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A Complete Cob Bungalow in southern Tennessee (Pulaski, TN, USA)
August 27, 2023 ∞ 8:00 am - October 1, 2023 ∞ 5:00 pm$2700
Welcome fellow cob enthusiasts! My name is Ariella (the Ar is pronounced like a pirate would say Rrrr 🙂 I’ve always had a dream to help people. I became a nurse at a young age and have had some amazing opportunities to work all over the U.S. in nursing. I love music, festivals, dancing, traveling, yoga, friends and family, fires, all things nature, and naps. As my passion for alternative modalities for health have grown, so has my vision for creating a space for healing, personal growth, and authentic sharing. In 2020 my best friend (Pearl) and I bought 28 acres in a small town in Tennessee called Pulaski. My dream has been to build a few small and comforting spaces for people to stay while they reconnect with nature along with their inner truth, eventually expanding the dream into hosting retreats and workshops. When I learned about earthen homes, I knew they were just the perfect spaces I had envisioned. Many adventures have ensued with learning about Cob, the last one being a 35-day workshop in Portugal with CruzinCobGlobal. I learned so much and I absolutely loved the aesthetic and natural feel of cob, it really called to me.
This will be the first cob house built on the property. There is already a brick home on the property a little further from the building site that Pearl and I live in. While you are in Pulaski, you will have access to my kitchen, bathroom (shower), and living room with plenty of spots to set up a tent outside. There is some flat room at the top of the driveway to bring RV’s and camper vans. Mostly what surrounds us is neighbors with small homes and similar or more acreage.
There are deer and cows that love to roam about. Although I have never seen them on the property, this part of the U.S. does have snakes, spiders, mosquitos, and coyotes. The weather in September is in the process of changing between summer and winter temperatures. Early September will be between high 70’s and low 80’s farenheit and decrease as the month goes on. While it’s rare, nights could get down into the high 40’s to low 50’s, so warm clothes are recommended.
The workshop site will be on my and Pearl’s land we call Fairy Forest! The town of Pulaski is about 15 minutes away. A gas station, two restaurants, and a motel are 3 miles away and take about 5 minutes to get to from the property by car. In the town are some cute shops, restaurants, and a small grocery store. There is a Walmart and home Depot 20 minutes from the building site (5 more minutes down the road from the town.)
Pulaski is exactly in the middle of Nashville, TN and Huntsville, AL. The most cost effective airport is BNA in Nashville. Nashville is one hour north of Pulaski and is known as music city. Nashville has many museums, bars, restaurants, shows, and attractions. I grew up in Huntsville which is an hour south of Pulaski (also has an airport but usually more expensive). Huntsville was voted the best place to live in 2022 by the US News & World Report. Some of that can be attributed to the Marshall Space center, a vibrant growing art scene, and Monte Sano (lots of hiking and biking there).
There is Tim’s Ford which has some camping, hiking, and swimming about an hour away in a different direction from the property. I would love to explore some places in the area that I haven’t seen yet and could arrange some day trips. If you are looking to help build the first cob house on this property, I know it will be nothing short of an exciting adventure with the satisfaction of seeing a project to completion. I am very excited to welcome each and everyone of you to my home and looking forward to all of the experiences and growing that only cob can bring. See you soon!
Students will be building a 10-15m2 cob cottage (size depends on number of students) for Ariella as a guest space/studio on her land.
The cottage will be built from foundation to reciprocal green roof including floor, sculpting and plaster, as well as electrical outlets, switches and housing and 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 Krystal Alexander and Merle Jahn.
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)
Wood Hand Saw (cheap)
Rounded triangular trowel
Ear Plugs (roof week)
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!
JOSHUA BURG (Cob Instructor)
I am a carpenter and residential remodeler based out of Portland, OR, and have been transitioning out of conventional construction and into the world of natural building. Growing up in an adobe home in central New Mexico, earthen architecture has always held a special place in my Soul. Years of conventional building have convinced me that the way forward is really to look backwards…to our collective heritage as muddy humans making homes from healthy, abundant, earthen materials. As a teaching assistant in 2022, I brought my carpentry experience to help build a community space at the CruzinCobGlobal
Headquarters in the Azores.
Then earlier this year, I joined fellow Brazilian cobber Paula Carneiro to co-teach a 5-week full build workshop in North Carolina, where we completed a beautiful 175 sq ft “cobbin” for hosts Molly and Daniel, above. I am so excited to further my CCG journey in Tennessee, where I will be the Main Instructor assisted by my student and colleague, Sara Crippen. Vamos!
I was born and raised in the Great Plains of Iowa, where my love for the Earth, building, tending land, and connecting with the Divine through movement was first fostered. I grew up working in conventional construction and landscaping with my family. In 2012 I had the opportunity to be a natural building apprentice with The Possibility Alliance in NE Missouri. Having seen the
first-hand effects of conventional construction, from irresponsible resource extraction to health problems of families living in those dwellings, I recognized the infinite possibilities for freedom and abundance that natural building offers. Over the years I honed my skills while living in the mountains of
south-central Mexico by building with strawbale, light clay straw, cob ovens, living roofs, superadobe, earthen floors, lime plasters, and clay plasters. While there, I hosted and taught natural building and permaculture workshops for women in Spanish.
This year I dove into building a whole cob cottage with CCG and fell in love all over again with Natural
Building, as well as the community here in the US. Cob embodies all the qualities I hope to foster in my daily life. It is forgiving, abundant, cozy, protective, purifying, and flexible, yet sturdy. Cob creates community and cohesiveness between the land and humanity. I can’t wait to build something beautiful with all of you.
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.
All students will be camping onsite for this workshop. Students who don’t want to camp can find other local accommodations (ask Host for suggestions) but will need to be able to get to the site on time every weekday. They can also carcamp obviously.
Students driving in will receive directions to the workshop site in the Welcome Letter sent a month before the start date. Nearest airports are Huntsville, Alabama and Nashville, TN. More information will be sent regarding transportation from the airports to the site, unless students share rental cars. There will be one shuttle on Saturday and one on Sunday from Nashville/Huntsville to site, depending on where students are arriving.
Super Chill Bird Rate: $2700, pay in full by July 30th, 2023
Payment includes tuition, camping and weekday meals plus first and last dinners and last brunch.
To register, please email email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Europeans and others who want to pay in Euros can make a bank transfer to a European account or use Wise to convert into Euros.
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 July 30th at the latest.
We always offer four work trade discounts of $250 each for an hour of work each class day. These positions are filled at this time. Full payment or 50% deposit to hold your spot with final balance due by July 30th.
Students who cancel before June 25th, 2023 will receive a full refund minus a 5% administration fee or a credit for another workshop within 2 years.
Students who cancel after June 25th, 2023 and before July 30th, 2023 will receive a full refund minus 10% admin fee or a credit for another workshop within 2 years.
Students who cancel after July 30th 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 June 25th will receive a full refund of what they have paid minus $250.
EXCITED TO COB WITH YOU IN 2023!!!