I have a friend, Danielle, who is almost done building her cob tower. And because it looks so incredibly good, I will go ahead and mention that Danielle learned everything she knows about cob from taking the workshop that Mike and I taught at Pickard's Mountain in May of last year. To be fair and genuine, Danielle has taken the little knowledge that the workshop imparted upon her, and added to it a whole wealth of creativity, drive, and an innate understanding of how to sculpt with her hands - especially impressive for someone who is smaller than my mother. The interior dimensions are roughly 8 1/2 X 8 1/2 feet, and - yes - it is two stories.
I spent today helping to build the roof. I didn't get many photos, but Danielle did (she mostly played the role of manager today, on the ground, making sure that her vision was being properly imagined by her willing workers), so I'll put up some more photos when I get them.
the South side of the house:
All the built-in exterior stairs are for her cats. The steep shed-roof that you see coming off the side of the building on the right will eventually be covering an outdoor bed (the second floor is also a bedroom for winter nights when outdoor sleeping is out of the question):
These are our rafters. THICK! They were harvested mostly by Danielle's husband, Noel, from their forest. They are tulip poplar, which is known as having very straight trunks. They shaved all the bark, and we rounded the ends of each rafter before putting it up.
Getting the ridge beam up was particularly fun. It took the full strength of 8 or 9 people to carry it out of the forest, and then a series of brute moves to get it up onto the roof and set into place.
We got about halfway done today, and I'll go back later this week to finish the job.