Building Clay Models

Since domes are three-dimensional, it is easier to comprehend their design in a three-dimensional medium, like sculpture. We use a screened and sandy, clay-rich soil mixed with sun-dried short grass clippings, but any short fiber will suffice for sculpting models. We add a little borax to the mix to inhibit mold growth.

Blocks of wood cut into an arch shape make dandy arched window and door forms for your model.

12.4a

12.4a

A cardboard cutout in the shape of the dome gives us our interior compass radius. The bottom center of the cardboard is pegged to a plywood platform that enables it to rotate (Fig. 12.4a & b).

The mud follows the shape of the cardboard compass over the window and door forms until the roof is completed. Voila — home sweet dome! (Fig. 12.4c & d).

12.4b

12.4b

12.4d

12.4c

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