Salli did a degree in Russian, spent time in Russia and trained as a modern language teacher. She then married and had 4 children. Currently she and her husband run a business adapting vehicles for people with disabilities. Salli does the finance & admin side of the business as well as some voluntary language teaching.
What made you decide to get involved with natural building?
We decided we needed to extend the house so I started looking around at options. We considered Oakframe and we even stayed in a house made this way and thought it was lovely but the finished produce seemed very expensive. We explored cob building in Devon, where I’m from originally and finally I went on a strawbale building course in Stowmarket where Kuba was teaching and it was such a great course that I got hooked! Since then one of my children have attended a Straw Works course with me and another is about to. All this made me think that perhaps we could work towards building our extension ourselves. I’ve always been a frustrated practical person. At school I was quite academic, something my father encouraged, so I went down the academic route when really, looking back, I’d have preferred to do woodwork. I have a lot of craft based hobbies i.e. sewing, knitting & cooking but joining SNaB has given me the opportunity to branch out a bit.
What have you done so far in your traineeship?
I’ve done all the strawbale building courses and the associated voluntary work and have worked for one week on site as a trainee strawbale builder. I’ve also done 2 weeks of car tyre training and have worked on all aspects of the training programme at Hap Cottage i.e. car tyres, straw, clay & lime.
It was great to see the whole job all the way through. I love the clay plastering especially when I don’t wear gloves and I can actually feel the plaster.
What are your highlights to date?
I joined Barb and others at Todmorden and subsequently at Skipsea where we learnt carpentry. I really enjoyed this as I like measuring and I like things to be precise. I’m also good at following patterns. I also really enjoying working outdoors. It’s such a change from my current work sitting at a computer.
What are your future plans?
Well, our ambitions have got a bit bigger recently and we’ve moved on from the extension idea and have decided to knock down our current house, get planning permission for a new one on the same site by the end of the year and live in a caravan until the new house is finished.