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Hello Andy,

We (my wife, the kids and I) are driving down to Marakech (Tadelakt
heaven) this november where I'll finally be taking a tadelakt workshop.
The basic principle is using their local lime (CL in Europe =Calcic Lime
= non hyraulic) which is not completely pure nor completely 'cooked',
just as the old limes Bill Steen mentioned.
This allows for the lime to be used pure (with pigment) with only minor
A second thin layer is applied, which is hard troweled when leather
hard. This closes the minor cracks.
Then green soap is applied with a flat stone.
A mason can do about 4mÓ per day, which makes it quite costly compared
to tiles etc.
It is traditionally used in Morocco for covering the Hammam's which were
made of un stabilized earth.
There is only one word that describes the end product : Sumptuous!
There are recepies that copy this effect with other limes. In general
marble dust (!) is used to avoid excessive cracking and to keep the soft
surface. Those who have experience tell me that nothing really is as
beautiful as the real stuff. although I agree there is a difference, the
'falsifications' are also effective and beautiful).

Tadelakt is watertight (bathtubs and the like can be made with it) but
does not breath. So it will not have the advantage of absorbing the
moisture and releasing it later as earth plaster has. I intend to use it
in the shower and for the sink, but will not cover the rest of the
earthen plaster in that room. I agree with Graeme that earth holds up
very well by itself. We have our bath in our 'Master' ;-) bedroom. Our 2
kids also use it often (in Europe having 2 bathrooms is an exception).
We never have even the slightest condensation on our windows nor on the

A beautiful (french) book on the subject is:
Le tadelakt, un d?cor ? la chaux by Sol?ne Delahousse ISBN 2-7072-0476-5
Look at Amazon to see the cover (but order in your local bookstore ;-)
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.fr/tadelakt-d%C3%A9cor-%C3%A0-chaux/dp/2707204765";>http://www.amazon.fr/tadelakt-d%C3%A9cor-%C3%A0-chaux/dp/2707204765</a>

Bill Steen showed us during ? workhop near Santa F? how he makes
something visually similar with kaolin clay. He hard troweled a very
thin layer of leather hard pure clay. This also gave a very very very
soft/slick surface, but it is not intended to be watertight.

Plaster on,

Just to make you all green with envy : this is where we will be for the
Taddelakt workshop :
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.riadzinoun.com/tadelakt-stage-anglais.html";>http://www.riadzinoun.com/tadelakt-stage-anglais.html</a>
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.riadzinoun.com/riad_visite1.html";>http://www.riadzinoun.com/riad_visite1.html</a>

Andy Horn a ?crit :
Does anyone know about the Moroccan takalak plasters, which are apparently
used in bathrooms? I believe they are supposedly used in waterproofing of
baths and showers too?

-----Original Message-----
From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Graeme North
Sent: 11 October 2007 09:32 PM
Subject: Re: GSBN: Earth plasters

Hi Mark &#xD0; I&#xD5;ve not found mould on earth plasters to be a problem &#xD0; I have


darker surface &#xD2;patches&#xD3; on fermented earthen material eg mud bricks or


where the  mix had sat for a while (weeks) before using and had fermented


bit, but I do not think these darker patches that arise from this are


Mould may occur if the walls are very slow to dry and/or are not fully dry
beneath earth plasters, or else the building does not have sufficient


and moisture keeps the wall wet.
I&#xD5;ve got earthen plasters (with paper pulp) in my own bathroom where they


really steamy at times, (from showering) which not only dry out really
quickly, but also suck moisture out of towels and wet floors keeping the


really dry &#xD0; there is no mould after three or more years of this, even


we live in a wet and humid climate &#xD0; virtually never less than 60%, often


over 80% - 90%.




Thanks for your submission and insight. The first I'd heard of


straw (or paper) was from some friends from NZ, Sven and Sarah Johnston,
who hosted a workshop and a guest presenter was Tom Raven, the colorful
Frenchman, who uses a fermented mix, like bakers use a yeast starter for
baking breads. Tom swears by this fermenting and concurs with you on added
durability of the earth plasters. The Johnstons found they had some mold
issues, maybe as a result of this mix tho. Have you experience any issues
with molds?

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