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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration in book form, 14 May 2004
This review is from: The Hand-Sculpted House: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage: A Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage (The Real Goods Solar Living Book): 10 (Paperback)
A truly excellent book, a tad other worldly in places but in terms of inspiring a person to build a house from eco friendly materials, paying attention to the design process and generally making you want to stop whatever you are doing and begin building immediately, there is no competition.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful wonderful book that could (and should) change the world, 19 Feb 2010
By 
Cleona Wallace "cleonawallace" (Rome, Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hand-Sculpted House: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage: A Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage (The Real Goods Solar Living Book): 10 (Paperback)
I had wanted to read this book for ages, and so it was a momentous moment when I found it in my local library. And it was every bit as good, ground-breaking and life-changing as I had hoped. I've long been interested in natural building, and plan...one day...to build my own cob/straw bale home. But this book is more than a series of techniques or house plans - it makes you think about what a home should be, how you'll live in it, and to understand the concept of minimal environmental disruption.

I think that having read this book I will end up building a smaller, more organically-shaped and also more personal building, and one which will be a far more positive place to live. I look around me at the vast, boxy, homogenous houses which fill (and blight) the Irish countryside, and I wish more people would read this book! It's so good that even though I read it as a library book I will be buying my own copy now...one read is not enough!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes your dreams come true!, 27 Mar 2009
This review is from: The Hand-Sculpted House: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage: A Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage (The Real Goods Solar Living Book): 10 (Paperback)
Well written, great diagrams and drawings to assist you visually, beautiful photos to inspire you and a real in depth approach to cob building! I particularly like the fact that it gives a good idea of the history, social, emotional and economic implications of cob building, and the importance of the relation between your house and the environment it in which it is in. Definitely a must for anyone interested in building their own cob house, or a wall or an oven, or simply for those who have an interest in sustainability and natural buildings! Thanks Linda and Ianto!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book and leave the others on the shelf, 6 Jun 2013
By 
A. J. Dawson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hand-Sculpted House: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage: A Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage (The Real Goods Solar Living Book): 10 (Paperback)
I have been toying with building my own sustainable house for a few years, and have bought half a dozen books. This one leaves the rest standing. A delight to read with very good practical advice often mentioning the things that other books overlook,sparkling dewdrops of philosophy and a source book for inspiration. What more could you want?
Get the book, get the land and get building!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will help you in ways you may not even expect, 14 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Hand-Sculpted House: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage: A Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage (The Real Goods Solar Living Book): 10 (Paperback)
I bought this book because i wanted to learn how to build a house out of cob. Period. I was not interested in the "philosophy" aspect because i was already sold on the idea and i also assumed that it would be one man standing on a soapbox and waxing pretentiously. However, i began to really appreciate the way the author inserted his philosophy on building because is super practical and really illuminated some aspects of building and of living in general that made me feel even more empowered to start building my own house. I look forward to rereading i, which i rarely do with books..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!, 2 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Hand-Sculpted House: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage: A Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage (The Real Goods Solar Living Book): 10 (Paperback)
I had been toying with the notion of buying this book for some time, afraid of opening a pandora's box and becoming even more disillusioned with our current consumer culture and way of living (which was quite). I am only sorry I didn't buy it sooner! I now have a hope and a vision for a different future for myself and those I love. I find that a lot of books on the subject of sustainable living and permaculture are quite specialist and exclusive. This beautiful book is neither.

Each writer tackles a different aspect of designing and building a cob cottage, giving you three different perspectives and sources of knowledge. This book is truly holistic in its' approach to building a cob home. It is practical, detailed (without being overly daunting) and an inspiration. There is a belief in the right for each individual to own their own home, however most of us spend our lives in debt as a result. Ianto questions this and encourages us to understand that it is possible for anyone to build their own home at very little expense with basic skills and equiped with a bit of knowledge. I had been researching cob homes proir to buying this book. The evidence that cob building is a viable and long-lasting building technique is all around us. This book gently encourages us to dream of possiblity and then nudges us in the direction of seeing that possibility come to fruition. It asserts that it is something that can be done by young and not so young alike.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough if you are interested at all in the subject of building your own home or sustainable living. I was so inspired by it that I am going to go on a cob-building workshop next summer where I will hopefully get to put my new-found learning to good use.

I would have loved a few more colour-pictures, but on the other hand that might have limited my own vision as to what is possible when using this building technique. If you're hesitating like I was, do yourself a favour and click on the "add to basket" icon. You won't regret it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 July 2014
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This review is from: The Hand-Sculpted House: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage: A Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage (The Real Goods Solar Living Book): 10 (Paperback)
The bible for cob builders!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great practical guide, 9 May 2014
By 
A. Spindler (Budapest) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hand-Sculpted House: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage: A Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage (The Real Goods Solar Living Book): 10 (Paperback)
This inspiring book covers all the techniques you will need to build your own cob home, but also covers the philosophical and environmental considerations that should convince you that it is the right thing to do.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, 9 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Hand-Sculpted House: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage: A Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage (The Real Goods Solar Living Book): 10 (Paperback)
This is a great book for anyone interested in 'natural' building. They discuss the history of cob and then the design of a house and then the practical hands on bit. It is well illustrated and a very useful reference book. It is also fun to read.
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