It’s a long way to Tipperary – but not so much when you’re off on another stonie adventure.
Unlike Donegal, Tipperary is full of mature trees. This site has wonderful sculptures by Ricthie Clarke such as this figure of Danu, the Mother goddess, carved from chestnut.
It was great to get stuck into the work
Some serious lime business followed. A simple test shows how a cobble of limestone (left) differs from a cobble of the same which has been baked in a kiln (right)
When water is added the baked limestone, which is thirsty, soaks it up, creates heat & releases steam.
Baked limestone in its pure form is called quicklime, and looks like this when you buy it
Easy to mix & stiffens quickly. CHEAP. Nice and sticky. Strong, but not too strong, which lends great workability
Eoin Madigan (left; stonemason & lime expert) thinks hot lime mixes are the way forward, being that NHL (Nateral Hydraulic Lime, as was used in our cottage restoration) is now thought to be TOO strong for most restoration work.
He argues that NHL (currently only available from quarries in France, Germany or Portugal) quite possibly have unknown ingredients added, which their manufacturers seem unwilling to divulge.
Whereas our NATIVE quicklime is pure. We know what it is. We can match like with like by using it to restore native buildings.
Tipperary Sandstone is native here – used for this lovely outdoor kitchen
As well as the Lime stuff, a workshop in dry stone walling by D.S.W.A.I members took place
Inspirational speakers like Julia Gebel (expert in hand cut architectural stonework) talked about how to correctly restore listed buildings.
Peter Cowman architect & eco-builder, sparked a fascinating discussion about mortgage free, natural building.
Structural engineer Lisa Edden and Eoin Madigan, both members of Building Limes Forum Ireland also delivered excellent talks.
But nothing feels better at the end of a busy event, than to get your hands on a lump of stone.
And we went smiling all the long way home!