[ENG] Construction 76: Wall niche of the main entrance

11/08/16 | ۩ |

In the Middle Ages the home furnishing was very essential and limited to a few elements: chests, stools, chairs, tables, carpets, curtains...
On the other hand, the presence of niches and recesses into the walls (quite thicker than today) was as common as our closets, and could be used to store food, lamps, clothes or other goods. The niche was sometimes divided by shelves or closed by small doors.

Now that the walls of the entrance reached a suitable level, I think I can start making my first niche.
The wall chosen for this purpose is the one to the right, immediatly over the stone bench. It will be just a small recess, crowned by a tiny pointed arch.

I place the side ashlars first. The arch, made by only four blocks will be set over them.
Now the stonework presents a new challenge: this is the first time that I'm cutting curved elements and I'm not sure about the right way to do it. This time I decide to work by eye, starting from two broken pieces of slate and shaping them with files until they get the same size and curve. Then I cut them in half and polish the joints to get the right angle.
I presume I will need to elaborate a better technique in the future, but I'm quite satisfied with this early test.
The small arch is self-supporting and that proves the truthfulness of the master builders. A little bit of glue will fix it permanently to the wall.

The following step is the construction of the back side using thicker stones that the filling of the wall with cement and stones will soon reinforce from behind. Nothing really difficult, so in a few minutes I can admire my finished niche, ready to house... what? A candle holder? A votive statue? I didn't choose yet what to place in there...

Here is how the niche looks after the laying of the last stone:

See you next time with a bigger stone arch!

slate, vinyl glue
tweezers, pincers, sandstone, hacksaw, files
SIZE (in cm):
width: 1
height: (from the floor - 2,4) (from the base to the keystone - 2)
depth: 0,7


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