Materials needed: sandy-clay
soil, fiber (straw), water, hoe's, a shovel, buckets, adobera (an adobe
form), a wheel barrow, a rag, and as many laborers as possible! To
determine if you have a good soil for adobe, wet the soil and see if you can
roll it into a ball. If you can and it holds together well, then there
is enough clay in your soil mixture to make good adobe bricks.
How to do it:
Start to moisten the
sandy-clay mixture, to turn it into clay form, by folding in water.
Best to make a moat of water and let it seep into the soil mixture for
awhile. It works the best to mix with a hoe.
Sometimes its easier to stomp it with feet.
Adobe tidbit: one man can produce
on average 30 adobe bricks in an 8 hour work day.
- Once the mixture is at the desired
consistency (not to sloppy wet/ not to dry) sprinkle fiber on the top and
mix it all in. It will become harder to mix once you add straw which
is why you don't want to add it until the soil is good an mixed.
- Transport the wet adobe mixture in
a wheelbarrow to a flat surface where you can construct your adobe bricks
- Before you add the adobe to the
adobera to make a brick, it is very essential to wash off the
with a rag and water. This will keep the mixture from sticking to
the sides of the mold and creating an odd shaped brick.
- Place handfuls of the adobe
mixture into the adobera, careful not to splash dry dirt onto the clean
form. Work the adobe into the form, making sure to push it into the
- Smooth off the top with a
hand ( but not too smooth unless making roof tiles).
- Take a hold of the mold on both
the opposite ends and firmly pull it straight off the wet brick, in one
smooth upward motion.
- Clean the mold again and place it
directly in front of the previously molded block, to create a straight row.
- Continue until your mixture is
gone. Sometimes it may be necessary to add some water to your
mixture if it starts feeling dry and hard to work with.
- ¡Clean your tools and call it a
Making Adobe with GIRL POWER: The day we made adobe it took us 5
hours with the labor of 2-4 girls at a time. Together we made 24 adobe
bricks. Once the wet adobe was ready to placed in the forms, 2 girls
were able to make on average 9 bricks an hour. Check out the