We had a great workshop on building cob ovens here on Saturday. We are very inspired by cob (and other natural building in general - read the 10 reasons why natural building can address climate change here), but we think that cob ovens are the perfect place to start when you want to learn to build with natural materials like clay, sand and straw. Cob ovens take little time to go from start to finish, as an oven can be done in a few weekends time; building with cob requires only basic hand tools and no previous construction experience; cob ovens cost virtually nothing if you take time to source local and repurposed materials (cob ovens are often called "the $20 cob oven"); and cob ovens give you a wonderful finished project for baking beautiful breads and pizzas. We love Kiko Denzer's book, Build your own Earth Oven, as a great primer for building your own cob oven.
Here are a few photos of our workshop - participants did not build an oven as this was just an overview workshop about the process, however they did get to mix and handle cob (clay-sand-straw), and eat freshly baked pizza! Thanks to Natalie Nunn for the great photography from that day.