The Global C.O.B
The Global C.O.B. Team (Community of Biobuilders) consists of trained cob builders of all nationalities, ages, specialties and in all areas of the world, ready to teach a workshop or lead a project…all in support of more earthen construction replacing concrete on the Planet and increasing awareness and experience of natural building everywhere, especially in the non-Western countries where the awareness and need is greater for well-built earthen housing.
Please refer to our For Students pages to learn how you can proceed on the journey to becoming a Cob Workshop assistant, teacher, intern and builder with CruzinCobGlobal.
Here is our international team of teachers….we are waiting for you to join us!
Born and raised on the 22nd floor of a skyscraper in NYC to two Jewish immigrants, I carried my Manhattan/European roots with me to California and beyond. I studied Geography, International Relations/Development and International Environmental Policy in the academic world in California, France, and Switzerland before and while raising Viva, Joia and Xica, my three stellar sons, currently established all over the U.S. honing their journeys and all cob lovers (yeah!). My academic pursuits soon gave way to the obligatory West Coast Yoga/Meditation/Massage path and thus the work of a Spiritually Awakened life was initiated. My academic interests were also complemented with hands-on learning in every aspect of Sustainable Living skills, which I then put into action on my 5000 square foot homestead in downtown Santa Cruz near the beach with cob buildings, permaculture, a compost toilet, chickens, fruit trees and the lowest utility bill in SC! When my youngest son turned 18, and I turned 50, my next Dream was manifested with the sale of my Mini-Urban Ecovillage to fuel a solo Global Ecovillage and Cob Teaching Bike Tour for the next three years. I am halfway through. Ultimately I will find and decide on my next and final nesting ground, a co-creation of the Finest Ecovillage and Learning/Arts Center on the Planet. My unending love of travel, speaking in other languages and cultural immersion will always continue and I envision having beautiful cob houses to come to in all of my favorite places, which I am discovering right now. I am so grateful for the strong support of the Universe confirming my path every day.
Learning to build cob houses has been an unexpected gift in so many ways. The joy I see on people’s faces at my workshops when they roll up their pants for the first time and stick their toes in the cool soft mud, the laughter and heart-to-heart conversations ignited while mixing and building with a partner, the meditative concentration of working on a sculpture, the satisfaction of stepping back and seeing your beautiful trimmed wall section, the excitement at embedding bottles and sculpting an art window, the bliss of relaxing with good food and a cold beer after a full day’s building in community, and the gratitude of leaving confident in starting a dream project….are why I do this work. Over and over again, all over the world, cob building creates childlike joy, love, community, and empowerment. It has shown itself to be much more than a building technique. It is a remedy for a better Life on Earth. It creates Happy People living in Happy Houses. Ho.
PROFESSIONAL COBBER/COB INSTRUCTOR
As a kid Cob was this weird, empowering thing my mom did to build us a bigger home. I participated when I wanted, and skipped out when I didn’t. Though as time went on the Cob effect was undeniable. Every time a build was underway there was music and laughter and food and wisdom from people of all ages and backgrounds.
As I matured through my high school years I was able to involve myself with enough earthen building to feel its practical magic. Then one summer I created an opportunity to build a meditation room with my high school physics teacher. His passionate involvement with our Indigenous community transformed the project into a spiritual experience. Throughout the summer we made long trips to sacred rivers and hand-picked beautiful stones for the foundation, often walking for miles on a trail with three or four stones in a backpack. Then as I finished my college experience and returned to California, the opportunity to join my mother on her journey bloomed.
For me, Cob is primarily a physical experience. It has always been about sweat and breath. The feel of different dirts and sands, straws and rocks. And it is a mystical experience, bringing me back to the earth. But what I have learned from the last year is that Cob building can be a tool to sew communities back together. To bring “strangers” into a common space and make them family. In that vein, Cob really is a product of my life philosophy. Something that I can stand behind fully because I know that from top to bottom it is peace, hard work, sustainable and love.
As I continue to learn in this life I will continue to share what Cob has shared with me.
Viva will be teaching our Outdoor Cooking Complex with Rocket-fueled Lorena Stove and Oven workshop in Santa Fe this summer and a week-long Rocket Mass Heater segment in the 8-Week Azores workshop in September!
Nicolas Pimentel hails from Santiago, Chile and now lives in Pucon, southern Chile where he taught his first CCG course last year with Viva Hansen. Nico is a new generation Chilean architect and a green builder, specializing in cob, light clay straw, timber framing and tadelakt. Currently he works in Chile and is also creating “La Jungla” Ecovillage on the land his family owns up in the mountains of Los Pellines near Chillán in southern Chile. He is an avid climber and traveller, as well as an artist, musician and poet.
Nico attended his first CCG workshop in São Miguel, Azores in June 2017 and assisted his first CCG workshop in Colorado in July 2018. He hosted and assisted his first CCG workshop in February 2019 on the very land he loves, supported by his brothers and friends. In February 2019 he co-taught his
first full-length CCG workshop building a beautiful outdoor kitchen with reciprocal green roof with Viva. Nico is a very talented cobber and builder, and we are fortunate to have Nico on the CCG Team!
He will be teaching the Light Clay Straw segment of the 8-week Azores September 2021 workshop.
Marla Azoulaï started her cob journey on the island of Faial in September 2018 in CCG’s first Advanced Cob Building Workshop on the Azores. Marla is a French artist/sculptor who has been travelling the world learning Japanese, permaculture, natural building, yoga and meditation. She is a passionate cobber and has attended 3 workshops as a returning students and built a cob house in Colorado with other CCG students last summer. Marla has a powerful Chi making her an amazing asset to any workshop and build and is by far one of the best cob sculptors I have witnessed! You will be spoiled by this wild French woman’s presence on the site! Marla will be assisting in the Colorado workshop this August 2020!