Cob Tiny House/Sauna & Bread Oven with Benches at Quinta Boa Vida in Alentejo (Portugal)

Date/Time
Date(s) - Sunday, June 30, 2019 - Sunday, July 28, 2019
9:00 am - 5:00 pm


PROJECT

 This will be the very first workshop hosted on this beautiful new sacred land purchased in January 2019.  The only existing building on the land is a 30m2 agricultural support structure made of clay bricks/blocks.  While the plan is to develop a small Ecovillage community, the first officially habitable building will not be built until November/December as there is a permit process that I am choosing to adhere to.  Thus the first structures we will build in this 4-week workshop will be a 64 ft2/6m2 tiny house/sauna and an oven & benches outside eating area.  While the general schedule will be to build the sauna/tiny house in the first 3 weeks and the oven & benches in the last week, we may work on both projects simultaneously allowing for drying time for each one. 

Cob Sauna built by Rob Polacek of California Cob

First Cob Oven on international workshop journey…in Fuerteventura, Canaries

The sauna will incorporate all the elements of a house including plumbing for shower & sink on the outside, and can be seen as a tiny home model, which will allow us to complete the whole structure in 3 weeks and include door, windows, arches, shelves, niches, electricity, sculpting, plaster, cob floor and roof.  It will be heated with a wood stove attached from the outside as well as radiant floor heating.  These two structures will provide warm food and a hot space to detox and cleanse especially in the colder winter months!

The oven and benches will be part of an outdoor eating area, on another part of the land.

 

HOST

Your hosts will be yours truly, me, Claudine, and my new neighbors Frank and Judith, who will be offering camping, tipi and indoor accommodations as well as preparing our delicious vegetarian meals (Judith is a professional chef) in their beautiful outdoor kitchen/eating area they have remodeled from a traditional adobe animal grange.

After 4 years on a bike on the road through 4 continents teaching 25 cob workshops in 12 countries in

Carrancas, Brazil Workshop April 2018

West Africa, Western Europe, South & North America, I have concluded this long-term discovery and service journey (for now) to settle down on a warm, welcoming land in southwest Portugal with deep gratitude.  While transitioning from a continuous nomad lifestyle, for now, is an intense emotional and physical change, I know I will continue doing my service work in the World as long as I can while enjoying planting trees and roots and growing beautiful artsy living structures that feed the Soul and beautify the Planet. 

Being a global Earth activist I believe deeply in the transformational power of gathering a group of people committed to Growth, Change and Peaceful Living on Earth and teaching them how to build a clean, organic, healthy home while watching a new cob family open their Hearts, Minds and Souls to each other and to Spirit! This has been my continued inspiration!!! May it spread wide with more Cobbers and more beautiful and healing Cob houses all over the Planet!

 

LOCATION

Quinta Boa Vida is located in Camachinhos (Google “Camachos, Beja”), a secret nook of sacred land surrounded by a creek and agricultural land on the north side and cork oak and “medronho” forested uplands on the south.  The land starts out flat and then rises uphill on both sides of a valley to a breathtaking view of the Alentejo landscape of gently rolling hills covered by cork oak, farms, sheep, goats, lakes and rivers.  This part of Portugal has a very peaceful and healing energy with much space to ponder and quest.  Quinta Boa Vida is nestled between the larger towns of Odemira and São Teotonio and a 20-minute car ride to the wild beautiful sunset beaches of the Alentejo National Park directly west.

 

GALLERY OF LAND & ALENTEJO SCAPES

 

WEEKS 1-3: ADVANCED COB WORKSHOP

While the Advanced Cob Workshops are usually 5 weeks long, since we will be building a smaller building we will be able to complete it in a shorter time.  As we build this approximately 64ft2/6m2 structure I will lecture on and we will build all the elements (foundation, walls, floor, roof) of a standard cob cottage built in other workshops, including plumbing for an outdoor shower.  Students will receive the Advanced Cobber Certificate from CruzinCobGlobal upon completion.

 

DETAILED COURSE CONTENTS

Students will learn every phase of building a cob building from foundation through the roof completion in lectures and theory (plumbing only in lecture). In addition to the lectures, slideshows and videos will be shown to support and enhance understanding of cob materials, cob building, design, geography , budgeting, business options and legal issues

Our hands-on practice will include:

  • location analysis & choice
  • digging foundation trench
  • pouring gravel & inserting drainage pipe (if needed)
  • building stemwall
  • analyzing soils & materials
  • making test bricks
  • calculating correct mixture
  • making cob solo & wth partner
  • building with cob
  • preparing & inserting door
  • preparing & inserting fixed & opening windows
  • preparing & inserting shelves
  • cutting bottles & inserting them
  • inserting other artistic/functional objects into wall
  • making niches & arches
  • inserting electrical wiring in wall
  • sculpting
  • earthen plaster (1 coat)
  • earthen floor (2 coats) with radiant tubing
  • preparing wall for roof connection
  • building a reciprocal frame roof structure
  • building a green roof covering
  • attaching woodstove to wall (time permitting)

In addition to Cob Building practices, the Course material also includes:

  • legal Cob
  • cost analysis
  • creating a cob business (building/teaching)
  • assisting, interning and teching with CruzinCobGlobal
  • making small-scale designs of cob dream structures, time permitting

 

WEEK 4: OVEN & BENCHES

Carrancas, Brazil Final Project

In the final week we will build a community-size pizza and bread oven for all the neighbors to use weekly and to host community gatherings! We will also surround the oven with beautiful cob benches to enjoy the warm and cool evenings of the Alentejo celebrating life, good food and good people. If possible we will celebrate the completion of the oven by lighting it and enjoying the fruits of our labor!

 

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

This 28-day Hybrid Cob Workshop begins on Sunday evening, June 30, with Dinner and ends on Sunday, July 28 with Lunch. Mondays through Fridays we will build and Saturdays/Sundays we will have time off to rest, go to the beach, and visit the area. The last Saturday, July 27, will be used to wrap things up and clean up, as well as for a final group activity before our celebration dinner and graduation ceremony. On Sunday morning, July 28, we will have light Breakfast followed by a Closing Circle and Lunch, to conclude the workshop.

The daily schedule (subject to change due to climate) will be:

6:30-7:30 Yoga & Meditation/Dance

7:30-8:30 Breakfast

8:45-1:00 Class

1:00-2:00 Lunch

2:00-3:00 Lecture (MWF)

3:30-6:30 Beach or Reservoir/Relaxing/Community Activities & Games/Yoga/Dance/Massage

7:30-8:30 Dinner

8:30-9:30 Slides/Videos/Discussion (Wednesdays)

Other nights will have optional activities like Salsa Dancing, Fire Circles, Music, Rituals, Massage, Sweat Lodge, and mostly hanging out together…

 

REQUIREMENTS AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING PHYSICAL WORK

CruzinCobGlobal’s Cob Building workshops are an intense and demanding building experience. The goal of our 28-Day Hybrid Cob Workshop is to complete a whole structure including the roof covering in three weeks! This is quite an accomplishment and when completed, give students alot of pride and confidence in building on their own after the workshop. The Monday through Friday schedule is rigorous and meant to train students in experiencing what it takes to build a cob building in a reasonable amount of time. However since we will be building something about half the size of what we usually build in our 5-week workshop with the same number of people it will not be as rigorous.  We also have a great time bonding, playing music, doing Yoga, sitting around the fire and relaxing after class time. Students can use weekends to rest, recuperate and enjoy getting to know the location. We accept all levels and abilities and students are never required to go beyond what they feel comfortable with. There are always other activities besides mixing and building which are needed to build the house (getting materials, trimming, screening material, cutting straw, sculpting, plaster, etc) and students learn alot by watching

Students will need to come prepared for physical work from Day 1.

This includes:

Work clothes appropriate for the country and climate we are in (long pants for Muslim countries)
Slip-on flip-flops
Work Boots or Closed Shoes for Foundation and Roof, if applicable
Lightweight rubber gloves (not gardening gloves)
Good moisturizer (clay is drying and dehydrating!)
Hat
Water Bottle
Notebook/Pen/Camera
A 2 ft level and sharp-toothed wood saw (requested but optional)

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 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.

 

MEALS & ACCOMMODATIONS

This workshop will be on raw land so the accommodations will be camping in your own tents for free or paying a very reasonable price for shared accommodations in our neighbors’ beautiful and comfortable wooden bungalows or teepee (see below for more information).  Campers can stay on Quinta Boa Vida land for free (compost  toilets and cold showers) or on neighbors’ land for 2€/day and use their facilities (compost toilets, hot showers and outdoor eating area/kitchen). Days are hot  and dry at this time of the year and average in the mid-80’s Farenheit or 30 degrees Celsius which is why we plan to head to the water in the afternoons to cool off and enjoy some community or solo downtime as well as have our afternoon activities there, if so desired. Nights should be quite enjoyable.  Please bring some warm clothes for the nighttime just in case.

Dinner will be served on the first Sunday and last Saturday, and Breakfast & Lunch on the last Sunday.  Otherwise three meals/day will be served Monday through Friday.  Weekends students will be on their own but can use the kitchen facilities to prepare meals. Meals will be vegetarian and delicious as we will have a professional chef.  If you need meat or other additional nutritional support please bring it or speak with Host about how to get it onsite.  We may have a few fish/meat meals, maybe once a week, if there is a desire.

 

TRAVEL LOGISTICS

Getting to this beautiful spot is simple but takes time.  From Lisbon airport you can take a train to Saboia-Santa Clara with CP (Comboios Portugal), the national train company, for 9-20€ one way, depending on how early you buy it.  It’s only 3 metro stops on the red line from the airport and then a 2-hour ride south, where we will pick you up for the 20 minute car ride to the land.

You can also take the train in from Faro which is only one hour and 5-7€.

You can take buses to Odemira or São Teotónio for 20€ and we will pick you up.

You can look for rides with BlaBlaCar

You can drive in, bike in, walk in, crawl in, hitchike in or maybe carpool with another student!

 

PAYMENT

To hold your space, please make either the full payment or a non-refundable deposit of 50% and pay your final balance by June 15. If you need more time please check with Claudine at claudine@cruzincobglobal.org.

Full Price: 1700€: includes tuition (M-F), free camping + 3 meals/day (M-F)

For indoor accommodations, Frank and Judith offer a few choices:

Casinha Heidi : 12€/person/night for 4 people or 17€/person/night for 2 people (available)

Casinha Primavera: 12€/person/night for 2 people (1 spot available)

Teepee: 5€/person/night for 2 people (full)

Your Tent: 2€/person/night (students can camp on Quinta Boa Vida’s Land for free with compost toilet and cold and solar showers or pay 2 €/day to use Judith and Frank’s facilities including wifi)

These accommodations and fees will be added to the workshop price above.

You can see the outdoor kitchen area that will be ours for the month!

For final payment balance please contact Claudine

Payment can be made by Venmo, Paypal, Zelle, free Bank Transfer to US or European Bank account or Transferwise.  Please contact Claudine to register and make your payment and learn how to avoid transaction fees at claudine@cruzincobglobal.org or +1831212-7225 by phone, SMS or Whatsapp.

 

WORK TRADE

There is 1 work trade position open in all weeks of the workshop for 1.25 hours a day in either the kitchen or onsite. Each position gives 45€/week of discount or 180€ off for the 4-week workshop.  No experience is needed and they will not interfere with your class hours.

The kitchen work trade position will be in charge of preparing and putting out breakfast from 6:45-7:30am and cleaning it up from 8:15-8:30am.  The onsite work trade position will also be early morning shifts prepping the work site from 7:00-8:00am before breakfast.

Please inquire asap as these are the first spots to go.

 

INSTRUCTOR

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, a 200 ft2 studio, in her backyard in Santa Cruz, CA. In 2014, 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 the Planet. To date she has taught close to 100 workshops, 25 of which have been part of CCG’s exciting international circuit since the Spring of 2015 in the following countries: Spain, the Canaries (Spain), Senegal, Cabo Verde, France, Morocco, Portugal, the Azores (Portugal), Colombia, Brazil and the US.

This is a very exciting time now that COB will soon be part of the International Residential Building Code (IRC) thanks to the efforts of the Cob Research Institute architects and engineers who have worked hard to put together a proposed Cob Construction Annex to be heard May 3 and 4 at the International Code Council Hearings in New Mexico. Please stay tuned:

The Cob Construction Proposal is RB299.

 

 

Location: Quinta Boa Vida

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