Building With Cob From the Ground Up

Everything old becomes new again. Building with cob will leave you with a functional structure that is also as asthetically pleasing as your imagination allows.



building with cob - the work crew
The work crew that took part in the building with cob workshop: (outside) Frank Head, Steve Leiben, Ann Lasater, Elise Hisler. (In window) Molly Miller, Preston Head, Katie Spencer.
PHOTO: ROBIN THOMAS
building with cob - cob studio in Oregon
A cob studio in Oregon.
BECKY BEE
building with cob - Ann Lasater and Becky Bee
Ann Lasater and Becky Bee
LAURA LEIBEN
170-026-01-doorframe
The door frame went in the same time as the roof. The arched shape works well for cob.
MOLLY MILLER
building with cob - stomping clay
Elise Hisler stomps clay in a strawbale clay pit to suspend clay in the water for mixing.
MOLLY MILLER
building with cob - mixing clay and sand
Diana Rivers prepares to mix clay and sand on a tarp. Later she adds straw to the mix.
MOLLY MILLER
building with cob - mixing cob
Diana Rivers and Joy Dunn mix the cob by picking up the edges of the tarp.
MOLLY MILLER
building with cob - cob bricks
Sometimes mixers made small, informal bricks to toss to cobbers working on the walls.
MOLLY MILLER
building with cob - tapering the wall
To taper the outside walls, we taped a 2" x 3' triangular wedge to one side of the level.
LAURA LEIBEN
building with cob - more tapering
Elise uses the machete and level to taper the walls.
LAURA LEIBEN
building with cob - sculpting a wall
Joy Fox and Becky sculpt cob onto a wall. The edge of the window frame gets buried in the cob.
LAURA LEIBEN
building with cob - cob bench under window
We cantilevered a cob bench along the inside wall.
MOLLY MILLER
building with cob - bed frame and alcove
We built a platform for a bed and sculpted an altar in the wall above it.
MOLLY MILLER
building with cob - sifting straw
Cynthia Huelsmann sifts straw through a window screen to add to a plaster mix.
MOLLY MILLER
building with cob - sifting clay
Becky shows students how to sift clay for plaster. Her plaster is made from the same ingredients as cob.
MOLLY MILLER
building with cob - applying plaster
Elise applies a plaster mix to the wall.
MOLLY MILLER
building with cob - embedded tiles
Tiles embedded in wet plaster add character.
LAURA LEIBEN
building with cob - cob house interior
Interior of a cob house Beck Bee worked on in Oregon. Notice the whitewash, sculpted niches, and shelves.
BECKY BEE
building with cob - asthetic and practical features
Cob allows for a beautiful combination of the practical and the artistic.
BECKY BEE











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