The local CWA (Country Women's Association and SPAT (www.spat.org.au) the local theatre group decided to host and organize the community's first festive earthen building event. On the weekend before the event, about a dozen people came out for an hour to make hand made mud-bricks out of subsoil, sand and straw that was mixed with stomping bare feet. We made mud blobs and formed a line and passed them to where they were formed into bricks using a wooden form and left there to dry in the sun. The next weekend was the main 2 hour event where there were many more involved in one or more of the activities; cooking and serving food, mixing, passing and building/sculpting the bench with mud, playing music, singing in the choir or watching the spectacle as an audience. The bench built was named "Jimmy, the mud seat of glory" which was later plastered by hand with a natural handmade plaster of limestone, clay, salt, flour and boiled linseed oil. A plaque was created to commemorate the day and attached to the adjacent tree stump. The event was attended by all ages from seniors to toddlers. There was much fun had by all.
Below is the promo illustration that was sent out before the event and also a selection of photos from the event, taken by George Westwood, resident photographer.
drumming accoustic music sets the rhythm for the community line dances. The mud stomping
dance and the mud passing dance - while the sculptors sculpted.
During the food break, the SPAT choir sings mud songs...."Mud mud me do, you know I mud you. I'll always be true, so
pleeeease ...mud me do... Oh mud me do. Someone to mud, somebody true. Someone to mud
Someone like you..."
the bare foot mud stomp dance to mix the ingredients into one homogenous mixture.
We did this to make the mud bricks the week before and also at the event to make
the same mixture for the "mortar" to join the bricks together and cover them and
mixing the straw into the mud mixture for added tensile strength
The mud passing dance line, to move the mud mixtures from the mixing pit
to the construction site up the hill where the bench will be sculpted. We also did
this line dance when we made the bricks the week before. In his picture the mud is
being passed to mortar the bricks together.
sculpting the bench out of the mud mixture and the dried mud bricks (to the side)
made the week before and dried out in the sun.
sculpting the bench together as a team
Jimmy the Mud Seat comes to shape and is named.
Food for everyone, sculpters, team members, audience and organizers alike.
Jimmy the Mud Seat of Glory, drying in the summer sun.
A limestone plaster (made of limestone, clay, salt, flour and linseed oil)
covers the dried mud seat of glory to protect it from the elements in the
ancient tradition of many unfired earthen building communities.
A commemorative plaque on the stump facing the bench.
The first sitting ceremony to welcome the bench to the community.