After the bitumen paper, rock wool, cardboard, and battens, we needed a surface to spread the earth plaster onto. I experimented with making a small loom to weave together reed matts, which worked fine, but I realised that I could skip the arduous loom process and simply staple the reeds onto the wall using strips of wire.
So Ric and I climbed the ladder to the 2nd floor of the barn to retrieve the reed, collected over 30 years ago to thatch the roof of Ait but unused (Rics house for the week).
We stapled strips of wire to the bottoms of the batten and held a handful of reed against the wall. We then folded the wire in front of the reed and stapled it again. There is one strip of wire every 15cm, vertically, holding the reed horizontally. At first this technique created a lot of gaps, so rather than stapling above the reed, we changed to stapling into the reed.
It took a few days to get all the battens and reed in place, but by the end of the week we were going much quicker. One of us would grab a handful of reed, bash the ends on the floor a few times to align them, hold them onto the wall with a little roll to spread them out, and the other would bend up the wire and get a few staples in, and repeat.
Thanks for your help Ric, you definitely brought the motivation to get the reed stapling finished!