Date(s) - Sunday, July 1, 2018 - Sunday, July 29, 2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Project & Location
The Colorado Complete Cob Workshop will be held on 40 acres of scrub pine, rocky terrain wilderness in Boncarbo (Las Animas County) near Trinidad, Colorado in the southeastern part of the state near the New Mexico border. It is part of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range and has an altitude of 7,500 feet creating a wonderful summer climate perfect for building a cob project. The land belonged to Jen’s parents and here she will be starting a new life manifesting her dream to create an Eco-Art-Spiritual Retreat Center after many years working as an artist and teacher in Maryland among many other interesting pursuits. With her friend Jacquelyn they will be preparing the site to host the workshop for 10-15 students with comfortable camping spots, compost toilets, solar showers, shade, a fire circle and a big kitchen! The Cob Art Studio will be the first permanent structure on the land. There will be an opportunity for students to stay on after the workshop and continue building more structures in exchange for room and board and pay, to be determined and agreed upon by Jen and Jacquelyn.
We will spend an amazing and intensive month together learning everything about cob building from soil testing to finishing the roof, plasters and floor and balance the physical work with relaxing yin yoga in the afternoon and music/dance/fire circles in the evenings. Everyone will be welcome to contribute their personal passions to make this interchange of knowledge and skills a memorable life-transforming experience. Weekends will be free to visit the amazing Nature surrounding Trinidad including Colorado Springs, Pagosa Hot Springs, Mesa Verde National Park, Taos, Santa Fe, and The closesgoing backpacking, camping, hiking, mountain biking, etc.
General Workshop Description
The 28-day Complete Cob Building Workshop consists of 20 days of instruction in the form of theory and construction for 4 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon. Students arrive on Sunday and settle in, meet the members of the community, the other students, and visit the area. Meals will begin with dinner on Sunday. The Course Orientation will take place on Sunday after dinner and Instruction begins on Monday morning. We will learn and build from Monday through Friday and have the weekends off for exploring the area and other islands independently or as a group, resting, studying and, if desired, continuing to build at your own pace. Please note that weekend meals are not included but students are welcome to prepare their own meals in the kitchen. A list of possible weekend activites and excursions will be presented at the workshop. The last Saturday (September 1st) we will have a big celebration dinner and an Azorean festa and Sunday morning we will have a Closing Circle with Certificate Presentation after Breakfast. The workshop will conclude after Lunch on Sunday.
Morning (4 hours) and afternoon (3 hours) 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 60 minute lecture/discussion time (on most days), followed by construction. Yoga & Meditation sessions will take place before breakfast and before dinner, although sometimes we may have special classes in the evening like AcroYoga, Thai Massage, Partner Yoga, etc. One evening a week after dinner will be scheduled for showing slides, videos, and having Course-related discussions and Q & A. All the other evenings are free and/or organized for other extracurricular activities which will be chosen by the group.
The Course starts with the Foundation work during Week 1. In Weeks 2 & 3 we build the Cob walls, which include a door, opening and fixed windows, shelves, niches, bottle windows, artistic inserts, deadmen (it’s a term!), furniture, inserting sink & plumbing, electrical, sculpting and the roof connection structure. We will also build the first 12” (gravel, insulation and rough cob) of floor. In Week 4 we will apply one or two coats of earthen plaster on the walls (the second one depends on time), build the roof and apply the second coat of floor on the last day. Since the final floor coat and sealing needs to happen when all the rest of the building is finished and takes 5 days (1 coat per day) to allow each coat to dry in between, only students who want to stay past the end date to help will complete these last steps.
The 28-day Complete Cob Workshop begins on Sunday evening August 5th with Dinner and ends on Sunday September 2nd (4 weeks later) with Lunch. Students also have the opportunity to stay after the Course and help with any final finish work if needed (additional coat on floor, oiling and waxing floor, French drain, gutters, inserting door and opening windows into frames, putting in appliances and fixtures). You will need to confirm your agreement with Host.
The daily schedule will be:
6:30-7:30 Yoga & Meditation
1:00-2:30 Lunch & Rest
6:00-7:00 Yoga & Meditation
8:00-9:00 Slides/Videos/Discussion (once a week)
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, CCG career path and legal issues.
Our hands-on practice will include:
digging foundation trench
pouring gravel 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 plasters (2 coats)
pouring an earthen floor (2 layers)
preparing walls for roof connection
building roof frame
building roof covering
making small-scale cob designs of future projects
In addition to Cob Building practices, the Course material also includes:
creating a cob business (building/teaching)
assisting, interning and teaching with CruzinCobGlobal
Requirements and Important Information Regarding Physical Work
CruzinCobGlobal’s Cob Building workshops are an intense and demanding building experience. The goal of our month-long Complete Cob Workshop is to complete a whole structure including the roof covering by the last Friday of the workshop. 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. We also have a great time bonding, playing music, doing Yoga, 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 active physical work from Day 1. This includes:
Work clothes appropriate for the country and climate we are in (long pants for Muslim countries)
Lightweight rubber gloves (like gardening gloves)
Good moisturizer (clay is drying and dehydrating!)
Water Bottle Notebook/Pen/Camera
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 Cob Stories 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 that are integral to the building process.
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 & Accomodations
Students will receive 3 delicious vegetarian meals a day (meat/fish options twice a week for those who desire it) Monday through Friday, made with the freshest local organic produce and products as much as possible. Camping is free on site and of course if anyone wants to bring an RV or a vehicle to sleep in or sleep in town that is also possible. A few tent spots can be provided for students coming from Europe or who cannot bring a tent or dont have one.
Transport & Visa
The closest airport you can fly into is Colorado Springs, only 2 hours away. We will be happy to pick you up on Saturday/Sunday. Students can also fly into Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, Durango or Denver (farthest) but will need to arrange transport to Trinidad.
Non-US students who will need a visa please contact Claudine.
For longer weekend trips students can visit Pagosa Hot Springs, Durango and Mesa Verde in one weekend, and Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque on another weekend.
Fee & Payment
There are 3 rate options depending on how soon you make your full payment. Friends, partners or family coming together can each receive 10% off the full tuition fee. Youth from 12-18 receive a 20% discount off tuition and children under 12 receive a 50% discount off of tuition. Please inquire for families coming with young children, as childcare may be arranged with local babysitters onsite. Please note that discounts are not cumulative meaning you will get the best one discount you qualify for at the time of payment. For example, if you come with a family member and pay by March 1st, your best discount is the Very Early Bird Rate each. After March 1st the best discount would be the 10% tuition discount, etc.
The rates below are for free camping accomodations. Other accomodation rates will be added to the ones below.
Very Early Bird Rate: USD$1800 by March 1st, 2018
Early Bird Rate: USD$1900 by May 1st, 2018
Full Payment of USD$2000 will be due by May 1st, 2018
A 50% non-refundable deposit will hold your spot with the rest due by June 1st at the latest. If you pay by the Early Bird dates your balance will be calculated accordingly.
U.S. students can pay online using Paypal or Venmo (free if you pay with a bank transfer, or add 3% fee to your payment if using credit card). International students can use Paypal (5% fee) or Transferwise (free in Europe or 1%-2% fee outside of Europe). Students can also make a free U.S. or European Bank Deposit. Please contact email@example.com to register for the course and for payment information.
For Venmo and Paypal please send payment to firstname.lastname@example.org or search CruzinCobGlobal and add appropriate fees to your payment if applicable. You can also click below.
Location: Jen's Mountain Homestead