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Online Cob Building Course!  RSS feed

 
Frieda Byler
Posts: 11
Location: Virginia, USA
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Just got this info., and thought some other folks might be interested. Our family is definitely going to give this a go and maybe build a chicken coop or small barn while we learn. We've been dying to attend a workshop, but family obligations and time constraints have kept us away.

http://www.members.thiscobhouse.com/online-cob-house-workshop/
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Frieda,

I hope this actually turn out to be as great a course as it "sounds like." If someone does participate in this, I am sure many here would love to get a review of it!

As a facilitator/teacher of many of these vintage skill sets, I am often concerned with the number of folks "jumping on the wagon" of teaching these many different skills from timber framing to cobb...All with little (less than 10 years) of experience and not a very deep understanding generically of architectural design, and related skill sets.

I have been challenged about my view (which I agree is subjective) yet, in turn ask, "where can someone with limited "real world" skills of a broad range of applicable skills go and teach what they think they know and charge money for it? Timber framing, cobb, straw bale, and many more areas seems to be the answer. I read positive reviews of some, yet more mediocre or poor reviews...or...just a very limited scope understanding of the particular craft as that is the actual scope of the instructor...limited.

I don't mean to sound so discouraging......I am not trying to. I am saying vet a course really well, look for at least 10 to 15 years experience, and/or keep expectation within the scope of what the experience level is of the person facilitating the course.

I do hope you participate......and I hope it is a wonderful and rewarding experience while you study the videos and then practice the methods in real materials.

Good luck! and Regards,

j
 
Frieda Byler
Posts: 11
Location: Virginia, USA
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Hi Jay,
Thanks for commenting; I was hoping you would! I believe you would be the perfect candidate to review this course for the rest of us. Better yet, put your own internet course together and we'll all enroll!
My husband and I read your posts with great interest, [as well as our 16 yr. old son.] Our family hopes to build a natural home in the forseeable future, but feel like we need some experience before we tackle something we will be living in.
We have worked with conventional building and are somewhat experienced, but have become seriously disillusioned with it, especially since codes seem to be always changing; precious little in the conventional building field seems very enduring. Even so-called "green" manufactured, off the shelf building materials seem a bit counter productive and expensive. Natural, handcrafted homes possess a beauty that no expensive home in the suburbs even comes close to. [Not to mention, better health for the occupants!] It's great to see so many people returning to traditional, natural methods, but it can seem like a jungle out there trying to sort out the "experts" from the "wannabes". We definitely want to learn natural building the right way! Building something for our animals that doesn't require plumbing, wiring or a lot of expense while we study and work at home seems very appealing right now. If we don't succeed at it, well, even less than perfect attempts usually result in lessons learned, so all is not really lost. At least, we learned that from building our cob oven!
Our sons are very interested in all things "backwoodsy" and our family would like to find a piece of property with enough natural resources to build [and continue to live] mostly "off the land" and debt free. Since we are not "experts", we've got a lot to learn and need to start somewhere.
One of our boys has been interested in Yestermorrow, a natural building school in Vermont. Do you know anything about them?
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Frieda,

Thank you for the kind words...

I have several pots in the fire for such things, yet to do them (books, videos, workshops) well (or what I think is a reflection of good practice, and would be warranting of a price tang and using as an actual teaching tool) is a very large undertaking. I am still trying to figure it all out myself, and why I am so amazed at other offerings, such as the one in this post which was sent to me several months ago, which I offered to critique and send back...guess what...no response (yet?)

Off all the "info" out there in its myriad of forms the ones "I think" should be really "looked at and critiqued" don't want such scrutiny and feedback and the ones that I feel don't need it (very few) are extremely open to professional and student critique...I guess that speaks to the entire challenge of this subject...

I am not looking, per se, to see programs of anytype "certified" or "licensed" yet do feel that some "bare minimum" should be met and the "culture at large" should do a better job of policing itself. Right now...it's the "wild west" out there...and buyers should really beware, and/or use at least 3 sources and cross reference the info...

...it can seem like a jungle out there trying to sort out the "experts" from the "wannabes"...


I could not agree more...it even confuses the heck out of me most of the time, and I "think" I know a wee bit... For the beginner? Gosh, it is a "dice roll."

One of our boys has been interested in Yestermorrow, a natural building school in Vermont. Do you know anything about them?


Oh Boy...do I!!

I actually was there today just as a drive by from a project inspection. John Connell is the founder of the school (not that far from me) and has been mentoring and answering my questions directly and indirectly through his books for well over 20 years. I am proud to say that this circle is complete and that students I have instructed have now facilitated class at Yestermorrow...

I could not recommend it enough, and may myself teach there someday (if I can find the time...)

I wish you all the luck, and in general think if you keep to a livestock building, getting a few books and checking in at Permies here with questions is all you really need if you are motivated. Little projects that you "self motivate" through don't need much...and a good book with mentorship (why I have tried to do my best here) is all most projects need.

Good Luck,

j
 
Frieda Byler
Posts: 11
Location: Virginia, USA
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Hello again!
We're finally back home and back to a more normal schedule after the holidays.....

That's good to know, Jay. It would be nice to take a class or two at Yestermorrow with our son in the next two years. It would give him a feel for the school, and regardless of outcome, we'd all be learning!

Well, here goes. We plan to watch this month's videos starting this evening. We've already selected a site for a small barn/coop, and expect to wait for warmer temps to actually implement most things, except perhaps gathering materials. We will also need a building permit here. Just for the challenge, we'd like to try building this little barn with as little money as possible. Wish we had a pile of useable rocks! My parents have loads of fieldstone, but to haul them from Pa. seems a bit impractical........
 
Jean-Paul Calderone
Posts: 14
Location: Vermont, USA
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Hi Frieda,

I wonder if you could post an update of your experience with the online course.  My wife and I are thinking about cob, came across this course recently, and I'm strongly considering taking it.  What do you think?  What did you get out of it?

Thanks.
 
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