So it seems that I am learning to build a cob oven from the outside in! Funny how opportunity presents itself when you express an interest.
I took that Earthen Plaster Workshop last month and learned about the outer skin of these Earthen Ovens. It really got me excited. So I started searching for more information on the web. I found out that AB Tech is offering a Cob Building class this fall.. but it is on 4 Saturdays, and I have gigs on 3 of them so it would not make any sense to take the class this time around..
Well.. enter happenstance! My daughter's school has gotten a grant to build a cob bench and a straw-bale playhouse. I contacted the teacher in charge of the project and offered to help. They were delighted and put me in touch with Tony Beurskens, the builder.
Back to the oven.. I went out to the Pisgah View Peace Garden to spend a day working with Tony on a project at the garden. It was an Earthen Oven ready for it's outer layer of cob and middle layer of insulating perlite. So as you can see.. from the outside in...
Funny... we see something that we like.. and we see it from the outside.. closer examination brings us to the next layer and then the next and so on until eventually we uncover the "bones" of it. I like that I am getting the chance to work with different builders, at different locations, on different projects.. what a great way to see into this method of building with cob and get a nice well rounded experience!
Last week we built the foundation for the cob bench at Evergreen Community Charter School. It was a bunch of digging, moving gravel, and chunks of urbanite to create the foundation and base for the bench. This week the classes will each get a chance to build the bench. What an exciting experience this will be for the kids! I can't say that we ever did any projects like this when I was in school. I am really looking forward to working with the kids and watching the magic unfold for them.