A Cob Sanctuary in Vila Franca do Campo, São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal
July 9, 2023 ∞ 8:00 am - August 13, 2023 ∞ 5:00 pm$2500
Ana Henrique is a Portuguese, passionate woman living in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in a paradise called Azores. Her formal skills are tourism management and regenerative agriculture.
She lives in Quinta das Flores, an 8,600m2 orchard, located in Ribeira das Tainhas, a small parish in the Municipality of Vila Franca do Campo, where she and her young son Francisco, grow most of their veggies and fruits. At the moment they are introducing more biodiversity and polycultural strategies for more resilience and security on their food production system. Permaculture, Agroforestry and Biodiversity protection are the main action guides in their garden and life.
Her love for the natural world led her into a great passion for herbs and plants. She is very curious about living food potential to nurture and heal the body and soul. Ana believes in natural, unpolluted, authentic food production as a healing instrument for individuals and communities. One of her dreams is to plant a giant Food Forest that can inspire and nurture others, encouraging them to step forward and embrace Earth Care. Natural soap is also one of her passions, integrating her paradigm shift of desiring a beautiful and healthy planet. She is passionate about holistic and systemic thinking and believes in the potential of regenerative behaviors, such as love, friendship, companionship and trust.
Ana has been waiting to build her Cob Sanctuary since 2017, when she first met Claudine while cooking for her first cob workshop in the Azores. Finally she is READY!
Vila Franca do Campo is the 4th largest town on the island of São Miguel, the largest and most diverse of the Azorean islands of Portugal. It is located in the central section of the island with great access to an offshore islet (see gallery below) for swimming and snorkeling/scuba diving/kayaking, wonderful hiking in all directions, hot springs only 20 minutes away in the famous town of Furnas, and an almost private small black sand beach just a 3 minute walk from Ana’s property, Quinta das Flores.
Students will have 5 weekends plus before and after the workshop to explore the natural wonderland of São Miguel with a variety of hot springs, hikes, restaurants, surf spots, biking, rock climbing, museums and three incredible botanical gardens!!!
Ana loves to take people around to visit her island and if he isn’t too tired she may borrow her parents’ 9-person van to take students around on the weekend. Students can also share a rental car (reserve EARLY for good rates and availability), use the bus system or rent bikes for the 5 weeks.
Quinta das Flores is also a wonderful refuge from the world with its endless citrus groves, permaculture gardens, flower gardens. Students will be very fortunate to experience 5 weeks on Ana and her sons’ Quinta in summer with all its abundance and variety of healthy produce…not to mention Ana’s unforgettable meals! Forget about the COB;)!!!
Students will be building a 10-15m2 cob cottage (size depends on number of students) for Ana’s personal sanctuary, away from the communal house.
The cottage will be built from foundation to reciprocal green roof including floor, sculpting and plaster, as well as electrical outlets, switches, housing and possibly plumbing connection. Students will receive an Advanced Cobber Certification for the 5-week training workshop.
The 35-day Advanced Cob Building Workshop consists of 25 days (Monday through Friday) of learning & construction for 4 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon with theoretical instruction (lectures with graphics) on most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays afternoons to complement the hands-on experience.
Students arrive on Sunday between noon and 2pm and settle in. The workshop begins at 4pm with the Opening Circle followed by a Host Site Orientation and Introduction to the Project. Dinner is served at 6pm, and will be followed by an Introduction to the 5-week Workshop by the Instructors Nicolas Pimentel and Alexandra Evans.
Monday morning we begin digging the trench for our Cob Building!!!!
Following Breakfast from 7:30-8:15am, the morning learning/building session begins at 8:45 am and lasts until 1pm with a 20-minute snack pause at 11am. Lunch break is from 1pm to 2:30pm, which includes a rest time before the 3-hour afternoon session begins. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays there is a 60-minute lecture, followed by construction time. Tuesdays and Thursdays students begin building again after the rest time. After class in the afternoon there is a 90-minute break before dinner, in which students are encouraged to stretch, do some type of relaxation/movement practice, go swimming if possible, and just relax. There is sometimes a work trade student officially or informally leading yoga and movement practice in the mornings or afternoons (depending on student preference). There will also be 3-4 evenings (once a week) after dinner for showing slides, videos and having Course-related discussions. Other evenings are free and sometimes students offer informal courses in their specialties and passions. Mondays are reserved for our weekly Council Circle.Weekends students are free to explore the area, rest onsite, and even continue building, with Instructor approval.
The 35-day Course will offer practical learning by building a complete 10m2-15m2 (depending on number of students) curvilinear building from foundation to roof, as described in the “Project” section. Those who complete the 35-day Workshop will receive an Advanced Cobber Certificate of Completion for Foundation, Cob Walls (which includes Door, Windows, Shelves, Art, Electrical & Plumbing installation), Floor, Plaster & Roof.
The Advanced Cob Building Workshop begins on a Sunday at 4pm and ends on a Sunday, 5 weeks later, after the morning Closing Circle & Brunch. Students can arrive a day or two before to acclimate and settle in (please let us know) but will need to cover their own food needs unless a work trade is approved by Host.
The daily schedule (subject to slight modifications due to climate/time of year) will be:
2:30-5:30 Class (Lecture on MWF’s)
8:00-9:00 Slides/Videos/Discussion (once a week)
Students are expected to be on time and participate in all sessions and required activities as the goal of building a full construction depends on the whole group working together!
Students will learn every phase of building a cob building from foundation through the reciprocal roof in hands-on building and lectures/theory. In addition to the lectures, slideshows and videos will be shown to support and enhance their understanding of cob materials, cob building, design, geography , budgeting, business options and legal issues.
Our hands-on practice will include:
digging foundation trench
pouring gravel and inserting drainage pipe (if applicable)
building foundation stemwall
analyzing soils and materials
making test bricks
deciding on correct mixture
deciding on best location
making cob w/ partner and solo
building with cob
preparing and inserting the door
preparing and inserting fixed and opening windows
preparing and inserting shelves
inserting bottle windows, glass and other objects
inserting electrical wiring and plumbing in walls
preparing and applying earthen plasters (1 coat)
pouring an earthen floor (2 layers)
preparing walls for roof connection
building roof frame
putting on sheathing and other elements
building green roof
In addition to Cob Building practices, the Course material
legal cob construction practices & the international cob
creating a cob business (building/teaching)
assisting, interning and teaching with CruzinCobGlobal
REQUIREMENTS & IMPORTANT INFORMATION
Students will need to come prepared for demanding physical work from Day 1.
This includes bringing:
Work clothes appropriate for the country and climate we are in
Work boots or other closed-toe shoes (for foundation and roof)
Flip-flops (for cobbing/plaster days)
Rubber dishwashing gloves (for lime mortar)
Rounded triangular trowel
Ear Plugs (roof week)
Wood Hand Saw (cheap)
4”-6” Diameter Round Plastic Container Lids (for plastering)
Sample of Your Soil (Optional)
These workshops are designed for people that want to learn how to build a complete structure from start to finish in a professional manner and amount of time. They are very intensive and, while we make time for yoga, stretching, dancing, music, relaxing….all students are expected to be present and participating in all building/learning hours unless ill or have some other significant reason. This is because we design the size of the building and organize the structure of the workshop in accordance
with the number of students and when people are absent it impacts the whole group and the other students have to work harder. In addition Instructors try to set up building work according to students’ preferences and learning needs.
That being said, the workshop intensity also changes from week 1 to week 5. The first foundation week breaks people in with the work of moving, lifting, rolling and placing rocks and is a new and demanding physical experience for most students. It also includes the first layers and coat of cob floor. The second and third weeks of cob making and building are similar to the rock foundation week in physical demand but are more flowing and active in movement and cardiovascular exercise. The
fourth week finally slows down and the body can rest as students tap into their creative source and design and sculpt the walls and around niches, shelves, windows, etc. Plastering follows sculpting and is also an enjoyable more lightweight physical experience that lends itself to talking and sharing at the wall in a meditative rhythm as the students have bonded and shared deeply through a variety of experiences for a month. In the fifth week, the roof is the beginning of a change of pace from the
earthen building work to carpentry skills, power tools, drilliing, hammering, screwing, trimming, etc. But now the workshop is in its final stretch and there is a boost of energy to wrap up the green roof and the second floor coat and closing of the wall, the grand finale on the last day.
For students wanting a more mellow slow-paced cob experience along with time for personal exploration and experimentation, these workshops are not for you. However you can find a more suitable workshop online with other organizations that are usually for a shorter period building a garden wall, a bench, a compost toilet or some other smaller-scale project.
Students are required to read “The Hand-Sculpted House” before the workshop begins and any other books they find, as well as watching our “International Cob Workshop”
videos on Claudine’s YouTube channel, and the ones posted on CruzinCobGlobal’s website under Gallery, to get an idea of what is expected. Also it is a great idea to watch as many other videos on cob and reciprocal roofs as you can to come mentally prepared. Please bring your book(s).
Students must tend to their own personal needs, drink alot of water, rest when needed and exert themselves at a steady pace. Students who cannot do the strenuous physical work should let us know when registering so we can make sure the workshop is a good fit. If approved before the workshop begins, we can adjust appropriately. It is totally OK to come for the lecture/theory part, and then help the building part in less physically demanding ways, ie cutting straw, sifting for plaster, hammering nails into frames or shelves, sculpting, plastering, cutting bottles. There is alot to do besides making and building with cob!!!!
Finally, please bring a watch or use your phone to be prompt and ready for each part of the Course
including meals. Please share your dietary restrictions/allergies with CCG as soon as you register. Note that very demanding dietary needs will not be able to be met (vegan & non-gluten ok) and those students may be recommended not to participate unless they are willing to meet their special needs on their own, which may not include kitchen access on weekdays. Please discuss with Claudine at time of desire to register. Also please bring your essential snacks and foods, pillow and whatever you NEED to be comfortable and happy. Feel free to also bring slides, videos, movies and books to share, as well as a sample of your soil to test.
We look forward to opening you to a whole new world of experience, skill, growth and transformation as you bond with your new COB family for life!
Nicolas Pimentel (Cob Instructor)
I was born and raised in Santiago de Chile and went to Architecture School. At the end of my studies, I travelled to Portugal to study Arts, and somehow I learned about natural building and a completely new perspective came to me. I took a CruzinCobGlobal workshop with Claudine in the Azores in 2017, and my life changed by learning this new technique.
Alexandra Evans (Cob Assistant)
Born in England and having spent most of my life in Germany, I am a lifelong dancer and mover, having lived and studied in South Africa and Europe. I developed my own business called Naturtanz, in which I take people out into Nature to dance and feel free in their bodily expression. I also developed therapeutic dance programs for children and have two sons of my own, 7 and 11, who live with me part-time in Germany.
I fell in love with the idea of building my own Cob house and took my first cob workshop in Portugal this past summer in trade for teaching a Sensuality Retreat at Claudine’s Quinta da Vida Beleza Ecovillage in the Azores. What a great deal! And boy did I learn about sensuality playing in the mud all day! Ultimately I became so empowered from this experience, knowing I could build my own beautiful natural house with my own hands and simple tools! I can’t wait to assist Nico and return back to the Azores and start building again!
MEALS & ACCOMMODATIONS
Students will have 3 delicious, hearty vegetarian meals a day Monday through Friday. There will also be a Welcome Dinner on the first Sunday night, a Celebration Dinner on the last Saturday night, and a Goodbye Brunch on Sunday morning after the Closing Circle.
On weekends students are on their own for food, and can travel and explore the area, go camping or stay onsite. They will have access to the kitchen and any leftovers from the week. Otherwise they will need to get their own food for the weekend and can collaborate to get rides to the food stores in town.
Students will be camping onsite for this workshop, in their own tents and with a few tents with pads and pillows available for 3€/night. There will also be 5 indoor spaces to rent for 7€/night (245€/35 nights) on mattresses on the ground with pillow provided. Students must provide their own sleeping bags. Decathlon on the island has sleeping bags.
Students can also stay offsite in local accommodations but should be within easy walking distance. Check Airbnb.
More information will be sent a month out in the Welcome Letter and students are also welcome to contact Ana our host once they are registered.
The arrival airport is PDL (Ponta Delgada) on the island of São Miguel, Azores, Portugal. The airlines that fly there from the US are SATA/Azores Airlines, TAP, United and Delta. From Europe take SATA, TAP or RyanAir. There are no ferries to the Azores, but you are welcome to find a private boat sailing here! Just dont be late for Day 1!
Once you arrive at the airport, or will be in Ponta Delgada before the workshop starts, we will be organizing a few shuttles on Saturday and Sunday to bring everyone to the site. Otherwise there is a public bus or shared taxi. It is recommended to arrive a few days early for the US folks, to get adjusted to the jet lag and new climate and visit the island before the workshop starts.
Thrifty Bird Rate : 2350€, pay in full by February 12th, 2023
Chill Bird Rate: 2450€, pay in full by April 9th, 2023
Super Chill Bird Rate: 2550€, pay in full by June 11th, 2023
Payment includes tuition, camping and weekday meals plus first and last dinners and last brunch.
To register, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send standard text or Whatsapp text to (831) 212-7225 with your email address to receive the two registration forms. Payment can be made by Zelle, Venmo and Paypal using email@example.com. With Paypal, please check the “Send to Family and Friends” box or add 3% for the fee. If you are using a credit card with Venmo or Paypal please add 3% for the transaction fee. Venmo ID is @claudine-desiree. You can also use the Wise app or website for international low-cost transfers.
European students and others can make a bank transfer or use Wise as well. Information will be provided.
It is preferable that you pay in full when you pay however 50% deposit is required to hold your place with the rest due by June 11th at the latest.
We always offer four work trade discounts of 250€ each for an hour of work each class day. There are two kitchen work traders who prepare breakfast from 6:30-7:30am and two work traders that do site prep from 6:30 to 7:30am. If you want a work trade, please email or text Claudine (contact info above). These are first come first serve. Payment should be made in full or 50% deposit to hold your spot with final balance due by June 11th, 2023. Note that the work trade discount is applied to the amount that is being paid off in full. So if you are making your payment in full by the Thirfty Bird date, it will be deducted form that rate. If you pay in full after the Chill Bird deadline, then it will be deducted from the Super Chill Bird rate. Please see work trader cancellation policy below.
Students who cancel before May 14th, 2023 will receive a full refund minus a 5% administration fee or a credit for another workshop within 2 years.
Students who cancel after May 14th, 2023 and before June 11th, 2023 will receive a full refund minus 10% admin fee or a credit for another workshop within 2 years.
Students who cancel after June 11th will not receive a refund or a credit unless they have proof of an emergency situation beyond their control, in which case they will receive a credit to be used within 2 years, minus 10% fee.
*Work traders who cancel after May 14th will receive a refund of what they have paid minus 250€.