Cob Sauna & Cob Oven in Sacramento, California (Intermediate Cobber Certification)

Date(s) - Sunday, April 18, 2021 - Sunday, May 16, 2021
8:30 am - 5:30 pm


Azores Oven & Benches workshop, November 2020

In this exciting first US workshop of 2021, Advanced Cobber/Assistant and soon to be Workshop Instructor Charlotte “Cha” Gibbons will be receiving students on her comfortable Sacramento property to build an 80 ft2 Cob Sauna and a Cob Oven.  The 4-week “urban” workshop will build both structures simultaneously, at a relaxed pace, allowing time for drying and keeping the flow moving between them and providing students with a multi-dimensional learning experience.  There will, as in all CruzinCobGlobal workshops, be ample time for sculpting, artistic details and creativity on both structures, as well as extra-curricular optional activities in the evenings offered by students and a weekly slideshow/video night

Azores Oven Cobbers, November 2020

by Instructor.  This workshop, beginning with an existing foundation for both projects, will give students a solid understanding and focus on the whole process of cob building beginning with analysis and testing of soil to building complete cob walls with an electrical outlet, a shower pipe, pouring 2 coats of cob floor and attaching a reciprocal roof (more details below).   While we will not build the foundations for the sauna and oven, we will get to build two for the cob benches and of course it will be covered in the afternoon lecture time. 

Azores Meditation/Yoga/Massage Room, August 2020

Cha has been anxious to host for over a year now, ever since completing her Advanced Cobber Certification in Nevada City, CA in September 2019.  This will be our first long-term workshop in an urban setting where students will be camping and also sleeping in beds and enjoying a pretty luxurious living experience while training to be Cobbers!  Local students will be able to commute daily. Cha will also assist Instructor Claudine Désirée.



Cha in Pucón, Chile at CCG workshop

Cha and Cathy, our hosts

Hey everyone, my name is Charlotte but I go by “Cha” in Cob circles. My wife Cathy and I purchased a home in Sacramento a couple of years ago and we started right away with making some additions to the property. When I started my Cob Journey, I had an idea of building a cob pizza oven and Cathy was supportive of the idea. What I didn’t realize after I started this journey was that Cob is not just about the building it is about building a community. Now 2 years after my first Cob workshop, I have a foundation for not only a large pizza oven but also a sauna, that I am looking forward to you all building on.

I am a semi retired clinical social worker. I say semi because I would not stay away from helping people so in response to the pandemic.  I took a job in a nearby emergency room and started doing online therapy. Cathy is an academic administrator who is working to move into retirement. While I am building cob for community Cathy sings with choirs and when an opera company is available she sings there as well.

Our home for the 4-week workshop!

We are very excited to be hosting a workshop at our home and to have guests to fill the rooms. It may be a bit like dorms with people sharing space (not beds, unless you want to :). We also have other options patios, decks and a large grassy area for camping if you prefer. We live in a neighborhood but can coordinate a lot of off road parking. We also have a pretty good-sized washer and dryer, so you can wash your muddy clothes in the evenings. Again, we live in a neighborhood so any store you can

imagine is nearby. On the weekends the Pacific Coast and San Francisco are about 1 1/2 hours away and you can drive or take the train. Muir Woods is about 2 hours away and there is also a nice beach there you can enjoy. You can  also be at Lake Tahoe in about 2 hours.

The weather here in April is usually in the mid to high 70’s with the nights getting into the 50’s. If you are used to warmer weather you will be glad you brought a jacket, and if you forget we have extra. You will just need to bring your toiletries and maybe a towel (again if you forget yours we have a few extra :).

We are looking forward to meeting everyone and creating something cool and amazing. We hope by the end of the workshop we can all sit in the sauna and eat pizza and enjoy the groups’ creations!!!  Look forward to meeting you all in the Spring!




The 4-week Cob Building & Cob Oven Workshop begins on Sunday, April 18th, 2021 at 4pm with an Opening Circle  & Orientation to our Host’s Site and the area, followed by  our Welcome Dinner.  After dinner we will have an Introduction to the Workshop by Claudine & Cha. 

Cob Assistant Lea doin’ her thing in the Azores!

The hands-on build will begin Monday morning at 8:30am after breakfast  There is always optional meditation/yoga before breakfast that is either self-led or we may have a volunteer yoga teacher from the group.  We will learn and build every day until 1pm, have lunch and rest until 2:30pm, and on MWF we will have lecture at 2:30pm for up to one hour and finish at 6pm.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays the afternoon building session will begin at 2:30pm and the day will end at 5:30pm so students can rest and have personal time before dinner. One night a week Instructor Claudine Désirée will show slides and videos related to what is being covered that week. Weekends are free and students will be responsible for their own lunch and dinner and have access to the kitchen.  Breakfast food will be available for students to prepare or they can get their own.  Students can also leave the workshop site and explore the beauty of northern California during the weekends.  The last Saturday (May 15th) will be a day to wrap up anything unfinished, clean up the site and relax together (maybe in the sauna) before the Graduation Celebration Dinner.  On Sunday morning May 16th, we will have a Closing Circle followed by a Goodbye Brunch ending the workshop.

International or long-distance traveling students should arrive a day or two before to acclimate and settle in before the workshop begins. Please let us know if that’s the case.

The workshop schedule will be a combination of both projects each week and will be presented at the Introduction on Sunday evening.


The daily schedule will be:

6:30-7:30 Yoga/Meditation

7:30-8:15 Breakfast

8:30 Morning Circle

9:00-1:00 Building

1:00-2:30 Lunch & Rest

2:30-3:30 Lecture MWF

3:30-6:00 Building MWF

2:30-5:30 Building TTh

7:00-8:00 Dinner

8:00-9:00 Slides/Videos/Other Activities




Students will learn every phase of building a cob building from foundation through the roof in weekly lectures/theory, including electric and plumbing. In addition to the lectures, there will be one night per week of slides/videos during the workshop.

Our hands-on practice will qualify students for the Intermediate Cobber Certification as the foundation for both structures will already be built, although foundation will be covered in lecture and there will be a minimal experience building one or more benches.  The practical hands-on learning will include:

digging foundation trench for benches
pouring gravel
building stone foundation for benches
analyzing soils and materials
making test bricks
deciding on correct mixture
making cob w/ partner and solo
building with cob
preparing and inserting the door frame
preparing and inserting fixed window and opening window frame
preparing and inserting shelves
inserting bottle windows and other objects (electrical outlet & water pipe)
preparing and applying earthen plasters (1 coat)
pouring an earthen floor (2 layers)
preparing walls for roof connection
building reciprocal roof frame
building wooden roof decking/sheathing and roof covering

building insulation layers for oven
making oven pad
building oven mold
building inner oven shell
building insulation layer
building final sculpted cob layer
applying plaster



Students will need to come to workshop and class/building site prepared.

This includes:

Work clothes

Work boots or other closed-toe shoes
 for foundation & roof days

Flip-flops for cobbing days

Rubber dishwashing gloves (for lime mortar)

Work Gloves
 for rocks and carpentry

Good Moisturizer



Safety Glasses


Tape Measure

Sharp-toothed cheap wood saw

Rounded triangular metal trowel

2-ft level

Water Bottle


Sample of Your Soil (Optional)

Personal music playlists for working

Also, please make sure to read “The Hand-Sculpted House” by Ianto Evans, Linda Smiley and Michael Smith if you haven’t already and bring it with you. It is still the one and only Cob Bible.


Walter admiring himself in the Azores, November 2020

While our cob trainings are demanding physically, in order to complete projects in the timeline of the workshop, and we ask people to show up every day every class prepared to work, there is always an opportunity for lighter work here and there for students who are needing to go a bit slower.  Cob building has alot of elements going on at the same time that support each other and help the flow to be smooth and continuous. Sifting through straw, sifting clay soil and sand, cutting wood, trimming are less physically intensive than making cob, moving materials, making breads, tossing them to the wall…..just ask.  Keep in mind though that you are signing up for an Intermediate Building workshop (because the foundations will be built) and in order to reach our goal of finishing both projects in the four weeks, everyone’s contribution counts for the benefit of the whole group.  We also design the size of the build and workshop based on the number of students.  In the end you will be exhausted and very proud of your accomplishment!



The site is located in the city of Sacramento, California. There is an airport, train station, and bus station. It’s super easy to get to and we will have a ridesharing exchange as the date gets closer so people can carpool.  Please arrive either Saturday or Sunday and be responsible for your meals until dinner on Sunday. You may be asked to help if you are there earlier than noon on Sunday.



Students will receive 2 snacks and 3 delicious, healthy vegetarian meals a day from Monday through Friday prepared by cooks.  If there are meat-eaters we may offer some meat options throughout the week and on Fridays. We will ask about allergies and restrictions a month before the workshop. If you have favorite food snacks and needs you can’t live without, please bring them.  On weekends, breakfast foods will be available for students to make for themselves. Lunch and dinner will not be served on weekends, but students can use the kitchen.

Students can camp in the big, flat backyard for free or choose a bed in the house (7 beds available). Also, you can commute and stay offsite in an Airbnb or elsewhere, Students who stay offsite can opt only for lunch but would need to attend the weekly evening slideshow.  If you will want a bed please let us know asap as they are first-come first-serve.  Students can also sleep in their vehicle as there is a 3-car garage.




Nevada City build, September 2019

Claudine Désirée is the original “Cob Queen” of Santa Cruz, where she founded the original “Sunflower Cob Building” which quickly morphed into the California-based “Cruzin’ Cob”, the cob workshop and building business that evolved over a decade.  Once her three sons were “out of the house”, she went for her dream of traveling around the world on a bike teaching cob workshops everywhere every few months to continue supporting herself by offering up what she loves in the countries and languages she is passionate about.  To work internationally with no home base required a new name and a website, hence CruzinCobGlobal was born naturally and appropriately and, after 5 years on the road, Claudine has finally found a new home….for now.  On the island of São Miguel in the Azores (where are the Azores?) she has started building an eco homestead for family and friends called “Quinta da Vida Beleza” for chillin’, playing music, dancing and communing!!!!  CruzinCobGlobal will continue to do the important work of building the best houses and best communities ever of course… with more new Teachers hitting the Cob road in 2021 as CCG-trained students begin leading workshops and builds around the world. Claudine will also keep teaching in her favorite places and spreading the Cob everywhere, with more focus on the Azores land and project now, but also very interested in working in Africa and Asia.  California, however, will always be one of those favorite places, her and her children’s home for 20 years. And the demand to learn Cob in California is always growing with the fires and earthquakes threatening conventional houses.  And the best part is we have a “legal” Cob Code to use anywhere in the world thanks to the CRI architects’ and engineers’ hard work and focus!



In Nevada City, CA, September 2019

Our Host Charlotte “Cha” Gibbons will be assisting as her son will be Host in her place while she is assisting Claudine.  Cha was first drawn to cob in the summer of 2019 when, on a last-minute spontaneous whim, she registered for a 5-week Advanced Cobber Certification workshop in Nevada City, California.  In 2020 she flew to Chile to attend a 4-week “Outdoor Kitchen and Oven” workshop taught by CCG Instructor Viva Hansen, and then assisted him in a 3-week Cob Sauna with Rocket Heater workshop in Shingletown, California.  Her love of Cob Building has infused her with a new perspective on life, as she has really enjoyed and contributed to the communal aspect each time. 

A very playful Cha

Cha has always enjoyed construction as a side hobby when not working as a social worker and counselor.  Her presence at the workshops was very inspiring, as, at 66, she is a go-getter on the building site and has alot to share from her own experiences and knowledge.  In addition, Cha is trained in “Family Constellation” work and is always eager to offer this experience to the students.  Her and Cathy are already planning their escape from the US to start a new life elsewhere! We are very lucky to have Cha as Host and Assistant, as the best Hosts are those who have already taken a workshop!



The fee for the 28-day Cob Building & Oven workshop is $2200 which includes tuition, 2 snacks & 3 meals/day on workshop days and breakfast on weekends.

There is a maximum limit of 15 students.

To register please contact to receive application forms and payment information. To hold your spot in this training you will need to pay the full amount or a 50% deposit that will be non-refundable after March 18th, 2021 (see below).  The balance will be due by April 4th, two weeks before the start date.

Early Bird Discount: $2000, pay in full by March 18th, 2021

Cancellation Policy:  If you cancel before March 18th you will get a full refund or credit towards another workshop to be used within 2 years. If you cancel after March 18th you will only get a credit and forfeit 10% of your payment or $250 for the last-minute cancellation.

We always offer work trades in our workshops depending on size of workshop. Here we will offer 4 work trades, two in the kitchen (making breakfast) and two onsite helping prep before breakfast. These work trades are for one hour per day of work in exchange for a $10 discount per workshop day.  In this case work trader would pay $2100 with 50% down to hold their spot and the balance due by April 4th. Please inquire asap because these spots go first.

Note: Work trade applicants who cancel AFTER March 18th will forfeit 50% of the fee or $1050 due to the need to find another work trader and having possibly turned people away who wanted a work trade.

Also, discounts are not cumulative, meaning you cannot get a work trade AND an early bird discount.

You can also contact Claudine by Whatsapp at +18312127225 for questions and registration.




Sweet Vaili doin’ her thing in the Azores, November 2020



Here is a video by Cha, our Host of the house and site and camping area.


Location: Cha's Urban Resort!