My first book on cob was The Hand Sculpted House. The book has wonderful photos, illustrations and has great ideas. Generally it's inspirational and written well. It's not really comprehensive to the point of being the only resource you need to start building a cob house.

The next book I purchased was Serious Straw Bale. (I plan to build a hybrid) The book did contain a large amount of information but it wasn't inspiring. While reading it I felt insecure & like I shouldn't attempt this without a professional. Maybe one of the authors could be paid a large sum of money to build it for me?

The Cob Builders Handbook. Wow--now that is inspiring. It says it right in the title "You can hand-sculpt your own home" and that is just what I plan to do. So inspiring that a person might get in over their head fairly easily. Not me of course "smirk".
Then, I spent weeks on the internet searching reading and finally Tabitha (my wife) signed me up for my first email list. www.deatech.com/mailman/listinfo/coblist Very informative. I've read all of their back-log there have been a few flame throwing contests. I recommend treading lightly while posting any advice.

Since I can't afford a cob seminar or to take the time off work i've been scared that i won't be able to do this on my own--But I plan to anyway. On my quest for a surrogate for real experience I stumbled across a great video. @www.ilovecob.com I don't know if it represents the tangible well or not--but it seems like it does.

We did it--Cobbing is fun and strangely faster than I anticipated. Every resource says it takes a really long time to build with cob. Yes it is true, but so does stick frame construction. My son, Tristan loved stomping in the mud. We learned the tactile aspects of testing if the cob is ready, proportions of ingredients and when to add them. I cobbed a section of wall into an older mostly dried wall it took a bit of effort to integrate to new to the old. The clay rich soil was pretty rocky, also it needed to be sliced thin with a shovel & soaked in water to help integrate with the rest of the mix.

Ok, I admit it--having an experienced cobber tell me wether I'm making good cob or not is of paramount importance. I'm a convert to the train of thought that taking a class is really important. No more second guessing if I need more sand or when exactly is the best time to add the next ingredient. luckily I could donate relatively small amounts of my time at a local community project and learn loads that only another person can teach.

To the right is an inspirational linear example of building a cob cottage. Photos from www.earthedworld.co.uk

The rest of the photos on this page are also from the artists at www.earthedworld.co.uk. Larger versions might open upon clicking them--if I can get permission.

Follows are inspirational ideas I'd like to remember.

 This photo typifies the quaint style of house were planning

is the
style roof
we'd like–
using onsite
timbers and
hopefully a

This little
feature is well
worth considering

This one
has nice southern
exposure like we'll need.
Our south eastern corner
will likely be a
(phase II).

A nice cob wall for around the garden & to keep the kids close to the house

Links I want remember

drystack construction journal

cordwood construction journals