Category Archives: Natural Colors

Canelo, Arizona, Natural Color Palette

Color Palette of Bill and Athena Steen, Canelo, Arizona (courtesy Caralee Woods)

This is a color palette on the door of a storage shed of clay samples owned by Bill and Athena Steen, Canelo, Arizona.   The Steens are teachers of building straw bale homes.  In addition, they work with clay and lime native to the Southwest in their building projects.  Their goal is to connect culture, people and nature.

“The Canelo Project is a small non-profit organization founded in 1989. We are dedicated to the exploration and development of living systems, including growing food and building that creates friendship, beauty and simplicity.

We are known primarily for our work in Strawbale and other Natural Building techniques.” — Bill and Athena Steen, Canelo Project.

Conelo Project Logo

This is the beautiful logo of the Canelo Project, illustrative, I think, of their mission and purpose.

For more information, please click on the website, The Conelo Project, and Bill Steen’s blog,  The Canelo Chronicles.

Thanks to Caralee Woods for this information.

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The Natural Colors of Caralee Woods

Caralee Woods and Jimmy Henley live near Kanab, Utah.  They are building a straw bale compound on their place and have committed themselves to a minimum footprint on the land.  With solar panel, water well and environmentally-green construction, Caralee and Jimmy portray the best application of technology, science and ethics to minimize humanity’s impact on the planet.  They are truly off the grid — literally.  You can see their efforts over the past few years by clicking on their website Building a Straw Bale House. When I posted the piece from Bioephemera Blog this morning concerning the ca. 1686, natural colors, Caralee commented with the email below and provided a photograph of how she and Jimmy artfully and craftily shaped balls of colors from the Utah countryside as a result of finding natural clays for their plastering.  I think what she and Jimmy have created is not only an application for their home, but pieces of art that I wish to possess and place as a centerpiece upon my table.

“This is so interesting to me. One of the first things we did here is start looking for natural clay. We had plenty of the terra-cotta colored stuff here on the land for the earthen plaster, but what about the clay paint and finishing plaster for the interior? We drove around for a long time with a bucket and small shovel in the trunk so we could stop and take samples of the wonderful variety of Mother Earth’s colors when we saw something we liked. I would go home, sieve the clay, mix it with some water, and make clay balls that I then polished (I won’t bother you with this process here) to see what we had. The picture below is just a small sampling of the results; I’ve added many since.  There are no more beautiful, soothing colors anywhere in the world than what is produced naturally.”  –Caralee Woods to Jack Matthews, March 24, 2010.

Art of Caralee Woods, Natural Clay Balls, Utah

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