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Advanced Cobber Certification: Build a Sauna & Rocket Stove Heater near Mt. Lassen, California

June 10, 2020 ∞ 4:00 pm - June 28, 2020 ∞ 2:00 pm




Our California hosts are Barbara and Tara, mother and daughter, who live in Shingletown, where they recently bought a five-acre piece of raw land, completely off-grid, near Mt Lassen National Park. They have a wonderful view of the volcano, plus a year round creek and abundant wild life including deer, turkeys, cougars, bears, bobcats, foxes, etc.


The workshop site is located in Shingletown, a small town in Lassen County, half an hour east of Redding and 3 1/2 hours north of San Francisco. Students will definitely have alot of adventures available in Nature in the midst of the most beautiful counties of California: Shasta, Trinity, Klamath, Mendocino, and in the surrounding towns and cities on weekends.

Upon arriving to the land in January, the only structure was a small unfinished 120 square foot building, without heat, water or electricity.  Now it is their humble kitchen.  The creek provides their water needs.
Recently they built another 120 square foot cabin.. using local lumber and insulated with sheep’s wool. It’s very cute!
They feel this land to be very healing supporting their vision for the land to one day be a healing retreat center. They also have two small green houses and a garden where they are doing their best to cultivate as much high quality food as they can.
Instead of being subjected to the harsh environment of city life, here one is completely immersed in the sounds and sights of nature.
They look forward to receiving you all with open hearts and much excitement!



This Advanced Cobber Certification training offers a complete foundation to roof build over a period of 19 days as we will be building a smaller structure, namely a 60-80 ft2 sauna, depending on the number of students, heated by a rocket stove.  The foundation and first floor coats will be built in first three days from the local rock on and near the land using lime and sand mortar.  On Days 4-9 we will build the circular Cob Wall with opening and fixed windows, niches, shelves, bottles, other useful natural elements inserted into the wall for hanging towels and clothing, electrical and plumbing fixtures and pipes/housing, and the roof connection.  On Day 10 we will sculpt the walls and on Day 11 we will sculpt and plaster the wall. Day 12 we will build the rocket heater attached to the sauna wall and Days 13-15 will be for the Roof and second Floor coat. Students will learn ALOT by building every day with continuous instruction both practical hands-on and theoretical using lecture time, slides and videos.  You will leave fully confident to build your own cob house or someone else’s, which is your next step after graduating from our training!  This will take you to the next level of understanding and experience after which you will be a much more competent workshop assistant and builder.



This Intensive 19-day Advanced Cob Building Workshop consists of theoretical instruction
(lectures with graphics) and construction for 4 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon.
Students arrive on Wednesday, June 10th, and settle in. The workshop begins at 4pm with an Opening Circle, a Host Site orientation and Introduction to the Project.  Dinner is served at 6pm and followed by an Introduction to the Workshop.  Thursday morning we begin digging the trench for our Cob Building!!!!

Following Breakfast, the morning session lasts 4 hours with a 20-minute snack pause. Lunch break lasts 1.5 hours which includes rest time before the 3-hour afternoon session begins. There will be a daily 60-minute lecture either after lunch or after dinner on most days. After class in the afternoon there is a 90-minute break before dinner, in which students are encouraged to stretch, do yoga, relax. There is often someone officially or informally leading yoga or some other movement practice in the morning and/or afternoon.  There will also be a few evenings after dinner for showing slides, videos and having Course-related discussions.  Most evenings are free and sometimes other students offer informal courses in their specialties and passions.

This 19-day Course will offer practical learning by building a complete 60-80ft2 (depending on number of students) curvilinear building from foundation to roof, as described in the “Project” section above.  Those who complete the Workshop will receive an Advanced Cobber Certificate of Completion for Foundation, Cob Walls (which includes Door, Windows, Shelves, Art, Electrical & Plumbing), Floor, Plaster & Roof.




The Advanced Cob Building Workshop begins on Wednesday, June 10th, 2020 at 4pm with the Opening Circle and Introduction to Site & Project, the Welcome Dinner and Introduction to the Course.  It ends on Sunday, June 28, 2020 after the Closing Circle & Lunch.

Students should arrive no later than noon on June 10th. If you need to arrive a day before please let Claudine know so we can check with Host.

The daily schedule (subject to slight modifications due to climate) will be:

6:30-7:30 Yoga/Chi Gong/Meditation                                                                                                                                   7:30-8:30 Breakfast
8:45-1:00 Class
1:00-2:30 Lunch
2:30-5:30 Class
5:30-7:00 Rest/Yoga
7:00-8:00 Dinner
8:00-9:00 Slides/Videos/Discussion (once a week)



Students will learn every phase of building a cob building from foundation through the roof in
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 and other objects
inserting electrical wiring and plumbing in walls
preparing and applying earthen plasters (2 coats)
pouring an earthen floor (2 layers)
preparing walls for roof connection
building roof frame
building roof covering
making small-scale cob designs of future projects, time permitting

In addition to Cob Building practices, the Course material also includes:

legal cob construction practices
cost analysis
creating a cob business (building/teaching)
assisting, interning and teaching with CruzinCobGlobal




Students will need to come prepared for physical labor from Day 1.

This includes:

Work clothes appropriate for the country and climate we are in
Work boots or other closed-toe shoes
Flip-flops for cobbing days
Rubber dishwashing gloves (for lime mortar)
Work Gloves
Tape Measure
Box Cutter
Carving Knife
Wood Hand Saw (cheap), Level (2ft), Hammer (if possible)
Ear Plugs (roof week)
4”-6” Diameter Round Plastic Container Lids (plastering)
Good Moisturizer
Safety Glasses
Water Bottle
Sample of Your Soil (Optional)

These workshops are designed for people that want to learn how to build a complete structure fromstart 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 throughout the 19 days. The  foundation days break people in with the work of moving, lifting, rolling and placing rocks and is a new and demanding physical experience for most students. They also include the first layers and coat of cob floor. The 6 days of 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. Then 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 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 this time. With the roof, there is a change of pace from the earthen building work including carpentry skills, power tools, 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, the grand finale on the last day. In this workshop we have a special bonus of including a rocket stove workshop for the heating of the sauna.

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 that is usually for a shorter period building a garden wall, a bench, a
compost toilet or some other small-scale project.

Students are required to read “The Hand-Sculpted House” before the workshop begins and any
other book they find, as well as watching videos on YouTube, especially the ones posted on
CruzinCobGlobal’s website under Gallery to get an idea of what is expected. Please bring your

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 before the workshop begins so 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. Feel free to share your dietary needs with CCG or the Host and 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.



Students without a personal vehicle or not carpooling (we will organize a carpooling list a month before the start date) can take a bus (Greyhound/Trailways) to Redding or even fly in to the local airport. Students can also fly into San Francisco or Sacramento and take a bus or train from there.  Usually all students can get rides from other students to the site from their home base (if in driveable distance) or from the closest city or town along the way.



Students will be fed 3 high-quality delicious meals a day during the weekdays prepared by experienced cooks.  CruzinCobGlobal hosts always serve amazing food to cob students in gratitude for their hard work! Since this is California there is no lack of amazing vegetarian food, which will be the basis of our menu.  Students that have non-vegetarian requirements can bring personal items to complete their diet and other requirements can be presented to the cooks a month before the start date so they can make sure to have what is needed.  We will try to meet people’s requirements of course so it is important to communicate them as soon as possible. On weekends, food will be available for students to prepare if they are on site, because the cooks will be off-duty.

Students will be camping close by in the lovely meadows, or in the forest.  Compost toilets, hot and cold showers, a dining area, yoga/dance space and a cozy hangout communal area will be offered for maximum comfort and enjoyment during this wonderful and transformational time together. The site has normal cell phone service which students can hotspot to their computers if desired..

For those not wanting to camp, there may be a few indoor options available on the land for a reasonable fee. Please inquire.

Our hosts’ additional recommendations to bring are:

Bathing Suit for lakes, rivers and hot springs

Hiking/Backpacking gear if desired for weekends

Warm jacket for evening time

Raingear (occasional rainshowers)

Musical Instruments


There are many local stores in case you forget something!




Claudine Desiree is the original “Cob Queen” of Santa Cruz, where she founded the original “Sunflower Cob Building” which quickly morphed into the California-based “Cruzin’ Cob”, the cob workshop and building business that evolved over a decade.  Once her three sons were “out of the house”, she went for her dream of traveling around the world on a bike teaching cob workshops everywhere every few months to continue supporting herself by offering up what she loves in the countries and languages she is passionate about.  To work internationally with no home base required a new name and a website, hence CruzinCobGlobal was born naturally and appropriately and, after 5 years on the road, Claudine has finally found a new home….for now.  On the island of São Miguel in the Azores (where are the Azores?) she will establish a home and a small Cob Village called “Quinta da Vida Boa” for retreats, workshops, education and just plain chillin’in with friends and family!!!!  CruzinCobGlobal will continue to do the important work of building the best houses and best communities ever of course… with new Teachers hitting the Cob road in 2020 as CCG-trained students begin leading workshops and builds around the world. Claudine will also keep teaching in her favorite places and spreading the Cob everywhere, with more focus on the Azores land and project now.  California will always be one of those favorite places, her and her children’s home for 20 years. And the demand to learn Cob in California is always growing with the fires and earthquakes threatening conventional houses.  Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe are calling too! And the best part is we have a “legal” Cob Code to use anywhere in the world thanks to the CRI architects’ and engineers’ hard work and focus!

Viva Hansen has been cobbing since the age of 9 when he took “Cob Building” as a homeschooling class at home!  After college he began taking it more seriously and accompanied his mother, the Cob Queen (Claudine) on a GlobalCobTrotting world bike tour through Europe and Africa when he honed his building, teaching, language and international rapping skills.  Viva has assisted and taught cob building and oven workshops in various countries and languages and, while he especially enjoys creating ovens/outdoor eating spaces and focusing on all things related to rocket stoves and mass heaters, his Heart is in any kind of Cob Building. Viva loves the workshop ambiance and the transformational power of “Cob & Community” it provides!  Viva is also a certified massage therapist, writer, musician, videographer, NVC student and avid traveller who is working on creating a program for mentoring young men in the art of living a healthy, balanced and fulfilling life in these challenging times.  We are SO fortunate to have Viva on the team!





The fee for the 19-day Advanced Cobber Certificate Course which includes tuition, camping and all meals (including Sudays when students will prepare for themselves) is:

$1650 paid by June 1st, 2020

Payment can be made by bank transfer in USD or Euros, using Transferwise, Paypal, Zelle or Venmo. To hold your spot in this workshop you will need to pay the full amount or a 50% deposit that will be non-refundable after MAY 1st, 2020.  The balance will be due by May 20th. Please contact claudine@cruzincobglobal.org to register.

We always offer four work trade discounts, 2 in the kitchen making breakfast in the morning and 2 helping prepare the site in the morning before breakfast. Each work trade is for one hour a day during the 16 workshop days for $10 off per day or $160 off either the food cost or the tuition cost.  Work traders need to pay a  50% deposit at the time of their registration to guarantee their spot. To apply for these work trade positions please contact claudine@cruzincobglobal.org  as soon as possible because these are the first spots to go.



June 10, 2020 ∞ 4:00 pm
June 28, 2020 ∞ 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Barb and Tara’s Land
Shingletown, CA 96088 United States


Whatsapp +1 831 212-7225
View Organizer Website