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……

clayfest

Yesterday I was at an excellent hot lime event. It was great to see the work of Nigel Copsey, Pat McAfee and others working with and researching hot earth and lime mixes in the UK, Ireland and beyond. Some important messages came across during the day: Hot lime mortars were extremely common in the past more so than putty or hydrated mixes; they are best made in small batches and used fresh and hot (even as limewash); they work well in a wide range of applications including bedding, harling and grouting; they allow you to build more quickly due to the initial set; quicklime was often mixed with earth in the past rather than sand; working with quicklime is cheaper than using bagged lime and no more dangerous; modern Scottish masons tend to gauge hot lime mortars with hydraulic lime to give a more durable set in wet conditions while in England there is more focus on pozzolanic additives such as brick dust……I could say so much more but it’s great to see this simple, obvious way of working finally getting the recognition it deserves. The photo is a hot lime/earth mortar I spotted in Barcelona. ... See MoreSee Less

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Shlomi Mantzura, Jane Wilkinson and 23 others like this

Richard GautierGood on ya fella. Nice info. Love this article.1 day ago

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It’s all about using ‘like with like’ materials when you are conserving old weathered surfaces. After one of the wettest and windiest winters on record when horizontal rain lasted for weeks rather than days I was nervous about the amount of erosion we might find on these earth render samples. However I am amazed how well they are looking despite this being a south-west facing gable. In a nutshell the basic clay/sand/straw mixes worked better than those containing dung and/or manure while the mix with a small amount of linseed oil (1%) had the least weathered surface. The small holes here and there were made by me testing the bond to the background with a small tool. I’ll come back to these results in future posts…..there’s lots more to say. ... See MoreSee Less

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Kris Heather, Veronica Balfour Paul and 17 others like this

Ruth NicholsWe have similar plans here at Cob Project Campus.1 week ago   ·  1
Muriel Mace-PattersonLooking forward to hearing more...we will do something similar for Birch Cottage.1 week ago   ·  1
Niall WildwoodeTHAT'S valuable info, Becky! Did you use a sacrificial coating? And was the linseed oil raw or boiled? Thanks :)1 week ago   ·  1

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Learning from old mortars....this 18th century cottage like many others in Scotland is built with subsoil and lime. When we analyzed the mix we found it contained roughly 2 parts clay, 1 part lime and 8 parts sand/aggregate, although it's difficult to know how much lime content has arrived via leaching from later coatings. However we can assume that some lime was needed in the original mortar to boost the binder content and improve the workability and set. This is a sensible way to use local materials. We need to broaden our skills and knowledge to include these varied mixes that don't rely on washed and graded aggregates and use expensive processed materials in smaller amounts. ... See MoreSee Less

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Anurag Jagdhari, Muriel Mace-Patterson and 23 others like this

Jane SchofieldThese old buildings also bust the myths about mortars getting weaker towards the surface as they are invariably earthier in the core and limier at the surface. Which makes complete sense to me though not, apparently, the 'experts'.2 weeks ago   ·  6

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Most types of lime or clay mortared masonry in Scotland (with the exception of clay and bool work in the north east) have very tight mortar beds with lots of pinnings. This ensures the load is carried through the wall by stone to stone contact rather than relying on relatively weak or slow setting mortars. In the case of lime mortar this also ensured that the use of an expensive processed material was kept to a minimum. This photo of a mediavel castle illustrates the common use of oyster shells as pinnings especially on corners - these would be extra strong where needed and have the advantage of speeding up carbonation of the lime mortar around them. ... See MoreSee Less

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Roberta WeberYou're awesome Becky Little!3 weeks ago   ·  1

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