A clean finish for the bathroom


May 2017

After a long and cold winter, it was time to make our way back to Gündönümü farm and carry on the work we had started in 2016. Our goal for this month of building (May-June) was to complete the plasters of the bathroom building and make it look as good as possible. We had a core team or 3: Matthieu, Xavier and Tarik. Along came several volunteers to help us out: Sezin, Burçin, Çağrı, Burcu, Renee, Ahenk and Yağmur. Thanks a lot for all your efforts!

A month of plastering


Apart from minor woodwork, a bit of piping and ceramic tiles, the majority of our task can be summed up in one word: Plasters

Interior plasters, exterior plasters, waterproof tadelakt plasters, lime plasters, clay paints… The work was huge and quality was a priority. We rolled up our sleeves and took this building to a new level. The result is yours to judge.

The main challenge we had set was to cover all the shower walls with tadelakt, a Moroccan waterproof lime plaster that requires much time and effort to achieve. We had three coats to apply, and a three steps polishing process on the last layer. The trouble here is that these coats need to be applied at the right time when the lime is not yet dry, and the polishing stage has to be carefully performed with the last coat. The moment when things have to be done depends a lot on the weather, the nature of the mix, the dampness of the wall, the thickness of the coat, etc. Polishing has to be done with a small flat stone and soapy water to obtain a shiny, very smooth and hard surface that feels a lot like marble.


We started off with confidence built on last year’s succesful tadelakt attempt in one of the showers. We had covered a wall during our plaster workshop and after a year the sample was still in a very good shape, so we picked up the same tools and materials, made the walls wet and started applying the lime. At some point Aysun even worked with us for a day to try her luck with the technique. A nice little shelf remains from her efforts.

Tadelakt making is clearly the technique that pushed our limits this year, but beside where many other jobs that made us sweat and swear. Yet there is always a happy end to these things when days of labour translate into a beautiful surface.

The bathroom building is a very organic one, with lots of curves and irregularities. Plastering around the bottles wasn’t always a lot of fun, there were hundreds of them to go around. Making sure the ceramics fitted right into the interior part of the building and that their slope would lead water to the showers were also daunting tasks. As a final touch, we integrated a beautiful circular mosaic brought in by one of Aysun’s friends (@mmmosaic_mehtapm).


We managed to complete our goals for the bathroom in three weeks instead of four, so we had some spare time to replaster the surface of the straw-bale house as well as the interior paints.
The next step will be to finalize some of the houses. There will be a plaster workshop in August, with Claire Oiry and Xavier Allard as instructors. Feel free to spread the news 😉
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