tandard house construction has a problem, and it's wooden.
With the price of wood skyrocketing, and the ecological impact of all that wood, glue, nails, gypsum, Tyvek, fiberglass, paint and primer on the landscape, the cost of a house is quickly becoming more than just the price of the land and a few 2x4s.
The Hand-Sculpted House is the where, when, how and why--written by the "who"--of cob construction, an ancient building style undergoing a big revival. It explains everything, from the right consistency of soil to the best dance-moves to use when mixing up a batch of cob. Yes, I said soil.
I can hear the howls now: "A house made of DIRT?!?!? What, are you nuts?" Nope.
Cob is one of humanity's oldest construction methods. While "rammed earth" compresses dirt into a semi-resilient construction material, cob takes that same base element, dirt--or more specifically, clay--and then adds in sand for aggregate. Then we add structural integrity in the form of straw.
Walls aren't so much built as they are "knitted," or squished into place. Once dry, it is covered in plaster or mastic, and then painted. You have seen these houses before; you just didn't realize that that old English countryside house dated 1544 was actually made out of clay, sand and straw.