Lime plaster and mortar,a lost art

Lime Plaster

The World is our Oyster

Check out this video from the Colonial Williamsburg video library showing the building and history behind a lime rick .

As the rick burned, temperatures of at least 1800 F  were were obtained. This is essential if the conversion from calcium carbonate to calcium oxide is going to occur. Ricks were constructed with several tiers of logs supporting layers of smaller logs then covered with the oyster shells.

There are worldwide examples of  historic Lime ricks, these were found  in close association to shell middens, which are strewn along the eastern seaboard of the USA, with some examples here in western Canada,with further examples worlwide.

The world-over you will see the use of the sir name “Lime-burner” or  points of interest called “Limeburner point” “Lime burner bay” or pubs called “The lime burner” or  “Limeburners Arms” these are all in reference of the old trade of burning limestone or in this case oyster shells to make lime plaster, mortars, tabby cement and concrete.

Shell or lime middens are a whole different topic to which I am no expert,but I find the subject interesting none the less.

Shikkui Plaster ( Shirokabe) the traditional  Japanese lime plaster, is manufactured in much the same way, from the millions of pounds of oyster shell produced from the  consumption of oysters  in Japan….albeit in a more modern type of lime kiln.

Shikkui Plaster is made of slaked lime , seaweed extracts and  natural plant fibers and other aggregates. Has been widely used throughout Japan for both internal and external wall and ceiling finishes  of houses, temples and castles, for over one thousand years.

The hydraulic lime used in the technique of Tadelakt plaster was/is manufactured in much the same way ,in ground pits or pit kilns, with palm fronds as fuel to burn the limestone local to Marrakesh.

The renewed interest in the use of Lime Plasters,Venetian plasters and  lime based mortars and paints is beginning a  revolution.

Lime Plaster, high in alkalinity and very breathable provides  healthy environments, excellent luminescent, reflective light, and simply a beautiful surface wall finish for any home.