“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”. 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 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.
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.
MAY THIS YEAR BE YOUR YEAR TO LEARN HOW TO BUILD YOUR DREAM COB HOME.
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 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 2017/2018 in order to start the next phase, we will be heading back to Europe in the Fall of 2016 and then decide between biking across to Asia before heading to Australia/NZ, the South Pacific, Latin America, Central America and finally the Caribbean OR flying or boating to South America from Morocco or Europe…
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 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:
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GlobalCobTrottin’ Blog here!
C.O.B. = Community Of Biobuilders