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Adobe Workshop

Los Horcones de Túcume is a 3-star Hotel Ruralodge located right next to the Pyramids of Túcume, in an oasis of greenery and calm. By coming from Chiclayo, on the northern coast of Peru, first follow the signs Pyramids and Museum of Túcume – 1, 6 km, then the direction to the hotel and you will arrive directly. Here we will follow our adobe workshop.

Adobe workshop : How to build with adobe ?

First: The structure

Our teacher during the adobe workshop actively helped in the construction of the hotel (which is entirely of adobe) and knows exactly what he is talking about. He begins by explaining the difference between bamboo (caña) and reed (carrizo). In fact, one is hard and filled inside; the other one is more flexible and empty inside.

In a vertical wooden structure spaced of 1.30m and a height of 1.15m, the bamboo is attached at three different heights, 10 cm to the floor, after 65 cm and 1.15m. From there, other bamboos are attached, all the same height, tied with thread at each level, well tight and put straight.

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When you are working with reeds, each rod has to be placed in the opposite direction to the previous. Reeds are more flexible for the “tissue” around the structure. Therefore it is not necessary to use wire with this method.

Second: The soil

Once the structure is complete, we continue the adobe workshop with the preparation of the soil, “el barro” with clay, water and rice husk (the hotel is in an area of rice planting, so it is a raw material). You have to mix everything well and you have to make sure that the preparation is not too wet.

Now we can start covering the wall with “el barro” always starting from the bottom upwards, and again between the grooves. Don’t cover too much the structure (or everything will fall down). This process is a little harder on the reed wall because the spaces are larger to fill, but it’s fun anyway! Feel free to try this activity while traveling in northern Peru!

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Third: The finish

The walls are made in two parts; we cover the wall with a mixture once and then let it dry a whole day. The next day a second layer of sand is applied. We smooth it with a special  instrument  so the finish gets really nice. Of course, you need to make the interior and exterior walls, therefore this process takes at least four working days.

How to make bricks of adobe?

But our adobe workshop doesn’t finish here. You can also make adobe bricks.

The first thing you need is the mould; it can be rectangular or square depending on the size you want. It can also be triangular for the construction of a round furnace. The mould is made of wood. It is necessary to moisten before you use it. It has to be washed after each use so the soil will not remain impregnated.

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The soil for the construction of “adobe” is almost the same as for the construction of “barro”: Clay, water, rice straw and rice husks, all well blended. The mould is completely filled and with the fingers you stirr it in order not to leave holes in the ground. At the top, it is softened with water and then you remove the mould. Theoretically the bricks remain standing, the mould is washed and the operation is repeated.

The bricks should be dried for 5- 6 days, depending on weather conditions.

You would like to know more about it ?