The Great Wall Project

dragonflies and sunflowers, by interns Lucy and Alyssa

the area between the dragonflies and the big sunflower will be smoothed over before the final limewash goes on.

yucca and dragonflies detail, by interns Piper and Lucy

the new cornice, which is going on all along the interior, and on the street-facing part of the exterior.

an emergent cicaida on the cornice

Kat and Ryan working out front yesterday

the last stretch of the north wall, construction finished.

on the east stretch, we are insetting champagne bottles, which will become bubbles in the river that we will later mosaic onto the exterior. As the wall gets higher, we’ll put in clusters of bottles as sunflower-centers, and then mosaic the sunflowers around them on the exterior when we do the plastering. we’re using wooden forms (see the log on the top row) until the rows are tamped down, then hammering those out and replacing them with bottles, which will be mudded in as necessary.

Alan walking between the walls

on the north wall, the final arch, which opens onto a view of a small, perfectly flat shelf on the pruned locust tree — we’ll probably make a small outdoor altar on that stub of tree-branch, which will be visible through the arch. below that, a dog-door for Baxter, who wanders over on his own pretty regularly, with the dog-door flaps yet to be installed.

the front (east) wall, seen from the top of the north wall. note its relationship to the street, the parking area, and the house. it’s going to be beautiful. in the foreground, Rev’s custom barbed-wire-dispensing device.

Rev at the front apse.


while all this wall work was going on yesterday, Jenny and a team of assistants canned up a whole bunch of stuff — fruit chutney, pickled green tomatoes (!), capered sunberries, jam, and applesauce.

and at the same time, another crew was hard at work plastering the exterior of the north wall. in one day, they nearly doubled the amount of plaster out there!

the whole north wall, seen from Gherardi’s side of the line.

unfinished apses (in progress) and the finished section up to the gate.

and as if that weren’t enough, on saturday, we got the fall crops in. broccoli, cauliflower, peas (an experiment–keep your fingers crossed!), beets, chard, lettuce, spinach, dill, chives and radishes all went into the ground in these two rows, after we had weeded, tilled, and mixed in a couple inches of composted poultry manure.