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Building With Cob Workshop June 29th – July 6, 2008

Osceola, Wisconsin
A week of hands-on-work, learning, and fun!
This gathering will start on Sunday at noon and will conclude the following Sunday after breakfast.

Join us for a week of natural building in Osceola, Wisconsin. This workshop will be a hands-on experience in
natural building, specifically cob construction. Having some background knowledge of cob building is helpful but
not necessary. Suggested reading: I. Evans, M. Smith, and L. Smiley. The Hand Sculpted House: A Practical and
Philosophical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2002. I highly recommend this book for
folks wanting an in depth cob tutorial.

Project Description
We will be working on a small bale-cob building. Bale-cob uses a combination of building techniques; straw bale
and cob construction. It is an integrated wall system using an interior cob layer, and an exterior straw bale layer held
together with a cob mortar. We will also be framing in windows and doors, and working with round wood timbers.
Participants looking to build their own cob house will find this opportunity helpful in planning for their own
building projects.

Our goal will be to accomplish the completion of the bale cob walls for a small structure in one week’s time. Six
days full of physical activity are planned. If you are unaccustomed to daily physical work this may be tiring, but
everyone is encouraged to stretch, breathe and work at a comfortable pace.
Our time together will consist of: building, sharing meals, and discussions. Meals and camping accommodations
will be provided.

General Schedule Outline

Sunday, June 29
8am-12pm Arrival and camp set up
12 noon Opening meal followed by getting our feet wet
5:30-6:30pm Dinner
7:30pm Discussion

Monday June 30 - Saturday July 5

7am-7:45 Breakfast
7:45- 12pm Morning building session
12-2pm Lunch and break
2-5:30pm Afternoon Building session
5:30-6:30pm Dinner Top view of bale cob building in Osceola; 13’ diameter

7:30pm Discussion
9pm-? Campfire

Sunday July 6
9am-11am Breakfast For more information contact Bryan Burnoski.
-Clean up and departure- Email:
Phone #: (651) 428-5493
Mostly meals will be vegetarian but may include meat, wheat, eggs and dairy. Let us know if you have any food
needs, allergies or special diets.

Camping. Please bring a tent, flashlight and general camping equipment. If extended inclement weather or ailments
occur we have indoor space available. There will be outdoor composting toilets. There are 2 indoor bathrooms with
showers. The building site is on a one acre family homestead in a somewhat rural setting. Our hosts Roy McBride
and Lucinda Anderson have an 11 year old daughter Laci. They will be coordinating and preparing meals. This
event will be family friendly. Children are welcome.

What to Bring
In addition to any camping gear, other things to consider bringing will be anything that helps your participation
during the week (ie. water bottle, sunscreen, warm cap, sun visor, rain gear). We will spend most of our time
outdoors so dressing comfortably is important. As far as bringing tools it’s important to have work gloves, a four
foot level, and an 8’x10’ tarp. Other tools to bring if you have them are: a tape measure, carpenter saw, rubber
cement gloves, and any extra tarps. I will have the other tools we will need. Some people find it helpful to bring
something to cover their feet while mixing cob like water shoes or wet sock booties. Mostly I find that bare feet
work best and I encourage people to toughen up and acclimate your feet before coming by walking around barefoot
outside as much as possible. Bringing other items to share is also welcomed such as musical instruments or snacks.

The cost per person for the full week workshop is $95 for registrations received before May 25th. Registrations after
May 25th will be $120. Folks only able to attend part of the workshop are encouraged to contact us for possibilities.

Attached to this document is a registration form. We are asking interested participants to send in a completed
registration form along with the full cost for the week. The first 10 people will be accepted. Once we confirm your
participation for the week the pre-payment amount will be non-refundable. Any registrations after the first ten will
be put on a waiting list (as there can be cancellations). The pre-payment amount for participants on the waiting list
will be held and will be refunded if no spots are available. Please contact us if you have any issues concerning

Workshop led by Bryan Burnoski:

I have been traveling over the past two years learning about natural building and ways of living that make sense and
that nurture the earth. During the summer of 2007 I completed an apprenticeship with Cob Cottage Company in
Oregon. This has enabled me to build and learn from some very knowledgeable and experienced people in the field
of natural building. I have had general building experience for over a decade and natural building experience for
about 3 years. Natural building projects I have been involved with or managed include, two homes built using
cob/bale with round wood timers, composting toilets, living roofs, earthen floors, rocket stoves, benches, and earthen
ovens. I’ve used a variety of methods for foundations and stem walls including rubble trenches, gravel filled earth
bags, and urbanite (reusing broken up concrete). I have also plastered cob and straw bale structures using clay and
lime plasters. My journey started several years ago by designing and constructing a canvas yurt with a 13 foot
diameter and a rocket stove under the floor for heating. I then lived in the yurt for one year through a Wisconsin
winter with my family (partner and 8 year old daughter). Sharing with others the knowledge I’ve acquired
constructing natural structures is what I’m passionate about. I am also interested in creating networks where people
can find support and resources for building with natural materials and find paths to ways of living that are less
destructive to the earth.

For more information or questions contact Bryan Burnoski

Phone #: (651) 428-5493
Cob Building Registration Form
June 29 - July 6, 2008 Osceola Wisconsin


Street Address:

City, State, Zip:

Phone 1: (H,W,C) Phone 2: (H,W,C)

Email Address:

Special Dietary Needs:

 Vegetarian
 Omnivore

Other Accommodations:

Number of Registration includes full payment of workshop

participants $95 before May 25 $120 after May 25th

Total Enclosed

Please make payments by cash or check (cash and cashiers check or postal money orders are preferable) payable to:
Lucinda Anderson.

Send registration and fee to:

Bryan Burnoski
378 280th St
Osceola WI 54020

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