Well, I am in the process of telling You how everything developed back in the summer of 2010 when we for the first time tried to build up the chapel. After the intensive course week when MANY persons were working to raise the walls up to the hight that You saw on the pictures on the last blogpost, one woman helped me several more days. We continued raising the walls, only the two of us, to the uniform hight of slightly more than 2 meters.
But it was obvious that there were severe problems. We stopped building. How come? Well…
We had got the advice to start the masonry work right on the foundation, since it was good drainage under the foundation and there was gravel under and around. So we did.
So during the course we started the masonry work with the logs right on the concrete foundation.
And what happened?
Well, there is a saying, that when building with clay one should let the house have”high boots and a fishermans wide-brimmed rain hat”. Probably it would have been better to make another “ring” on top of the foundation, for example out of capillary breaking natural stones before putting the logs there. Like “high boots”. But that was not done back in 2010. And even though the building got a “rain shelter” of plastic tarpaulins water was suck up through the clay mixture and the logs. After some weeks it was obvious that more and more the structure started to look like a big funnel. More open at the top than at the bottom. This was a funny symbolism since it was to become a CHAPEL in which You would want to “open up” towards heaven… : ) BUT it was not possible to put roof trusses on the tilting walls. The picture below is not at all showing the result after some time, this picture is taken already in july, but already then as You see the angle of the tilting wall on the right side.
For quite some weeks we investigated ways to “fix” it… For example, see the planks on the left of the building… We also tried with strong straps to “pull” the upper parts together. We discussed the problem with several experienced builders. We thought of raising strong beams on the outside and the inside of the walls, and more idéas…
I have no pictures at all to show from that period because I did not take photos, it was such a sorrowful time… and an ugly sight to see the walls leaning more and more. There were als severe cracks here and there.
After quite some twisting and turning, we came to the conclusion that we would never be content with the building if we continued with THAT structure. In october 2010 we got help from a few youngsters to tear the walls down. We of course saved the clay mixture and now that is all recycled : ) And all the logs has helped us to keep warm many cold winter days. So the blessing of Saint Joseph came upon us already the first and parts of the second winter but not in the way that we had thought. : )
What is there to learn from this experience? Maybe that it does not always go well the very first time one does an attempt in a certain direction.