Welcome 

Rebearth is an earth building venture, founded in Scotland by mud and mortar mason, Becky Little. By learning from the past and working with nature, we want to celebrate and develop the skills and traditions of earth. Our mission is to make, mend, and experiment with subsoils, lime and natural materials to spread the knowledge and joy of earth building in all its forms, including cob, mudwall, clay and hemp, wattle and daub, turf building, soft capping, clay plasters, earth sculpture and decoration. We are also experts in the use of clay and lime mortars with stone.

Rebearth was created out of my need for a more soulful and holistic approach to building and my desire to share the knowledge that I have gained over the past 20 years.

Stay wild and keep learning……

Old mudwall beneath the (very loose) cement render revealing striking fork marks in the upper lift. Presumably we are looking at a key for a render coat but this is only clear in the top lift and suggests the roof was raised at some point. One of many stories emerging in this lovely old building. ... See MoreSee Less

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Today we start work on this amazing old mudwall building....probably our most challenging project yet. When we took a sample we found it contained 15% clay, 62% silt, 23% fine sand with no coarse sand or aggregate at all. I'll also be training the masons from Historic Scotland and the Scottish Lime Centre. Feeling a little bit excited about what we might find and what we might learn along the way. ... See MoreSee Less

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Pamela Kennedy, George Gunn and 19 others like this

Niall WildwoodeGood grief...that's a lean combo. Hey, Becky, guess what I found near Vindolanda yesterday... heather thatch, & what looks like your clay ridge capping?6 days ago   ·  3
Anna MeenanPost up photos as work progresses please.5 days ago   ·  1
Fran KeithWow big job but really exiting. Looks like its been there a while so the original builders must have known something. Progress pictures please x6 days ago   ·  1
Niall Wildwoode6 days ago   ·  2

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Earth experiments 1990s: Different backgrounds for daubs using combinations of willow and natural rope. The oat straw rope came from an old basket maker in Orkney. It's beautiful stuff but takes some skill to get it this tight and even. I had a go with flax too which was incredibly strong. I've seen rope like this inside many old mud buildings, often in the chimney structure or partition walls. It combines perfectly with wood frames and mud to give flexibility and strength. ... See MoreSee Less

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柯進聰, Peter Coch Shaman and 23 others like this

Daniël PostmaWe have a suspected cob oven fragment from an archaeological dig in the Netherlands - don't recall its date, but early medieval at the latest - which shows a rope impression. It has been suggested that rope coils were used to strengthen the clay-rich soil during first drying, though I don't think a rope 'wattle' daub wall will have been considered as an alternative. From another coastal site (ca AD 8th C.) daub fragments with long straight straw impressions were found, interpreted as evidence for straw insulation. We (myself and other archaeologists) have a lot yet to learn about ancient building traditions, as these examples demonstrate: an inventory of such examples (archaeological, historical and exerimental/experiential) would be very useful.2 weeks ago   ·  4

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You are a builder in 1730 living near the river Spey in Morayshire………Chances are you might have dug the local brown clay from under your feet, mixed it in the cattle yard for a while, then added in some straw with help from your children and neighbours. You may also have gathered the river washed boulders scattered about the fields and set them into the thick mud in strong tight layers, perhaps using some old doors for shuttering. You would know when to stop for the rain, when to build higher, when to load on the roof, but I suspect you would never have guessed that your clay and bool wall, which is probably now long gone, would live on in the imagination of the 21st century. This picture was taken in 1993. I wish I’d taken a lot more…… ... See MoreSee Less

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Marcia Stefanon Benjamin, Rosie Grant and 11 others like this

RebearthRhyddian that would be brilliant. I found a few back in the 90s including this ruin but I assumed most would have gone by now - it's great news if not. Thank you!2 weeks ago
Rhyddian KnightHi Rebearth i might have a few somewhere; there's a few houses near the mouth where the concrete render has fallen off revealing the clay & bool. Shall i get a map & find the location for you?2 weeks ago   ·  1

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Earth pigments: While we use ochre in lime wash these women from Burkina Faso are using black rocks ground up with water to decorate their walls and special stones for marking and polishing. These surfaces gently fade over a year or two and are then reapplied. For me this seasonal rhythm of small tasks that nurture and reestablish our connection to a place are far preferable to "maintenance free" products and systems. Anyone that does a yearly lime wash will understand the importance of timing, they will see the small changes in the wall's weathering and heal the damage, they will notice the dripping gutter (and fix it) and they will contribute to a longer more healthy life for their building. ... See MoreSee Less

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