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Showing posts from May 10, 2015

No wolf yet

Having built out of bricks, and out of wood, I am now completing my Three Little Pigs story by building out of straw. I was lucky to meet Nicole, who is building her own straw bale house in a small village in Switzerland. See her blog here:

When baled, straw behaves partly like a substance, partly like a module. It is dense enough to require a saw to cut it, and it holds its shape when notched or sliced. (Of course, the bales need a certain thickness and density for this to work.) And yet, bales can be reshaped by shifting the straw around inside the strings. They can be taken apart and reconstituted (although we try to avoid that because they are always less dense than the first time) They can be compressed. 

Bales are directional, with all of the stalks running parallel. At first, Nicole wanted to build her walls with the stalks running parallel to the wall, but she switched to perpendicular. With the stalks running parallel, the bales have a b…