The woven barrier at the edge of the gallery in the Speckled Wood building was completed last week. The southern end of the building is open all the way up to the eaves. The other end of the building has a first floor where two of the bedrooms are, to get to the bedrooms the stairs lead up onto a gallery which looks out over the open end of the building. We had to create a barrier at the edge of the gallery so it was a safe space, there had been a few ideas about how to do this using the locally produced materials we had to hand. In the end we decided to use some of our hand cleaved chestnut laths. Most of the laths are going to hidden under our earth plaster, so having some on display fealt like the right thing to do.
One sharp whack with the mallet on a nice sharp chisel was the quickest way of cutting them to length.
They were then woven into position.
Piece by piece they built up to make a woven panel, not dissimilar to weaving a hurdle in the coppice. It took a little bit of head scratching to get the weave to work in a pleasing pattern on the spindles, due to the laths being much shorter than the width of the gallery. But I think it went ok in the end.
What I really like is that they create a solid barrier, but because of the way they are woven they also let the light shine through. When the sun shone in through the big glazed sections in the gable end it created some really pretty patterns across the floor and walls.
We had another working holiday on the building project last week as well. The guys did a fantastic job on lathing partition walls, earth plastering and painting, you could really see the progress being made. Thanks very much to all of you.