Favorite Books/DVDs



“The Hand-Sculpted House” by Ianto Evans, Michael G. Smith and Linda Smiley, Chelsea Green Publishing Co., 2002   (The Cob Bible! Thorough! Great drawings you never get tired of looking at and all you need to build)

“Building with Cob: a step-by-step guide” by Adam Weismann & Katy Bryce, Green Books, 2006 (Another must-have to complete your library, from UK)

“The Cobber’s Companion: How to Build Your Own Earthen Home”, Michael G. Smith, 2001      (Simple, straighforward, good starter book)

“Build Your Own Earthen Oven” by Kiko Denzer, Hand Print Press, 2001

(Step-by-step instructions for building an earth oven, physics of ovens)


“Essential Cob Construction” by Anthony Dente, Michael G. Smith and Massey Burke, New Society Publishers, 2024 (a guide to design, engineering, and building with cob with all the latest code information and how-to’s) *pre-order now to get 20% off at https://newsociety.ca/books/e/essential-cob-construction

Earthen Plaster

“The Natural Plaster Book” by Daniel Chiras and Cedar Rose Guelbreth, New Society Publishers, 2002    (Complete, but a bit repetitive)

“Clay Culture: Plasters, Paints and Preservation” by Carole Crews, Gourmet Adobe Press, 2010 (Hot off the press by the plaster goddess, must-have)

“Using Natural Finishes” by Adam Weismann & Katy Bryce, Green Books, 2008 (Very informative book based on extensive focused experience by this UK/US couple who have launched “Clayworks” plastering company in UK)


“Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves You can Build” by Ianto Evans and Leslie Jackson, Cob Cottage Publications, 2007 (Ultra-cool to experience live…a warm bench under your butt all day long with one fire, a whole room heated up instantly with a small version of one of these, most efficient heaters. Take Ianto’s “Pyromania” class to learn how to do it.)

“The Rocket Mass Heater Builder’s Guide” by Erica and Ernie Wisner, New Society Publishers, 2016 (The Bible)

Other Favorites

“Little House on a Small Planet: Simple Homes, Cozy Retreats, and Energy Efficient Possibilities” by Shay Salomon and Nigel Valdez , 2009 (Fun short essays with photos on other people’s creations, great pre-sleep readings!)

“Homework”  by Lloyd Kahn, Shelter Books, 2006 (too much fun, the coolest living units you could ever imagine, very inspiring!)

“Shelter” by Lloyd Kahn, Shelter Books, 1973 (the original “Homework”)

“Humanure Handbook:  A Guide to Composting Human Manure” by Joseph C. Jenkins, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2005  (A great, “flowing” read, haha, with easy-to-apply instructions to get started as soon as you are ready)

“The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: The Fate of the World and What We Can Do About It” by Thom Hartmann, Random House, Inc., 2004 (A wonderful, powerful overview of the history of “energy” use on our planet, novel-like)

“Cradle to Cradle” by Michael Braungart and William McDonough, North Point Press, 2002 (This one really awakens you to the possibilities of the totally new mindset with which we may begin solving some crucial problems underlying our existing way of doing life on the planet!)

“Places of the Soul:  Architecture and Environmental Design as a Healing Art” by Christopher Day, Thorsons, 1990 ( This piece of deep reflection on how the buildings we live in and are surrounded by affect our well-being is a wonderful introduction to understanding why it’s so important to change our modern building practices)

and on and on……..


“El Barro, Las Manos, La Casa” by Gustavo Marangoni is a very expansive review of many types of earthen building from cob to wattle and daub to adobe blocks and a whole bunch more presented in Argentina.  It is in Spanish originally with English subtitles.