Between Earth and Straw (by Tom Rijven) - Book Review

Blogs > Blog > Between Earth and Straw (by Tom Rijven) - Book Review

Upon venturing for land, Luke found a couple of local straw bale houses in the area. When I arrived a couple of years later to help him with this project I was fortunate enough to go and visit them with him. After being so enamored with wanting to build an earthship for the past five years, I started to give the idea of using strawbale a second thought. While I was researching the subject on YouTube, I found Tom Rijven. He has a couple of hour long videos discussing his method of "Cell Under Tension" (CUT©) straw bale design. I couldn't find a book on eBay or Amazon to save my life. I ended up figuring out the publisher and found that they had a website, but only in French. My French skills from a few college courses were long ago and I can't remember that far back? gosh has it been that long?

Anyway, I proceeded to buy the book from the publisher's website ( making my best guess on whether my own translation of "add to cart" was correct. Sure enough the purchase was placed and on its way showed up a brilliantly designed book at the country road mail box here in the very rural Ozarks in the USA from France. It took a couple of weeks, but that?s to be figured I guess.

The book is written in French and English on every colorful page. I just love the thoughtfulness of how it's laid out with such intuitive style. The artistic drawings and brilliant photography make it a piece of art in its own right? let alone the brilliance in the method itself. The 30 or so Euros I paid for it were well worth the price!

I ended up with the 2nd edition and I?m sure there will be more. It's difficult for this American Indian/Swedish/German raised in the States to decipher the metrical terms into standard- especially without internet or a dictionary available. The next time I have internet available, I'll have to write down the formulas of converting centimeters into inches.

As a horrible student of a couple of foreign languages, I completely understand the sometimes lackluster translation to English (learning a different language is extremely difficult in my opinion). The meanings of what the translator is saying is certainly worthy of interpretation- even if grammar natzies might take a huge bite out of some of the translated punctuation. If one is even remotely interested in straw bale design, this book is an absolute must purchase!

CST 2014-07-01 16:00:00
Author: troy