In June, I travelled to Leech Lake Tribal College in Cass Lake, MN to lead an eight-day cob oven and earthbag building workshop. We made pretty incredible progress in that time, getting the oven and the earthbag shed mostly done.
My friend Russell assisted in making sure everything went smoothly and worked his booty to the bone slinging mud and bags. Respect! (Russell does a bit of everything. His website is: https://ten-thousand-things.com/)
In the picture below, we were placing glass bottles in cob in the base to help hold heat in the burn chamber and to isolate it from the thermal mass of the base.
Below, participants are adding the thermal layer (that holds heat for baking) over the sand form in the center.
Below, attendees are adding a thick insulative layer over the thermal layer. This layer is very straw-heavy, which gives it it’s insulative qualities. This helps hold the heat in the burn chamber where we want it.
The workshop was a beautiful, profound experience in many ways. We got to meet some really cool local homesteaders and natural builders. I was in awe of some of the elders we met, true “pillar of the community” and “salt of the Earth” types. I hope to work with the friends we made there again in the future.
Thanks for reading!