The Hand-Sculpted House: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage

by Ianto Evans, Linda Smiley, Michael G. Smith

Chelsea Green Publishing | June 1, 2002 | Trade Paperback

The Hand-Sculpted House: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage is rated 5 out of 5 by 2.

Are you ready for the Cob Cottage? This is a building method so old and so simple that it has been all but forgotten in the rush to synthetics. A cob cottage,cobb, however, might be the ultimate expression of ecological design, a structure so attuned to its surroundings that its creators refer to it as "an ecstatic house."

The authors build a house the way others create a natural garden. They use the oldest, most available materials imaginable--earth, clay, sand, straw, and water--and blend them to redefine the future (and past) of building. Cob (the word comes from an Old English root, meaning "lump") is a mixture of non-toxic, recyclable, and often free materials. Building with cob requires no forms, no cement, and no machinery of any kind. Builders actually sculpt their structures by hand.

Building with earth is nothing new to America; the oldest structures on the continent were built with adobe bricks. Adobe, however, has been geographically limited to the Southwest. The limits of cob are defined only by the builder''s imagination.
Cob offers answers regarding our role in Nature, family and society, about why we feel the ways that we do, about what''s missing in our lives. Cob comes as a revelation, a key to a saner world.

Cob has been a traditional building process for millennia in Europe, even in rainy and windy climates like the British Isles, where many cob buildings still serve as family homes after hundreds of years. The technique is newly arrived to the Americas, and, as with so many social trends, the early adopters are in the Pacific Northwest.

Cob houses (or cottages, since they are always efficiently small by American construction standards) are not only compatible with their surroundings, they ARE their surroundings, literally rising up from the earth. They are full of light, energy-efficient, and cozy, with curved walls and built-in, whimsical touches. They are delightful. They are ecstatic.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 384 pages, 9.94 × 7.97 × 0.93 in

Published: June 1, 2002

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1890132349

ISBN - 13: 9781890132347

Found in: Home and Garden

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome book! This book covers pretty much everything you can think of in building a cob house. The ins and outs of design ideas to materials to use. While I cant build with cob in alberta due to the harsh weather... It sure has got me thinking of new ideas for building our next home. Maybe one day i will just move to Costa Rica and build a cob house there instead and now I know how to do it!
Date published: 2014-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best book I've read on cob building As a designer and natural builder I found this book to be amazing, informative and above all...inspiring!! It has great photos, interesting anecdotes and lots of great info on designing and building with cob. If you're only going to get one book on natural building I highly recommend this one. If you're going to get many books then read this one last or all the other books may disappoint you.
Date published: 2005-08-04

– More About This Product –

The Hand-Sculpted House: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage

by Ianto Evans, Linda Smiley, Michael G. Smith

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 384 pages, 9.94 × 7.97 × 0.93 in

Published: June 1, 2002

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1890132349

ISBN - 13: 9781890132347

Read from the Book

Building a Cob Cottage Step-by-Step excerpted from Part II: Building the Cob Cottage EVERY COB BUILDING IS UNIQUE, but most require the same basic steps. The order of some of these steps is critical; others can be rearranged as desired. For a first-time builder, it can be very useful to map out the sequence of all construction tasks. Following is a sample sequence to help you think through your project to completion before you begin. The next ten chapters walk through each of these steps in great detail. * Select your building site very carefully, for best exposure to winter sun and for good drainage. * Decide in advance roughly what spaces, shapes, and features you will need, both indoors and out, based on the scale of your own activities. Make many sketches and models. Keep the building as small as possible. If you need more than 400 square feet, consider phasing the project to complete the most essential sections first. * Work on a scale model of the building, including site features such as trees and slope. * Decide the wall plan in detail, especially where doors connect the indoors with outdoors. Design the roof at this point, including the roof and how it is supported. Make a full-sized mock-up of the building on the site. Spend time in it, and imagine what it would be like to live there. * Assemble on-site all building materials you will need for enclosure, including glass, lumber, rocks, hardware, pipes, wires, and so forth. Gather your tools, scaffolding,
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From the Publisher

Are you ready for the Cob Cottage? This is a building method so old and so simple that it has been all but forgotten in the rush to synthetics. A cob cottage,cobb, however, might be the ultimate expression of ecological design, a structure so attuned to its surroundings that its creators refer to it as "an ecstatic house."



The authors build a house the way others create a natural garden. They use the oldest, most available materials imaginable--earth, clay, sand, straw, and water--and blend them to redefine the future (and past) of building. Cob (the word comes from an Old English root, meaning "lump") is a mixture of non-toxic, recyclable, and often free materials. Building with cob requires no forms, no cement, and no machinery of any kind. Builders actually sculpt their structures by hand.



Building with earth is nothing new to America; the oldest structures on the continent were built with adobe bricks. Adobe, however, has been geographically limited to the Southwest. The limits of cob are defined only by the builder''s imagination.
Cob offers answers regarding our role in Nature, family and society, about why we feel the ways that we do, about what''s missing in our lives. Cob comes as a revelation, a key to a saner world.



Cob has been a traditional building process for millennia in Europe, even in rainy and windy climates like the British Isles, where many cob buildings still serve as family homes after hundreds of years. The technique is newly arrived to the Americas, and, as with so many social trends, the early adopters are in the Pacific Northwest.



Cob houses (or cottages, since they are always efficiently small by American construction standards) are not only compatible with their surroundings, they ARE their surroundings, literally rising up from the earth. They are full of light, energy-efficient, and cozy, with curved walls and built-in, whimsical touches. They are delightful. They are ecstatic.

About the Author

Ianto Evans is an applied ecologist, landscape architect, inventor, and teacher with building experience on six continents. Cob is traditional in his homeland, Wales. In addition to teaching ecological building, Ianto has consulted with USAID, the World Bank, the Peace Corps, and several national governments.

Michael G. Smith teaches practical workshops and consults on cob construction, natural building, and permaculture. He is the author of <_i26_gt3b_the _cobber27_27_s="" _companion3a_="" how="" to="" build="" your="" own="" earthen=""><_i26_gt3b_the art="" of="" natural="" _building3a_="" _design2c_="" _construction2c_="">

Linda Smiley teaches workshops on cob, sculpting sacred spaces, intuitive design, and natural plasters and finishes. With a background as a recreational therapist, she specializes in helping people use natural building as a tool for personal transformation and healing.