on 29 March 2006
I picked up this book when I was trying to understand what "cob" was. Little did I realize at the time that I would not only learn the answer to my question, but that I would become fully engaged in the step-by-step process, skill, beauty, art, and even spirituality of these earth structures. The authors have created a book that stimulates all the senses while at the same time being extremely practical. Simply stated, the book is a glorious experience.
on 15 October 2007
This book truly lives up to its cover credits and description of contents:-
"...the most practical and beautifully illustrated book on earth building ever published."
"An inspiring vision and practical guide..."
The step-by-step instructions for creating cob structures are easy to follow, practical and a pleasure to read.
A deep insight and wisdom flows through the words that is uplifting and inspiring. Reminding the reader that they, and the structures they build have a place in Nature.
Also that building with natural substances obeys certain rhythms and laws. Observing these leads to harmonious results and can be fun .
The effect of reading this book is similar to that of reading Christopher Alexander (Pattern Language/Timeless Way of Building).His influence is apparent, and present in some of the quotes.
The illustrations and photographs are clear and graphically excellent, adding visual detail to the text that complements the instructions perfectly. Making it easy for a complete beginner to understand and follow.
The section with information on natural finishes, detailing lime plasters, renders, washes, earthen plasters, and home made clay and casein paints, contains essential basic information, scientific facts, and questions and answers. Also very practical `how-to' instructions, text & ideas.
Finely thought out facts and legalities, including an interview with a specialist Architect are in the informative chapter which advises on constructing cob buildings which comply with modern building standards.
The guidance on restoring and repairing old cob structures details everything from how to make cob blocks, to typical problems you may find.
Useful and helpful at a time when many old buildings are being renovated.
The book is completed with very comprehensive list of resources and suppliers.
on 5 November 2007
This beautifully illustrated, supremely readable book is truly inspirational - but beware, it's so inspirational you may end up moving house just to find that well-drained site outside the city smokeless zone where you can pad about on your newly installed earthern floor and fire-up your bread oven. This book could change your life!
on 16 October 2007
You don't have to be a budding cob builder to take delight in this book, with its clear textual and diagrammatic explanations. It explains to the uninitiated exactly what is involved in this ancient, yet still highly relevant, craft - leaving you feeling that you could do it too, if you were so minded. That is the gift of teachers who really believe in their subject.
The authors' obvious dedication to their chosen life-work is quite inspiring. So, regardless of the subject matter, it will encourage anyone who desires to be challenged to study their subject and put it into practice!
on 6 December 2007
This is a beautiful book with practical text and wonderfully clear and consise illustrations. I've bought a lot of books on Cob Building and this one really helped me the most. It really is a step-by-step guide on how to build with Cob. The photographs are brilliant, you can see in an instant what the authors are trying to say.
I had a very old cob/mud cottage in Ireland and no idea how to re-build or repair the collapsing walls and this book showed me how. The builder borrowed my book so much, that I had to buy him a copy! We now call it 'The Bible'.
on 23 October 2007
I am interested in sustainable building practices and wanted to explore cob as a viable, low-impact building option. This is by far the best guide out there. It offers a step-by-step approach to building a cob structure, with useful and beautiful illustrations and photographs. The writing style and philosophical approach of the authors to the practice is also quite inspiring. You feel like you've come across some great friends who want to work in common cause with you and lend a supportive word. Excellent resource for newcomers to sustainable building concepts as well in this regard. I highly recommend it.