It seems a bit odd that I have begun a blog about Adobe building with a recipe for oil paint but I guess that is in part the nature of a blog as my introduction each day is moved further down the page. I will skip around with information I have to share just as you will skip around the blog and internet looking for the information that may be helpful to you.
Today though, in an effort to start at the beginning, I wanted to share a little background on how John Corcoran, my partner, and I came to learn how to build with Adobe and some background information on us.
John Corcoran, my partner in life and building, and I came to New Mexico to build a small house of Adobe. John has built many homes as a contractor and on his own. He is a graduate of Goddard College in Vermont , a school that had a great program in the early 1970 where students studied home building and where he built his first home as a senior thesis project. The experience I brought to the table was as a house designer, and as someone who spent most of her waking hours in and around the home, thus had a lot to say about a homes design and flow. This house is the third house we have built together as a team.
On arriving in New Mexico and as the closing on the land we wanted to purchase took a longer time than we had imagined, John and I set out to learn everything we could about adobe.
We took field trips visiting such notable historical adobe structures in and around Santa Fe and Taos:
The Martinez Hacienda
The Rancho de Taos
The Ranchos de Los Golindrinas
The Acoma Pueblo
Georgia Okeefe's Abiquie Home
We took country drives and fell in love with all the small adobe villages along the Pecos River.
We read everything we could get our hands on:
John perused the used bookshops of Santa Fe finding numerous out of print titles while I perused the Santa Fe Library southwest section and the internet.
good used bookshops: Gunstock Hill Books 308 N. Guadalupe
Nicholas Potter Books 211 East Palace
Quentin Wilson the Head of Adobe Building Program at The Northern New Mexico Community College in el Rito New Mexico, an inexpensive hands on college program to learn adobe building.
And joined his yahoo International adobe chat room, a must for anyone serious about adobe building.
Through this chat room we met and became good friends with two invaluable player in our Adobe building:
Simone Swann, Adobe Alliance
Claude Hayward the guy who with a team of guys from Anton Chico put up the adobe block and built our fireplace,
And I took a weekend plaster and alis paint workshop with Carole Crews where what I learned gave me complete confidence to to take over the entire plaster job inside and out on our home.
We attended the Adobe Association of the Southwest conference in el Rito and met people from all over the world truly passionate about adobe. There is another conference coming up this May 15, 16 and 17.
If you take the time to follow all the links I have created above and get out and drive the New Mexico countryside I whole new world will open up to you. I am only sorry I didn't discover adobe sooner.