There’s something magic in picking up a stone from the Earth,
breaking it up with the Fire, making it a piece of Art by using Water
and bringing it back to its original strength and sturdiness under the influence of Air.
A building practice and an antique philosophy as old as man.
Empedocles (482-426 BC) The working cycle of lime, from “Della Natura”
The use of lime as a building material dates back over 9000 years. In a simple, yet fascinating alchemical process, ordinary lime stone(CaCo3) is burned in a kiln, transforming it into a new material, quicklime( CaO), this new man made stone is then slaked in water, creating a boiling exothermic reaction: intense heat is released and the quicklime is dissolved into a thick white paste; lime putty (CaOH). When the lime putty is exposed to air as a plaster, it slowly begins to absorb carbon from the atmosphere. As the C02 is absorbed, the lime plaster ever so gracefully becomes limestone once again.