Fast Cob! The Revolution in Human Building
Natural, Non-toxic, Enduring, Fast, Fire-proof, Pest-Proof, Gorgeous, Easy, Sculptural, Cozy
Fast Cob! is a Revolution in Building
All of our Natural Building Workshops are led and facilitated by the builder of a 900 sq.ft. split level Cob Home. This home was built in 5 months during 2016. About 80% of it was built by one person - your workshop instructor - on his own. He had help putting up the floor and roofing beams as well as the giant windows and skylights, but 90% of the cobbing was done alone. That's the power of this technique that we call Fast Cob!
Compare that to his first building, built with the traditional West Coast Cob technique: a 64 sq.ft. utility shed that needed 28 people and 2 building seasons to complete.
Fast Cob! was born in that first building when a man born and raised in Korea (Soban) came to a workshop in 2007 but didn't like the mixing technique. He spent a few days incorporating his noodle-making technique and revolutionized our building life!
For the past 13 years, that noodle-making technique has been enhancied and tweaked to make Fast Cob! at least 10x faster to mix and up to 30x faster to build cob walls...all on your own and without machines!
This is a serious revolution in Natural Building. The 900 sq.ft. home is almost 15x larger and took less time to build than a 64 sq.ft. utility shed. And we want to share this gift with you and the world!
You'll also see Super Fast Cob!, which built our solid, never-to-squeak, 13-step cob staircase with ease.
Natural Building has never been so easy...
Come and Learn for Yourself!
Depending upon the workshop you choose, you'll take away a different set of skills, but everyone will be encouraged to enjoy every single moment!
Covering all the Basics: At a relaxed pace, we'll learn and practice mixing and building with Fast Cob! As the week progresses, you'll gain the skills and inspiration to build your own structures. This year, I'm planning to show you how fast this technique is by starting and completing a 100+ sq.ft. wood shed - with a loft - in just 6 days! Last year, a workshop of 4 people built a 12' high by 8' wide wall...and that was only half of what we accomplished.
In between hands-on Fast Cob! sessions, we'll look at foundations, electrical, plumbing, upper floors, roofs, and general design. You get everything you need to go off and start building on your own because we design every workshop around you and your needs!
Focusing on Finishing: This year, we’ll be getting walls from rough cob to finished beauty. We'll mix and use a "filler" coat of plaster until the wall is the depth and smoothness we want, then we'll cover that with a natural plaster called "Ditema": cow manure and clay. We'll have a variety of applicators, so you can play with texture and finish. Once that dries, we'll mix and tint a hydrated lime paint to finish it all off. We'll also mix up some Fast Cob! so you can see how easy our technique is. Just be warned, this short course is not enough to go off and start building on your own without prior experience. But if you're curious about Fast Cob! or cob in general, this course is for you. Come and let your creative side have fun!
Building a Life Off-Grid with Fast Cob!: Fast Cob! will give you the tools to create shelter anywhere, but we'll also look at many ways to collect rainwater, use grey water, create a garden site and forage wild foods. All systems we will look at are created and maintained without fossil fuels, using only human, solar, and micro-hydro power. And every day we'll create our own off-the-grid dinner using fresh, local ingredients cooked in a solar oven, cob oven, or wood cookstove...yum!
Build Yer Own Workshop: Choose from any of the above options and tweak them (or not) to meet your specific needs. Best of all, you choose the dates of your workshop! And since you're setting the date, you're guaranteed the first spot! Saturday to Saturday works best with our ferry schedule, but if you need another start day, just ask.
Kiddie Kob!: Family Fun making smaller Fast Cob! structures, making jams and other preserves, going to Lasqueti's Art Picnic, and of course, swimming in Mud Bay! When we venture out of our little paradise, we'll ride bikes and pull trailers on quiet unpaved roads with our two little dogs running alongside us. The dates for these workshops are flexible, so just send in your preferred dates and we'll make the magic happen!
Travel days to get to and from the workshops are Saturdays: we’ll begin with a welcoming, wholesome dinner the first evening and end with a farewell breakfast will fuel your return to the ferry dock the following Saturday morning.
Our Short Course Workshops begin on a Thursday evening with a welcoming wholesome dinner and end with lunch on Monday before you depart on the 4pm ferry.
Every workshop day, we start with a hot, hearty breakfast and then start cobbing with two morning, hands-on learning sessions, and two afternoon sessions, which sandwich a hot vegetarian lunch. A morning and an afternoon snack break make sure we have the strength and stamina to absorb all the learning we can.
Remember, human-powered building is hard work. But since there are no machines or motors on site, it is a safe and quiet place for anyone, younger or older, and interesting conversation and laughter is common. This building site, and the materials for this building, were selected to make it as easy as possible to build an earthen structure.
The pace is casual and you set your own; the more effort you give, the more learning you will naturally take away. Natural Building is at least 95% experiential learning and you will be expected to self-motivate throughout the 4 daily scheduled sessions.