am at work.