[Strawbale] Update + French SB/ book in the making

Coralie & Andre de Bouter m.ep at laposte...
Sat Sep 28 16:19:14 CEST 2002

Dear Baleheads,

I write to:
- inform you of our activities
- to invite the writers amongst you to 'plug' your SB/plaster-books
- to solicit for some articles, pictures related to SB in 'your' region.

Our activities in 2002:
* Set up a non for profit organisation 'La Maison en Paille'
* Reconstruction of the (French) website www.la-maison-en-paille.com
* Start of a French mailing list on SB
* Continuation of the construction of our information center here in the
Cognac region, just above Bordeaux in France
* We made a 12 panel exposition on SB that we show on festivals
* Slide show presentations
* Translation to French (with help from friends) of 'A Visual Primer to
Straw Bale Construction' by Steve MacDonald, Builders Without Borders. It will be
available on the BWB website as well as ours when the corrections are
finished. A paper version might also be published in France.
* I wrote a booklet on SB in French. This will most likely be self
* I'm in the process of editing a video with the material we shot of
finished houses in the US, (autumm last year).
* I gave 4 workshops at our place. A total of 35 participants joined us, and
to our pleasant surprise, all the workshops were booked out. Coralie took
care of the great French cuisine, of much greater importance to the French than
any building system ever can be.
* We received about 100 visitors so far this year.
* I hope to finalize the CDrom project 'Copyright Humanity' this winter.
* Not related to SB, but important to us nonetheless: Coralie got pregnant, so
she started pushing hard to have our house 'done' by early februari. 240m2
is a lot of work, as you all know, certainly if you also want to do all
these other things. So when I say 'done', I mean a heatable living space
plus kithchen and bath. Coralie believes that after 2 years of construction
it would be nice to have the shower IN the house. So there goes my excuse to
stay with my parents in law during freezing periods. And that is too bad,
'cause Coralie's mum is just the best cook in the world.

At the moment we are mud plastering, great fun! Little detail, the earth
comes from St, Même les Carrieres, that is the same place were the rocks for the
foundation of the Statue of Liberty come from. Now, is that a good or a bad
omen? I dunno.

I have been contacted by France's oldest (and only?) Ecological Center,
'Terre Vivante', to write a book on SB. 
Of course I'm happy because they seem the best partner to help share the 
SB gospel arround since their magazine and books are well read and respected. 
Comming spring I plan to make a trip through France to complement
our European and American trip. 

I intend to make a complete a book as I can, meaning that I want to show
beautiful SB homes (as Bill and Athena have shown, it are its looks that
sells SB), talk technical, talk social, and show that it is up to me
and you to take action if we want to live in harmony with our environment.
Since the French have a little navel staring problem (and allergy for
English) I intend to show them that SB can be beautiful, sustainable, durable, safe,
and most of all, I want to show them that SB is happening in France AND all over the
In a nutshell:
Compile what you we see in the English (and other languages) SB books and websites into one French version
and add a little homebrewn Cognac.

It is for this book that I contact you, writers of English and German/Danish/other 
SB (and plaster) books. I want to include information about your books, so I put to you 2
questions to you:
* Tell me about your book (and give me a few pics)
* Why do you love SB (and/or plaster)?
(yes you can sent it in English ;-)

And I would like to see articles from all corners of the world, if any of
you feel like writing. 
I have to add, I cannot garantee to sent a free copie of our book to all


ps. We'll name our baby after he/she who sents me the first article.
Eh,..... maybe not.

La Maison en Paille
Association loi 1901

Coralie & Andre de Bouter
Le Trezidoux
16290 Champmillon
tel: 05 45 66 27 68
Email: m.ep at laposte...

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