Date(s) - Sunday, October 8, 2017 - Sunday, November 5, 2017
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Project & Location
Make sure you attend this full cob building workshop, the only one we are teaching this year! In the ideal Texan building season we will come together for one month (weekends will be free) to learn how to build a cob structure from foundation to roof, in lectures and hands-on work. We will also enjoy extra activities like yoga, chi gong, massage and local outings led by our hostess Jessica and her Austin-based Green Community. As usual our workshop will be a great interpersonal and intercultural exchange experience as well as an intensive learning and working time. We will grow into a close bonded family like the cob walls we will build and design together. Each Cob Workshop also always offers a personal transformation experience as an unexpected bonus:)
The first week we will build the foundation with one or more professional masons co-leading the Course. Weeks 2 & 3 we will build the cob walls and all that goes in them: windows, door(s), shelves, niches, sculptures, decor, electricity, plumbing, plaster. Week 4 we will build a green roof led by a professional. The floor and plaster work will happen throughout all four weeks. All students who complete the workshop will receive an Advanced Cob Certificate of Completion and will be eligible to assist in other workshops. Please see Student Menu for more information.
The site is a private homestead in Taylor, Texas, only 40 miles northeast of Austin, Texas. Our hostessJess’s parents, Susie and Jesse own the land and have provided space for her to build herself a guesthouse. Jess was raised and lives in Austin Texas. She has had a mind for sustainability since she was a child when her parents would take her to volunteer picking up trash with Keep Austin Beautiful. She majored in Environmental Geoscience at Texas A&M and worked as a biologist in the offshore fishing industry and on seismic vessels for 3 years. Now she works as an environmental consultant. Jess fell in love with Cob and Permaculture in college and has dreamt of building her own house ever since. Her ultimate goal is to create an Eco-Hostel, where people can stay and learn about living sustainably. Her hobbies include rock climbing, building, camping, and activism.
The 28-day Complete Cob Workshop begins on Sunday evening with Dinner and ends on a Sunday after Brunch.The Workshop consists of 20 days of theoretical instruction (lectures with graphics) and construction for 4 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon. The first 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) are for students to arrive and settle in. Mondays through Fridays we will learn and build and weekends are days off for resting, exploring the area, studying and, if desired, continuing to build at your own pace. The last Saturday morning will be used to wrap and clean things up and the rest of the day we will have a final group activity with a celebration dinner. The Workshop ends after Brunch on Sunday morning. Students may also have the opportunity to stay after the Course and help with the final finish work (additional coats of plaster and floor, oiling and waxing floor, French drain, gutters, inserting door and opening windows into frames, putting in appliances and fixtures) to be arranged with Host.
Morning and afternoon sessions each have a 15-minute snack break. Lunch break lasts 2 hours which includes about 1 hour of rest time before the afternoon session begins, with a 30-60 minute lecture, followed by construction. After class there is a 90-minute break before dinner, which may include a yoga/chi gong session. There will also be 4 evenings after dinner for showing slides, videos and having Course-related discussions. Other evenings are free and/or organized by group for extracurricular activities as desired. Schedule may be adjusted for climatic reasons.
The daily schedule will be:
6:00-7:30 Rest/Yoga/Chi Gong/Massage
8:30-9:30 Slides/Videos/Discussion (on 4 nights only)
Detailed Course Contents
Students will learn every phase of building a cob building from foundation through the roof in lectures/theory. In addition to the lectures, slideshows and videos will be shown to support and enhance their understanding of cob materials, cob building, design, geography , budgeting, business options and legal issues.
Our hands-on building work will include:
digging foundation trench
pouring gravel into landscape cloth and inserting drainage pipe (if applicable)
building foundation stemwall
analyzing soils and materials
making test bricks
deciding on correct mixture
deciding on best location
making cob w/ partner and solo
building with cob
preparing and inserting the door
preparing and inserting fixed and opening windows
preparing and inserting shelves
inserting bottle windows and other objects
inserting electrical wiring and plumbing in walls
preparing and applying earthen &/or lime (tadelakt) plasters (2 coats)
pouring an earthen floor (2 layers)
preparing walls for roof connection
building roof frame
building roof covering (time/weather permitting)
making small-scale cob designs of future projects
In addition to Cob Building practices, the Course material also includes:
legal issues about cob
creating a cob business (building/teaching)
assisting, interning and teaching with CruzinCobGlobal
Requirements and Important Information Regarding Physical Work
Students will need to come prepared for physical labor from Day 1. This includes:
Work clothes (shorts, tank top or t-shirt, work shoes/boots)
Lightweight rubber gloves (not gardening gloves)
Good moisturizer (clay is drying and dehydrating!) Hat
Students are required to read “The Hand-Sculpted House” before the workshop begins and any other book they find, as well as watching videos on YouTube, especially the ones posted on CruzinCobGlobal’s website under GlobalCOB/CobStories as well as in the Gallery to get an idea of what is expected. Please bring your book(s).
Students must tend to their own personal needs, drink alot of water, rest when needed and exert themselves at a steady pace. Students who cannot do the strenuous physical work should let us know before the workshop begins so we can adjust appropriately. It is totally OK to come for the lecture/theory part, and then help the building part in less physically demanding ways, ie cutting straw, sifting for plaster, hammering nails into frames or shelves, sculpting, plastering, cutting bottles. There is alot to do besides making and building with cob!!!!
Finally, please bring a watch or use your phone to be prompt and ready for each part of the Course including meals. Feel free to share your dietary needs with CCG or the Host and bring your essential snacks and foods, pillow and whatever you NEED to be comfortable and happy. Feel free to also bring slides, videos, movies and books to share, as well as a sample of your soil to test.
Fee & Payment
The cost for the 28-day course, camping and meals is $2200. Students can hold their spot with a non-refundable deposit of 50%. Payment in full is due by 2 weeks prior to start date or September 24th.
Early-Bird Rate (payment in full by July 1) : $2000
Later Early-Bird Rate (payment in full by September 1): $2100
Maximum class size: 15
Partial Attendance Time Options
Clearly it is recommended to come for the full time of the training to get the maximum knowledge and skills education and receive the Advanced Cobber Certificate and benefits. However knowing that not everyone will have a month free at this time, students will be allowed to come for Week 1, Weeks 1-2, Weeks 1-3, Weeks 2-3, Weeks 2-4 or Week 4. Then only Week that will NOT be possible would be Week 3 without having done Week 2. Students coming for partial time will pay $110/day for tuition, camping and meals. Students may also be able to come for the day and lunch for $90.
Students can pay online using Paypal, Venmo, Transferwise or a Bank Deposit in the US or Europe. For Paypal US students MUST ADD 3% for the commission to their payment unless they tick the box that they will cover the commission or “send it to family and friends”. European students who use Paypal MUST ADD 5% to their payment to cover the Paypal commission.
Claudine Désirée, founder and director of CCG, learned how to cob with Michael Smith in 2003 in northern CA and has been building and teaching ever since completing her first project, her legal 200 ft2 studio, in her backyard. She was one of the first people to legalize a cob building on the west coast of the US, where the building code laws are the most stringent due to high earthquake risk.
In 2008, she created SunflowerCobBuilding which became CruzinCob and then, in April 2015, evolved into CruzinCobGlobal, the international cob workshop business she runs from wherever she happens to be on her bike on the Planet. To date she and her team have taught close to 100 workshops, 20 of which have been part of CCG’s new international circuit since the Spring of 2015 in the following countries: Spain, Senegal, Cabo Verde, France, Morocco and Portugal. This year CCG will also be in the Azores Islands before returning to the US and heading to the Caribbean and Latin America.
Our vision is two-fold. First, we seek to expand the global awareness, understanding and practical experience of Earthen “Cob” Construction as a safe, healthy, ecological, economical, strong and durable building technique everywhere on the Planet. Secondly CCG seeks to contribute to the reduction in concrete-based construction and cement production thereby increasing the well-being of all Life and our Planet Home.
Our mission is to collaborate with individuals and communities around the Planet in organizing and holding Cob Building workshops in which we lead an international/intercultural group of 10-15 students in the construction of all (foundation, walls and roof) or part (just walls) of a small structure (10-15m2 or 110-165ft2) in a period of 10-28 days. The standard workshop is 10m2 in 2 weeks. We also teach 3-4 day Cob Oven workshops as a shorter and easier option.
Location: Jess's Farm