Is anyone there?

Heh-loooo!??  Anybody?! As an avid reader, you may have began to think that the AltShift NZ sites were recently abandoned; but there are still a few stragglers around, sculpting some Superadobe walls for retaining during the fast approaching winter months.  That group of committed individuals consists of the earth alchemist Jared Fone, the intense Douglas Meyers, the steadfast Trent Laughton, & the ever indecisive Travis Jennings.  Each has shown great problem solving skills over the past week, and the stabilization of landscape is almost complete due to advancements in mixing and earth-bagging technique and process streamlining.  
Until they are completely done and have more free time (and consistent internet accessibility), we will have to keep this update a bit on the short side, but rest assured you will be seeing some BIG things on this site in the week to come (+ a new AltShiftNZ website designed by the acclaimed designer Loren Polster!).   Here are a few pictures from the past week and a half to hold you over, but with work soon to be completed there will be no excuse not to spend a lot of time creating new posts for you all.  Here are some are some visual morsels for the time.

Starting Looking East(ish) from Kings Drive this is the view of the evolving entry and landscaping of the street side of the property (2 more levels of Earthbag walls to come on the left and right)

The foundational/base courses for the Superadobe/Earthbag walls and steps to the front door.

This is the glorious North facing, solar gaining, green roof chilling (you can see Trent working on a window up there) section.   

A preview of a rammed earth floor/radiant heating post coming soon to a screen near you

Above is the view to the West/NW, the snow-capped Black Peak perchs on the roof of the 'belvedere'.

Jared creating caves in the earth pile while mixing the ingredients (1 part water, 10 parts Cardrona clay-rich earth, 1 part cement) for the contents of the Superadobe bag fill.

The earth-bagging sprites emerge from their earthen home for breakfast and another day of Superadobe wall construction.

BONUS: A sculpture from a NZ artist showcased at the local Rippon vineyard

That is all for now!  Enjoy the last week of May and talk to you soon!


Tune 2sday + and new content forecasting.

After working @ a break-neck pace over the past few weeks to button up the house for winter, the AltShiftNZ team is getting ready to take a bit of a breather.  Seeking warmer temps, greener pastures, and resetting visa and NZ visiting allotments, the Jennings are migrating back to the Northern hemisphere while the rest of the crew looks forward to a winter in Wanaka.  With the upcoming increase in free time, you readers can look forward to a lot of new posts and material coming to this site - get ready for a Time Lapse sequence of the build (from the foundations to current state) which just might cause a minor mind blow.  But for now here are a couple of audio treats.  The first is an old intermission jingle from sampled by Wu-Tang's GZA, and the second is a song called "La Pause" (not to be confused with the Peruvian capital), both songs relating to the upcoming interlude.  See you soon, and get excited for the time-lapse and a bunch of new pictures of the sealed home!!

P.S. / BONUS = If you're still not satiated  from these tunes head over here to see computer renderings of the Kings Drive project on Elite Design's website.  Big thanks and props to Glen Allen who did all of the technical draughting and put up with our (multiple) last second revisions.


Open House #1

Saturday we had our first quasi 'Open House' in which a group of us all worked on putting a first 'priming coat' of earth plaster onto the East wall of the house.  Here are some pictures from all the muddy goodness of the day:

 Leveling out the spontaneous nature of the bales as well as working in a thin priming coat, the team joins the forces and natural simplicity of clay and straw.
 Trent and Diane Laughton work on replenishing the supply of clay slip for the interfacing 'glue' substance between bale and cob + plaster.  A couple that makes mud together, stays together.
The Clay Slip Monster (Roarke) terrorized the site, splattering unsuspecting participants with the earthen glue, and plaster-globs.   
Applying plaster with the high-pressure massaging 'wax on, wax off' technique the team had to rest their palms and shoulders- who knew plastering would be such a workout?