What is COB?


CruzinCobGlobal Logo by KRobinsDesign

“Cob” is an Old English term for “loaf”, like a loaf of bread. In French it goes by “pisé” and “torchis” and in Senegal and Guinea they call it “banco”.  The Germans call it “lehmbau” and the Latin countries like to call it “adobe” even if there are significant different adobe methods and even mixes.  Some people think it’s  corn cob.  Though I have yet to see a house built out of corn cobs, anything is possible in the natural building world!  “Cob” is a mixture of clay, sand, straw (or some other long strong fiber) and water, traditionally mixed by foot, in community and preferably to music (speeds the mixing).  It has been and continues to be the world’s oldest, cheapest, most sustainable, healthful, durable and beautiful building material, allowing the builder(s) to quietly and happily create a personable unique home which can last 100’s to 1000’s of years and cost a fraction of conventional building.

 Cob building can be a solo or community experience, or a mixture of both.  It is surely a meditation and very healing as clay removes toxins from the body and shaping and sculpting clay are deeply satisfying expressive therapeutic activities.  In community friendships are born and deepened as people feel relaxed and connected to their Source and each other while stomping in the mud, tossing and catching cobs, focusing on a sculpture and mixing plaster with their hands.  This is the aspect that fills me most, in particular when teaching international workshops.  Just look at the photo gallery and you’ll see what I mean.

Claudine Building Her Cob Studio in Santa Cruz, CA in 2004

Claudine Building Her Cob Studio in Santa Cruz, CA in 2004

 There is no comparable gift to spending time in a “cob” structure.  It is a quiet refuge for your Soul, especially if kept free of electronics and electricity and allows one to feel rejuvenated and cleansed by Mother Earth.  I wish this opportunity for everyone: to be able to design and build their own simple or elaborate dwelling from nature’s finest, most durable materials, and make it a unique reflection of their Soul, to cherish and enjoy every day.



CruzinCobGlobal is on a planetary mission to teach cob building, as it is practiced in California and Europe.  We lead workshops for local and international students who learn and build together, not only a beautiful ecological structure, but intercultural communication and understanding.  It is a multi-faceted opportunity to learn cob building, a language, a culture and community living.  We also lead cob building projects and both of these happen where we find ready hosts with available land.

Our 3-year 3-month Global Route and workshop format is undergoing changes due to the slowness of traveling while holding workshops and building for people.   Since we want to finish up the Global Journey by March 20, 2018 (Claudine’s birthday) in order to start the next phase of creating a “A Boa Vida Ecovillage”, we will be heading south to Morocco for November/December and then either biking across or flying (winter weather!) to China and heading south through Southeast Asia to Australia. We already have workshops being organized in western and eastern Australia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Nicaragua.  I would love to see the Asian route filled up too but that may have to wait until I am there.  I also would like to do something in El Salvador and Colombia.  The grand finale will be CUBA!  Simultaneously there will be workshops happening in Portugal and the Açores in the summer of 2017 taught by the CCG teaching staff.

Our new 10-Day Intensive Workshop Format that we will aim to offer wherever we are as much as possible will construct a 10m2 foundation to roof structure. Some more informal workshops will offer a sliding scale of 10€ to 50€ per day with a communal or bring-your-own-lunch and free camping.  Other workshops will offer indoor accommodations and a full meal plan.  We want to make our workshops available to as many people as possible.  Our website has all the information you need to host a workshop or a build project on your land or, after you are trained, to work (often paid and with room & board covered) with us.  We are building a team of global cob builders to support the peaceful, healthful beauty of durable and economical earthen buildings everywhere.  We are proud to have already taught 11 workshops in: Spain, the Canaries, Senegal, Cabo Verde and France since starting in December 2014.  However we want to hit all the hotspots and most continents before this GlobalCobTrotting is over…for now.

Here is a little plastering tidbit from the last day of our French workshop in August 2016:



Chcck out our  FACEBOOK PAGE for our extensive gallery of workshop photos from around the world and follow Claudine’s personal

GlobalCobTrottin’ Blog here!

C.O.B. = Community Of Biobuilders