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“Casa de Campo”, oil painting by Clina Polloni. This is a painting of an adobe house in the central region of Chile. 24”x30”

Casa de Campo Painting

Casa de Campo. Chile in the 1800’s

Once I had a farm in the beautiful Valley of Rabones, in the central region of Chile, is called “Region del Maule”. This farm had a few adobe homes more than a 100 years old, so we started restoring these beautiful structures. Walls of about one meter wide, framed with hard wood carved from old trees. It must be fascinating the history that this walls could tell about the people that once lived here.

How to built an adobe house: Adobe is mud brick, made with mud and straw. A pit is dug, and into the pit goes the dirt, together with water, churned into a thick mud. Then straw is added, and stomping mixed the straw into the mud. A mold, usually made of wood, is the basis for making adobe bricks. The mold is packed firmly with the wet adobe mix, then removed. The bricks are dry often for several days, in a shaded area if possible. If they dried in the direct sun they would often split or crack. Once the bricks are dry, construction began. On the outside, the house is usually coated with a thin wash of the same clay the adobe was made from, and when that dried it is whitewashed with cal. Adobe houses, with their very thick walls and whitewashed exteriors, are cool in the summer. The roof is made with “Tejas”, molded clay, supported with wood, carved from the local trees.

 

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