Saturday, July 25, 2015

Getting Ready for the Women In Their Power Cob Workshop

Today is the first day of the Womens Cobbing workshop here at my cob house site on Mayne Island.
Yesterday I awoke to rain hitting the roof of my trailer, the first rain since April. It has been an extraordinarily hot and dry summer so far. It seemed ironic it decided to rain just as the workshop is set to begin. It will be perfect if it stays slightly cooler than the temperatures we have been seeing lately, but dry. That is my wish for the next few weeks.

We have someone on the island preparing and delivering lunch to us everyday. Donna kindly offered to lend me her shelter. I had initially asked her for it as we needed some shade from the intense sun we have been experiencing. However, yesterday it was in order to keep dry, lol.
It was great to get it set up on the deck.

Lindy arrived from Texas yesterday, and it was so nice to meet her. Our other participants went straight to their B and B, so I am excited to meet them this morning.

Lots has happened since my last post here, but I have been adding pictures and updates to my facebook page, Pams Cob House.

The building inspector came on Thursday and gave us permission to move ahead with building the cob walls. This was great news as Rudi has been working so hard building the drystack foundation.

Here in BC the building code requires we have a concrete footing with rebar in it. We also had to bolt upright posts to the footing. These posts run up through the drystack foundation and the cob walls and are all connected to a wooden ring that runs around the top of the wall. This is for seismic protection and strength.
Building the drystack around these posts was a challenge as you can imagine, but I was lucky to find someone who could do it for me.

The past few weeks have been a flurry of activity as the straw was delivered, and the sand arrived.

 I found some recycled windows while I was over in Mission and was so lucky to discover that Mayne Island Home Hardware have a truck that visits the mainland every week and they will pick things up over there and bring them back to the island. What a gift. I met them in Langley, where there were six arched windows I found on craigslist, and we loaded up all my fourteen windows and they drove them back to Mayne for me. I am so grateful to Amanda at the Insurance office here on Mayne, as she told me about this service. That is the beauty of a small island community, everyone is so helpful and supportive.
Yesterday on site we wanted to arrange for a bobcat to come  and do a huge mix of cob for us so we could concentrate on building the walls and not just doing the foot mixes. Fred Bennett, who delivered the sand, suggested he bring the small excavator instead of the bobcat, and this offered us a solution to another problem we had.
Inside the drystack foundation, we have to infill up to the floor level and this is a huge job. When Fred brings his excavator, he can take down a section of a soil wall and put it straight into the middle of the floor area. This wall has to be removed anyway as it is in the way of where we need to put three post footings for upright posts that will support the roof.

So we asked Rudi to leave a section of the foundation unfinished to allow the machine to deposit the fill into the inner space. This will save us so much labour and I am so grateful, I can't wait until Monday to see what occurs. Once this huge job is finished, Rudi will return to finish the last piece of drystack.

Today we plan to visit the Mayne Island Farmers Market, Thrift Store and Recycling Depot and mix some cob manually.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cob Building Workshop For Women.


Are you at the height of your performance and looking for a different kind of holiday?
Are you done with your job and looking to re-create yourself?
Are you thinking “am I too old to try this?”
“Off to the beach” sounds boring and you want to be inspired?
Would you like to spend a week with like-minded women?

Discover the magic of Cob building

a recreational workshop for women of power.

A 6-day workshop on cob building, in the height of summer,  on Mayne Island, BC, in Canada.  

Dates July 25 – 30, 2015.

 This is what Elke has to say about this experience.
Cob building is building with Earth. Touch earth and explore your creative side!
We build strength doing some foot-mixing in the beginning of the course. Later we will use pre-mixed cob to save our power for the actual building and shaping of walls and built-in elements like niches, benches or sculpture.
We take time to warm up our muscles in the morning and stretch them at the end of the day. There will be tasty and energizing food to support us. Our site is situated among trees that offer nice shade for cooling breaks and when it’s time for talks.

Topics covered:
  • Designing for cob
  • Choosing a good location
  • Tips and tricks to make a small house feel spacious
  • Plumbing and Electrical for the cob house
  • Beautiful natural finishes
  • Do’s and don’ts for cob
Hands- on learning:
  • Cob mixing- for walls, for details, for furniture and for floors
  • Building walls- straight and curved
  • Setting windows and doors
  • Fun details with bottles and other elements
  • Trimming and shaping
  • Sample plaster
  • Working smarter not harder

 Come and meet the inspiring Elke Cole as she facilitates this workshop for women 40 and over.
Elke Cole, is a workshop facilitator and designer who empowers women around the globe. She is a builder and architect, and has facilitated many workshops and training programs worldwide. Recently she has been working with Women in Cameroon and is leading the “Africa kitchen Revolution” project.
 This workshop is on Mayne Island, and it is actually on my cob house. :-)

When I was first dreaming of building a cob house, I was attracted to Mayne Island as it was the home of cob guru Pat Hennebery.  He had built several cob houses there.

I discovered that cob building had been established on the Island through a collaboration of Elke Cole and Pat Hennebery in the early days of cobworks. Their work with local officials opened the doors for many buildings on the coast. There are a number of cob homes on Mayne Island, including one guest cottage , which I have had the pleasure of staying in.  

I discovered Elke was giving a "How to Design Your Natural Home" weekend workshop at OUR Eco Village on Vancouver Island and that is how I met her. I asked her to draw up the plans for my cob house design and I have been thrilled to be working with her on my dream. 

Mayne Island is a beautiful island, one of the Southern Gulf Islands between Vancouver, BC and Vancouver Island. There is a great Farmers Market every Saturday, and lots of music and art to be found.

 So come and have some fun, learn and laugh a lot, and feel your power in the company of like minded women.

There will also be lots of time to relax and the beach is only ten minutes walk away.
Evenings are personal time can be spent alone or as group, depending on accommodation choices (see event website) and personal preference.
Mayne Island has a range of possibilities for your personal time: from bodywork to swimming, restaurant visits or kayaking. Enjoy a Reiki session on site of visit the local Spa. We invite you to share your music or poetry in an evening circle.