Workshop – earth candle holders

Hello! About a year ago I made a post about our earth candle holders. Here I write the post again, adding information for those wanting to participate in the workshop at Årsta Kyrka:

Date: Wednesday 20th of May 2015, 18.30-21.00
Location: Bråviksvägen 47, 120 52 Årsta
For more information: David Martinez at 0727126898 or
To join a workshop: send an email to Write your name, phone number and name of the workshop you want to take.


About the form, I was trying to create a similar shape of candle holders I have seen in many shops here in Sweden; some of them of glass, others of concrete. Why raw earth? In my opinion the texture is just beautiful; earth does not burn, it is a durable, recycled and ecological material.

So first, the tools. Tools

The tricky part can be the earth composition. What you can do is go to a building site and take some buckets of non-contaminated earth (since you don´t want organic soil), usually contractors have no problems with you taking some of their “dirt”. Once you have the soil, the next steps are piece of cake; the ramming goes really fast, one person could make four holders in about an hour.

Many Pots

Take some paper and spread oil inside the mortar so the earth won´t stick to it while ramming. Then put earth into the mortar and start compressing. You can use a hammer, wooden sticks or whatever you think is easy to compress as hard as you can. Remember to do the candle whole while ramming (use wood or any hard material to create the shape). After finishing ramming you don´t have to wait to take the pot out, it is ready!


Here is a short video of how you can tap the “form” to get the pot out:

Rammed Earth Candle Holder

If you want to be precise with the earth composition, it is 30% clay and 70% aggregates (sand and gravel); since we are not making walls or bricks, you need to take away the big stones. The soil needs to be wetted, around 10% in volume compared to earth.

Hope to see you in the workshop!!


Workshop for Chalmers students

We recently had a three day workshop for the thirty students of the Sustainable Building course from Chalmers University of Technology. We covered the basics of rammed earth and built two low wall sections. Ulf Henningsson introduced clay plaster and guided a plastering exercise. The final day I led a paper workshop where we built flower pots of discarded newspapers.

Sustainable building crop

The rammed earth house (part 1)

The rammed earth house (part 1)

My folks have a small property in the south of Mexico (close to paradise), where they plan to build a house. Their dream is to have a space where they could happily spend their time as a retired couple. I am happy to be part of that dream, and what a better way to do it than with rammed earth! 🙂 Follow the story of this old couple, a crazy architect and a rammed earth villa.