About This Project
On a warm Summer’s weekend in Haggerston, the Gaia Gallery hosted an event run by Cob in the Community that taught the principles of Cob making. Cob is a natural building made from clay, sand and straw. It’s a very hands on building material that sees you mixing it with your feet and rolling into a perfectly formed sausage.
Over 30% of the world’s population live in earth homes.
This was a two day event, attended by 20 keen cob masons, that saw the materials mixed into cob ready to use for the creation of the heated bench inside the boat. The beauty of cob making is that it’s a process that can involve any ages or physical capabilities, with our best four legged worker Lilly taking a rest in the wheelbarrow. Traditionally, in the UK, cob would have been trodden by a herd of livestock but unfortunately central London has it’s limitations and we find it more fun with people power.
The culmination of the two days saw the creation of a tonne of cob which was a massive achievement and a great start to the amount we needed to start the building of our heated cob bench (see project Heated Bench Project). When creating so much material, it can be difficult to move from the mixing site into the area it’s needed – especially if it’s a confined floating space like the Gaia Gallery. To overcome this we used a tried and tested process called a Cob Toss, where the cob is shaped into balls and thrown along a chain of people. The odd one missed it’s target on route, but the beauty of cob is it can be remixed and applied again being one of the lowest maintenance building materials. These cob balls were covered and stored in the front hatch with a careful eye kept on the boat’s ballast. Thanks so much to everyone who came down, cobbed, tossed and toasted our success before cruising off East to the next mooring spot.