First Batch of Cob

A cause for celebration! The first cob went on smoothly. After testing the clay around the property, we found the stuff dug out of the foundation was soft, light and a warm, Rosen color. By the driveway, where there was a bit of excavation, the clay was yellow, crumbly and hard on the feet. When the pile is gone, we’ll keep digging for a small pond. In the picture, it looks dark brown, but it will dry lighter. The final plaster layer will contain beach sand, too, so the final color will be close to a warm buff. We buried a little box of little treasures to mark the occasion.

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The Foundation

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   The great puzzle begins. We will use earthen mortar (sand-rich clay mix) to glue our “urbanite” (broken concrete) together. The first course is leveled atop a 2′ x 2′ gravel trench with drain pipe
   We will leave the rafters covered with a tarp for an all-season work space. After the foundation, we’ll put down a gravel base for the future finished earth floor. While we cob the walls, we’ll tamp the floor with our feet.

Moving In

Welcome to the future home of Spider Spring.

Spider Spring is an acre of land in Oregon where we live with our dog, Pixie. We currently live in a 16 foot yurt and are preparing to build our little Cob House. We have an outdoor, wood-heated bathtub, a sawdust toilet, a solar shower, a little roofed outdoor kitchen (the future outdoor dining room), and a cob oven near the future garden and permanent indoor-outdoor kitchen site. We have no running water, electricity or phone lines. We use filtered water from the creek, rain water, and town water we pilfer from my mother’s house. Our yurt is heated with a Pocket Rocket wood stove with a brick, mortar and cob base. Come back for pictures and progress! Learn how to play in the mud and come on out and help us build this spring!

inside yurt