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The hand-sculpted house by Ianto Evans, Michael G. Smith and Linda Smiley  RSS feed

Posts: 802
Location: Italy, Siena, Gaiole in Chianti zone 9
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The hand-sculpted house, a Practical and Philosophical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage by Ianto Evans, Michael G. Smith and Linda Smiley

Source: ChelseaGreen

Publisher: ChelseaGreen


A Cob Cottage might be the ultimate expression of ecological design, a structure so attuned to its surroundings that the authors refer to it as "an ecstatic house". The authors of this book top authorities in the field, with an experience that goes back decades share their view on cob building with this book that is theoretical and philosophical but intensely practical as well. Cob is a mixture of non-toxic, recyclable, and often free materials: earth, clay, sand, straw, and water. Building with cob requires no forms, no cement, and no machinery of any kind. The end result is not a house but a vision. We tend to think of house building as having to be necessarily compatible with the surroundings, but a cob house in fact is the surroundings it doesn't have to blend in, it is in.
10 chapters of step-by-step how to do it, 9 chapters of background, including design, siting, budgeting and site preparation.
Ianto Evans and the other authors of this book work with cob, and conduct research on natural building through their company the cob cottage, more than thirty years hand-sculpting their lives as well as their homes.

Where to get it?





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Ianto Evans chelseagreen authors page

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I would give this 8 out of 10 Acorns.

This was one of the first books I read that got me into the world of permaculture; you could say it was a "gateway" book that got me excited and eager to learn more. The contents of the book is like the title in that it goes into quaint details about cob building that truly make it a craft. But there is also plenty of information to build your own house. Sure, supplemental reading would be valuable, but if you are fine with learning as you go and fixing some mistakes down the road, this book'll do the trick. And honestly, as someone who experiences peralisys by analysis, not having ALL the other options laid out may be a downside.

And now I have a cob hot tub! There is a bunch of improvement (think rocket heater) to be done on it, and maybe I went against the rules and did cob outside unprotected and have had to use a cement based sealer on it. But it works! And I learned a bunch! And this books gave me enough info that made it pretty hard to fail to a point a regretting even starting. So the proof of this book's information and inspirational power is there nonetheless.

If I remember correctly, the book also does a great job of applying the permaculture design process to building a house. The steps through building a house that meets your needs, the lands needs, and the greater communities needs easy to follow and down to earth, no pun intended, although most of the communities needs are implicit through such concepts as conserving resources and locally sourcing materials when logical. The potential to create cheap environmentally friendly homes that a customized to the residents is well articulated and picture-ated with this book.

So thank you Cob Cottage; keep the great literature coming.
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Location: Equatorial tropics
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Looks great - I'll have to add it to my collection.
The harder I work, the luckier I get. -Sam Goldwyn So tiny. - this ad:
five days of natural building (wofati and cob) and rocket cooktop oct 8-12, 2018
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