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GSBN:Next Themes for TLS
A little update from TLS-land (which has finally started to thaw
The summer issue (#42) has just wrapped up, and will be headed to press
shortly. Themed "New Systems," it is a great issue with articles on all
kinds of baled stuff, including super-compressed straw, cardboard,
paper and tires, plus articles on new ways of using good old straw
<bold>#43 - The Case for Clay
</bold>I'm very excited about the upcoming issue, #43, which we are
tentatively calling "The Case for Clay." I'd really like to solicit the
help of people on this list to make this a strong issue for promoting
the use of earthen plasters, earthen floors and other clay-based
There are a few ways I'd like to approach this issue. First of all, I'd
like to make it very practical. I know that earthen plaster and floor
recipes are very site specific, and not necessarily transferrable from
region to region. Still, I'm hoping that we can solicit some good
articles about specific projects using clay materials, and include both
the process by which recipes were determined, and the recipes
themselves. I think we can make it clear that you can't just follow
these recipes as gospel, but I think the idea that this stuff is so
"mysterious" scares a lot of people, and some articles where the
process is laid bare would make it seem more approachable.
Another approach I'd like to include is to impress readers with the
beauty of these materials. Along those lines, I'd love to include a
large pictorial section showing projects of all kinds, from all over
the world, which use earthen plasters, floors, walls, etc. So even if
you don't have time to write an article, sending us some photos of
projects new or old would be very helpful.
The third kind of article would be the "impassioned advocacy" article,
in which the "case for clay" is made. These could range from the purely
personal to the societal rant to the scientific defense. Hopefully all
Of course, any other kind of clay-related article would be welcomed.
I'll undertake a review of the books and pamphlets that are out there,
and include a review of Dan and Cedar's new book too.
The deadline for the clay issue is June 30, 2003. I know this is a busy
time for many of us, but I'd like this to be a strong issue, and one
that people can use to convince themselves, their friends and families,
their building officials and whoever else needs convincing that using
clay is compelling and sound.
<bold>#44 - A Straw, Straw World
</bold>This issue is intended to be a "world survey" of bale projects.
Already in hand are articles about sb in Saudi Arabia, Russia and
Nicaragua, among others. I'd like the issue to convey a sense of the
widespread movement and its growing strength. Photos, project
descriptions, in-depth articles, and personal adventures are all
welcomed, and the projects don't have to be the newest and latest... it
is a good issue to review some of the older projects too. So if you
could all help direct me to interesting international contacts, or
write in to recall your own efforts and initiatives, that would be
The deadline for this issue is September 30, 2003.
</bold>As part of issue #44, we will be assembling the annual resource
guide. Joyce will be contacting all of you, I'm sure, to solicit your
entries. If you have contacts with builders, designers, architects,
engineers and others who should be listed, please let us know so we can
solicit them, too. The resource guide is very popular, and it acts as
an important tool for those interested in bale building to make proper
contacts and begin projects, so the more complete the listings, the
better for everybody.
</bold>I've been getting great reactions to the Letters section of TLS.
Readers really appreciate them, so if you have thoughts that don't
equate to an article, send them as a letter. And as always, any issue
that's buring a hole in your brain is fair game for a TLS spot... it
doesn't have to fit the theme for us to include it. Issue #42 has an
interview with John Straube, and I'd like to continue with an interview
of an interesting bale-person in each issue, so nominations are very
welcome indeed. And your thoughts, opinions, criticisms, suggestions,
leads and input are always welcome.
<center>Chris Magwood / Camel's Back Straw Bale Construction
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