We strive to provide the best teachers of skills that we can find, and to create a fun, relaxed environment where everyone is inspired and empowered. To register for a class, please use links below each class description. We offer one scholarship a class, call to reserve. Please remember, you are not registered until the registration form below has been submitted. Once your registration form has been received you will receive a confirmation e-mail. Registration closes 24 hours before the class starts. To talk to a live person about a class/scholarship, call Samantha at 530 362 8082. Thanks for visiting our class page!
If you would like to book a private party for your corporation or group, we can arrange a 1-7 day workshop teaching our fun, inspiring, skills. You provide the people, we will bring the tools, talent and treats. Call or email Samantha Hinrichs at 530 362 8082 or at email@example.com .Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire-William Butler Yeats Create Sacred Space: A Complete Cob, Summer Solstice, Natural Building WorkshopJune 6th-June 21st, 2015
A California Cob/Mud and Pearls Production
In this 16 day, comprehensive cob workshop, we will show you the basics of building a small cob cottage, from foundation to roof, and everything in between. Rob Sequoia Pollacek of California Cob is a master natural builder with 16 years of professional cob building experience and Samantha Hinrichs of Mud and Pearls is a veteran workshop organizer. These two will make your cob building experience more than just a natural building workshop.
In our workshop, we’ll be building a round cob sauna, with a stone and mortar foundation, load bearing cob walls, a curved ridge beam, round pole rafters, with a tongue and groove ceiling and an earthen roof. We’ll install a custom sauna door and 2 opening windows with window sills, make and install door trim, install a wood stove, hearth and a chimney. We’ll carve out altar niches with stone sills and work on bas-relief sculptures. We’ll also guide you through the process of making natural earthen plasters from our local soil, and we’ll finish the workshop by plastering the outside of the sauna.
You will use the relatively “small” project of building a sauna to learn first hand the many topics needed to build a cob house. You’ll personally go through the whole process of building this “mini” house and leave this workshop feeling confident to go home and build a larger cob structure of your own. And if building a full house isn’t where you’re headed quite yet, you’ll know all there is to know about building your own cob sauna!! A perfect first project.
Starting out by building with stone and mortar using our local granite, we’ll work on the foundation for our cob building project. Then we will transition into the heart of our workshop: learning to mix and build with cob, a monolithic, adobe building material consisting of clay soil, sand and straw. We’ll start out with traditional workshop foot-mixing techniques, giving you the fundamental understanding of how to mix this ancient building material. We’ll quickly move into learning to mix with a cement mixer, and then finally how to mix cob with a tractor.
Maximum 8 Students. Register here today!
Since 2001, Rob has been mixing cob with a tractor, and has invented a moveable form system that greatly decreases the time of building with cob. Here is Rob talking specifically about his teaching and building style:
I’ve done this exclusively for my last 16 cob projects. I’ve made hundreds of batches of tractor cob and have refined my technique to the point where I can make about 5 cubic yards of very well mixed cob per hour. Whether you own a tractor, or will rent or borrow a tractor, I can teach you all you’ll need to know to be able to make your own tractor cob at home, ensuring that you’ll be able to make enough cob to finish your cob project in one building season.
I’ll also teach you in a very hands on way my moveable cob form system, which allows for very quick cob wall building. I created, and have been refining and using this system for the last 15 years. We’ll use this system exclusively to build the cob walls on this building. Combining this moveable form system with the ability to make large amounts of cob with a tractor dramatically improves the speed and efficiency of building cob walls over traditional methods.
We’ll spend a fair bit of time working on the roof of the sauna, aiming for a completely closed in building by the end of the workshop. Using load bearing lintels with a curved ridge beam and 12 round pole rafters, we’ll construct a timber framed living roof, complete with a 2 x 6 tongue and groove ceiling.
Understanding the relationship between a cob building and its roof is a fundamental piece of creating a cob structure and something you wont want to miss. I’ll show you the finer points of building this beautiful earthen roof, right down to the finish trim detail.
We’ll close by creating and applying our own earthen plaster mix, sourced from local clay soil, putting the icing on the cake of our freshly created sacred space.
This 16 day “complete cob” workshop includes 3 meals a day, on-site camping and daily outdoor class room time. Meals will be locally sourced veggies, sustainably and humanely raised meat, mostly organic and cooked with care and love. Students that want to stay in a local B and B or in a friend’s home will also receive the meals. Hot showers, composting toilets, a shared outdoor living room and music, singing and camp fun will also be a part of our experience.
Classroom time, separate from building time, will cover such topics as fundamentals of cob, sourcing materials, proper siting and drainage of a building, passive solar design, thermal mass vs. insulation, staying within a budget, hosting a workshop, being a professional natural builder and creating a hybrid house using straw bale and cob together.
We’ll also have a natural building home tour, seeing first hand some local examples of cob, straw bale, earthen plasters and earth floors. We’ll also have at least one afternoon trip to the famous South Yuba River, as well as some special guests joining us for evening programs.
Register early for this workshop and you will receive either $75.00 off the workshop price, or an early bird package that includes a free comprehensive cob book, pick up from the airport, and a Mud and Pearls t-shirt: a $125 value. Locals, you may also choose to receive a $75 certificate toward other Mud and Pearls workshops. Deposit and registration needs to be complete by April 6th to receive this offer.
Total cost for 16 days of workshop, food, camping, tour, classes and fun $1850.
We hope you can join us for this very special “Create Sacred Space” workshop!
To register or ask questions call Rob Pollacek 530-913-0846 or Samantha Hinrichs 530- 362-8082
To see more of Rob and Samantha’s work visit: californiacob.com or mudandpearls.com
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Totally Wired: Basics of Wiring and Circuitry with Cat Cook
Date: Saturday, September 13th 10am-2pm
Cat Cook has been an electrical engineer and electrician for many years. She has simple and time tested ways of describing how electricity and electrical systems work so that when you need to troubleshoot or make repairs, you will be able to do it! The class will cover all the basics, from installing simple fixtures, to replacing a light, to testing, and will cover how and where the grid connects to your home. Safety will be a top concern and topic, and students will have hands on time with the wiring at the class site. Class will be held at Sierra Commons at 792 Searls Ave in Nevada City. Class is $60, register by WePay below or by check/Money Order to 792 Searls Ave, Nevada City, CA 95959. Please bring your own water bottle, lunch and note taking materials. Snacks and drinks will be provided.
Residential Wells Seminar with Evelyn Soltero
Date: Saturday, September 20th 10am-2pm
Do you live with a well? Are you concerned about California’s perpetual drought? Learn how your well operates, from the pump in the ground to the equipment in your pump house, how to better protect your well system, and how your well may receive its water. Discover what you need to know about pump motors, pressure switches, pressure tanks, and holding tanks. Just added for Mud and Pearls, a field trip to a local well system and a live demonstration of how to use a voltmeter to check power at the pressure switch. Class will be held at Sierra Commons at 792 Searls Ave in Nevada City. Class is $60, register by WePay below or by check/Money Order to 792 Searls Ave, Nevada City, CA 95959. Please bring your own water bottle, lunch and note taking materials. Snacks and drinks will be provided.
Design to Construction: Build a Shed/Room/Retreat/Mobile Office with Michael Rasch.
Date: To be announced.
Blacksmithing with Eric Clausen: Damascus Knife Making
Date: Mid September TBA
(Only for those who have taken a class with Eric before, Limit 5 students)
In this advanced blacksmithing class master metal worker Eric Clausen will lead you through the simple yet empowering steps of forging metal into tools. We will be making damascus steel knife at this class. $75 includes materials. Class will be located in Camptonville, Ca. at 14872 Cortez Way off of Alleghany Road near North San Juan. Limit 5 students. Please bring your own water bottle, a lunch, and leather gloves. Eye & ear protection, snacks and drinks provided.
Picnic Table/Intro to Woodworking with Liz Fugman.
Date: September TBD.
Learn to get over your fear of tools, or just come to a sewing bee style workshop where we will be building picnic tables. You can buy the materials and build your own table, or you can work on a table that we will donate to the North Columbia Schoolhouse. Saturday we will build the bulk of the tables, Sunday we will finish up and sand and stain . 10-5 on Saturday, 10-2 on Sunday. Call if you have any questions. $120 for both days, does not include picnic table materials. We will purchase and have all materials ready. If you have your own tools feel free to bring them, if not we will have tools available. Class will be held at Sierra Commons at 792 Searls Ave in Nevada City. Register by WePay below or by check/Money Order to 792 Searls Ave, Nevada City, CA 95959. Please bring your own water bottle, snacks and drinks provided.
Mosiac Tiling with Marian Lee, Date: TBA