Related publications

Lammas ja Vuohi magazine. Finnish sheep association members' magazine. Download pdf.

Liisa Kallam ja Liisa Tomasberg: Ancient fibres, new solutions. Rediscovered felt. Master thesis, 2004. - Download pdf

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Related publications

Lammas ja Vuohi magazine. Finnish sheep association members' magazine. Download pdf.

Liisa Kallam ja Liisa Tomasberg: Ancient fibres, new solutions. Rediscovered felt. Master thesis, 2004. - Download pdf

Jaak Tihane: Insulation materials for log buildings. - Download pdf

Anna Yrjönen: From a seed to a garment. Growing and processing flax. Diploma work (in Finnish). - PDF1 PDF2 PDF3

On the history of clay building

A few paragraphs from M. Palolille ’s thesis on clay building, available at  MTÜ Vanaajamaja’s webpage:


Clay has been used as a building material all over the world since time immemorial. The world’s oldest house-like dwellings, located in present-day Syria and nearly 10, 000 years old, were probably round clay buildings which were built halfway into the ground. Clay was a common building material in Asia, Africa and South America.  Hannibal’s forces brought ancient African clay-building traditions to Spain in 220 A.D., where it found particular use in the southern parts of the country (Andalusia). In Europe, clay buildings are particularly common in Germany, where clay is used in the building of wood construction-walls (Pertma, 1923).

Up until the 1920s, Finnish agricultural handbooks recommended clay as the best material for barn-building (Kaila, 1999). Estonia has thousands of clay buildings, particularly in the southern part of the country where most of them can be seen. Four main construction periods can be distinguished in Estonian history:  1) 1850-1870; 2) 1870-1900; 3) 1906-1914; 4) 1920-1940 (Keskküla, 2001). In what used to be Jõgeveste manor in Valga County, there are clay buildings from the beginning of the 18th century. Clay was mainly used to build stables and barns but also granaries, smithies, mills and even saunas.

Clay buildings were mainly erected in the countryside, but there are examples of houses built in cities (like a house on Vambola St. in Tartu). According to Johannes Pertma's 'Saviehitused' (Clay Buildings) from 1923, it seems that most of the clay buildings of the time were built in Viljandi and Tartu counties. A few buildings supposedly existed in northern Estonia, such as the living quarters of Konstantin Päts's farm and a stable in Lükati near Pirita. The same source also mentions that there was no will to develop clay building in what was then Petseri and Lääne counties. From this information we can conclude, that the construction of clay buildings developed rapidly at that particular time, because there’s quite a few of them in Setomaa today. When surveys were conducted among locals during the field work in the attempt to pinpoint construction dates, it became evident that most of them were built between the creation of the Estonian Republic and the Second World War.

A summary on raw clay buildings from the Estonian National Museum's collections:

More specific information on clay building has been collected in the northern parts of  Viljandi county. The following texts comes from the ethnographical archives at the Estonian National Museum (EA 187 lk 402- 424).

Raw clay is one of the construction materials used among the peasantry in the Viljandi district, next to wood and stone.  This natural material was mainly used to build barns, but at times also for dwellings, granaries and mills. Most clay buildings (’rehielamus’ included) were built in Kolga-Jaani parish.

The use of raw clay in the making of walls became more widespread in the first half of the 19th century. It seems that the manors were forced to use similar materials due to lack of wood, although it mainly seems to have been due to attempts at using cheaper materials from the manor's forest lands.

In terms of construction costs, a clay wall can compete with a wooden wall within a transportation area of 2 km (Tihase, 1974). Clay was often extracted from next to the building in progress, which led to less expenses.
O. Läänesaar described the construction of clay buildings in this way:

The house needed stable foundations of up to 0,5 m. Since windows condensate water that later drips down, it was recommended to build the windowsills  from stone, which is how the houses at Haaviku manor were built. The clay needed for the build was dug out and placed around the house in elongated piles. Walls were stamped one at a time. For stamping, a horse was used. It was women's work, but at times also children's. Clay could also be stamped indoors...
.

The whole thesis can be found here.

Literature:

Majatohter/ Panu Kaila. Tallinn, Ehitame Kirjastus, OÜ Viplala, 118 pages, 1999

Saviehitised: tarviline õperaamat igale kodanikule, kes tahab väärtuslisi hooneid ehitada odavalt, hästi ja ilusalt / kokkuseadnud praktiliste ja teoreetiliste andmete järele Joh. Pertma , Viljandi : J. Pertma, 1923


 


Lõputöid rahvuslikust ehitusest

Link TÜ Viljandi KA rahvusliku ehituse eriala hiljutistele lõputöödele -

http://www.kultuur.edu.ee/580440