Jab fingers full of fiber-rich, firm yet sticky plaster in between the rows of bags, like chinking in between a log wall. Be generous. Apply the lath coat thickly enough that the plaster extends a little past the surface of the bags. Leave it rough with plenty of finger poke holes to provide a mechanical bond (Fig. 14.7a).
After this first lath coat has set up firm, but is still green, slap on three-quarters- to one-inch (2-2.5 thick cm) patties of the same mix, perhaps with additional long straw. Fill in any low spots with more patties (Fig. 14.7b). Trowel smooth as a finish coat or leave textured as a key-in for subsequent earthen or lime plaster finishes (Fig. 14.7c & 14.7d). Throughout the application process, keep your application hand and trowel wet and slippery to encourage the mud to stick to the wall instead of to your hands and tools.
14.7c (above): Troweling patties 14.7d (below): Finger poking for key-in.
14.7a (above): Chinking coat 14.7b (below): Patty smacking
NOTE: If applying the mud to burlap bags, pre-moisten the wall. It is not necessary to pre-moisten the poly bags.
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