A California Cob production
In this 16 day, comprehensive cob workshop, we will show you the basics of building a small cob cottage, from foundation to roof, and everything in between. Sequoia Rob Pollacek of California Cob is a master natural builder with 16 years of professional cob building experience.
To register and see more of Sequoia's work visit: californiacob.com
In our workshop, we’ll be building a round cob sauna, with a stone and mortar foundation, load bearing cob walls, a curved ridge beam, round pole rafters, with a tongue and groove ceiling and an earthen roof. We’ll install a custom sauna door and 2 opening windows with window sills, make and install door trim, install a wood stove, hearth and a chimney. We’ll carve out altar niches with stone sills and work on bas-relief sculptures. We’ll also guide you through the process of making natural earthen plasters from our local soil, and we’ll finish the workshop by plastering the outside of the sauna.
You will use the relatively “small” project of building a sauna to learn first hand the many topics needed to build a cob house. You’ll personally go through the whole process of building this “mini” house and leave this workshop feeling confident to go home and build a larger cob structure of your own. And if building a full house isn’t where you’re headed quite yet, you’ll know all there is to know about building your own cob sauna!! A perfect first project.
Starting out by building with stone and mortar using our local granite, we'll work on the foundation for our cob building project. Then we will transition into the heart of our workshop: learning to mix and build with cob, a monolithic, adobe building material consisting of clay soil, sand and straw. We’ll start out with traditional workshop foot-mixing techniques, giving you the fundamental understanding of how to mix this ancient building material. We’ll quickly move into learning to mix with a cement mixer, and then finally how to mix cob with a tractor.
Since 2001, Sequoia has been mixing cob with a tractor, and has invented a moveable form system that greatly decreases the time of building with cob. Here is Sequoia talking specifically about his teaching and building style:
I’ve done this exclusively for my last 16 cob projects. I’ve made hundreds of batches of tractor cob and have refined my technique to the point where I can make about 5 cubic yards of very well mixed cob per hour. Whether you own a tractor, or will rent or borrow a tractor, I can teach you all you’ll need to know to be able to make your own tractor cob at home, ensuring that you’ll be able to make enough cob to finish your cob project in one building season.
I’ll also teach you in a very hands on way my moveable cob form system, which allows for very quick cob wall building. I created, and have been refining and using this system for the last 15 years. We’ll use this system exclusively to build the cob walls on this building. Combining this moveable form system with the ability to make large amounts of cob with a tractor dramatically improves the speed and efficiency of building cob walls over traditional methods.
We’ll spend a fair bit of time working on the roof of the sauna, aiming for a completely closed in building by the end of the workshop. Using load bearing lintels with a curved ridge beam and 12 round pole rafters, we’ll construct a timber framed living roof, complete with a 2 x 6 tongue and groove ceiling.
Understanding the relationship between a cob building and its roof is a fundamental piece of creating a cob structure and something you wont want to miss. I’ll show you the finer points of building this beautiful earthen roof, right down to the finish trim detail.
We’ll close by creating and applying our own earthen plaster mix, sourced from local clay soil, putting the icing on the cake of our freshly created sacred space.
This 16 day “complete cob” workshop includes 2 meals a day, and daily outdoor class room time. Meals will be locally sourced veggies, sustainably and humanely raised meat, mostly organic and cooked with care and love.
Classroom time, separate from building time, will cover such topics as fundamentals of cob, sourcing materials, proper siting and drainage of a building, passive solar design, thermal mass vs. insulation, staying within a budget, hosting a workshop, being a professional natural builder and creating a hybrid house using straw bale and cob together.
We’ll also have a natural building home tour, seeing first hand some local examples of cob, straw bale, earthen plasters and earth floors.
We hope you can join us for this very special “Create Sacred Space” workshop!
--$55.00 a day if you provide your own meals
--$65.00 a day includes lunch
--$75.00 a day includes lunch and dinner
--10%discount if taking five or more days
To register or ask questions call Sequoia Rob Pollacek 530-913-0846
To see more of Sequoia's work visit: californiacob.com