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 (www.gouttedesable.fr) 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