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Plaster Workshop


(The materials explored in natural plasters)

One of the exciting endeavors of Design Jatra is the exploration of Natural Plasters. Since the time of our very first project, we have been experimenting with various mixes of plasters as well as with the methods and tools used for their application all the while familiarizing ourselves with the chemistry behind such materials.

Possessing inbuilt mechanisms for the regulation of humidity and temperature, natural plasters allow structures to breathe. They also have a very wide range of not only finishes but also costings. With the aim of exposing participants to natural plasters and their versatility, the plaster workshops give us at Design Jatra the opportunity to expound upon their methodologies and recipes even further.

These workshops take place in our Dahanu office and on sites of various projects wherein we execute these plasters. Within the scope of our workshops, we have tried a wide array of plaster mixes involving mud, sand, cow dung, brick dust, quarry dust, lime, glass powder, guggal, fenugreek seeds, aloevera, buttermilk, hirda nuts, cow urine, linseed oil, cashew oil and rice husk. Quite often, natural dyes are also included in the process. Our workshops then are designed towards a fruitful and productive engagement with such materials.

We believe that being able to experience the advantages of natural plasters firsthand enables our participants to prefer using them for their future projects, even if their projects happen to be situated in the city. As we consider plaster to be the easiest element to replace in a cement-built urban home, we hope to engage construction practitioners in this practice of natural plastering through our plaster workshops and thereby, to facilitate the conversation around incorporating natural materials in architectural practices.