Cob Building: How to Render a Log House with Natural Materials
We welcome you to this fun and interactive hands-on workshop of cob building techniques at our rural Transylvanian mountain farm. The Organic Art Ranch is a place where people can learn more about sustainability and a more simple way of living. Learning to build with cob will not only be a step towards a more natural lifestyle, but it will also make you able to fix and build your own beautiful, natural and affordable home and get you one step closer to a self-sufficient life.
During the workshop you will learn traditional methods and knowledge handed down form previous generations and experience gathered from all around the world by our skillful master. You will acquire the basic knowledge of working with clay plaster and clay such as finding the right materials, understanding what adobe is and what its benefits are, creating a good mixture for plastering, applying cob successfully and more.
Place: The Organic Art Ranch, Rachitele, Romania
Date: Sunday June 30Th – Saturday July 13th
Length in days: 10 day workshop with 3 additional days free time included (to explore the surroundings, go hiking, relax etc.)
Hours: 3 hours in the morning and 3 in the afternoon
Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Minimum age: 18
About the instructor- Sebastian, “The Wanderer Stuckateur”
Sebastian Von Valkenstein is an experienced and skillful German ecological “Stuckateurmeister”, master of plastering. He has traveled all around the world as a “Stuckateur Gesellschaft Wander”. A “Gesellschaft Wander” is a wandering journeyman who practices one of Germany’s most respected traditions of skill improvement and education during traveling, in Sebastian’s case plastering. According to the tradition which is kept until today, the journeyman has to set out to learn on his own from various masters from all around the world. This is how such a person completes his apprenticeship as a craftsman, improving his skills. They have a very specific costume and rules that they have to follow on their way, but the aim of the journey is to learn, gain, and to share their knowledge with people they meet on the way.
With over 12 years of experience Sebastian has worked in various ecological construction projects in several diverse countries, delivering ecological building workshops in Nepal, Austria, Romania, North Carolina, Canada, New Zealand, Germany and more. After mastering and working several years with his skill, Sebastian headed out into the world to broaden his expertise. During the last 4 years of his travels, he has learned various ecological techniques around the world and manages to use all of them to create a skill that is unique.
What you will learn
All our works shops are conducted in English with some flexibility in other languages. The workshop consists of both practical and theoretical parts. Guided by a master you will acquire traditional methods of ecological construction and building techniques. Participants will learn techniques on how to find and use local materials and how to build a sustainable and green structure without destroying the pristine surroundings. Cob (earth and lime) construction will be our primary focus. By learning the usage of traditional clay and earth techniques we make sure that we don’t disturb nature.
Participants will practice and learn with the master 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon. The rest of the time will be free, with an extra hour to discuss methods, ideas and share thoughts. It involves a fine mix of learning and enjoying nature during your holiday. The evenings will be spent sharing knowledge and experiences as well as playing music around the campfire in a multicultural group setting.
What you will see
There will be enough free time to enjoy trips around the Organic Art Ranch, the beautiful Transylvanian mountains and the famous local National Preserve, Parcul National Apuseni.
What to expectDay 1. -Welcoming to the workshop, getting to know each other -Theoretical introduction to the workshop: materials, characteristics of clay – A movie called “Lust auf Lehm” (Fun with Clay) in English – Exploring the surroundings for samples of clay Day 2 and 3. – further theoretical information about materials – preparing the timber walls for the plastering -different types of clay plaster techniques (used with bricks, net, timber etc.) – fixing the timber for the plaster Day 4-6. – theoretical approach to the importance of the first coat -creating the right mixture and preparing the plaster – technique of applying the first coat
-rendering the walls Day 7-8.
– creating the mixture for the second coat and rendering -theoretical approach to the importance of the second coat Day 9-10.
-theoretical approach to the importance of the finishing coat – flexible open days for personal one-on-one questions and techniques
– creating wall designs
– tips and techniques for the inside walls
Tent camping (outdoor facilities)
Rooms in a small mountain guesthouse
Single room (private room)
Food will be mostly vegetarian food and traditionally made local food from ingredients grown on and around the farm. We kindly ask those who have any dietary requirements to tell us beforehand. The food is home made and locally produced supporting our secluded community in the mountains.
· Sleeping bag & isolating matt if camping
· Work clothes, boots and gloves
· Warm clothing for the night
· Musical instruments, if you play or art to share
You can register now for the workshop to secure your place. Once we receive the registration form you will receive a confirmation email from us with directions to the farm.