Making a cob bench

By February 25, 2007Permaculture

Here we are found making a cob bench. What is cob?
mixing-cob.jpg beginging-of-bench.jpg
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Final stage, we wait for the cob to dry. Then we apply the final wheat paste plaster to protect the cob from eroding in the rain.

Cob is just one of the techniques employed in the practice of Permaculture. Check out Ken’s Permaculture tour for more information.

Ken

About Ken

In 1967, 10-year-old Ken Foster read The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett. It took him a whole summer to read, but it inspired him to see gardening as a celebration of our coexistence with nature. In 1985, he took on an apprenticeship at the UC Santa Cruz Farm and Garden, and there he discovered his passion. He founded Terra Nova Ecological Landscaping in 1988, and has dedicated his life to caring for the environment and community through sustainable landscaping. He also teaches a permaculture class at Cabrillo College. When he’s not busy with designing, installing, and maintaining ecological landscapes, Ken can be found riding his bike around town, or making mandalas out of salvaged herbs that would otherwise have been sent to the landfill.

6 Comments

  • very nice pictures! i’d like terra nova to take care of my yard at 127 hebard st.

    could you do that?! love, hilda

  • Mr. Terra Nova,

    the blog and website are impressive. I’d like you to maintain my yard at 127 Hebard St. if you could do that?

    Many thanks for all your good work! Hilda

  • tia says:

    your bench is really cool!
    how long did it take?
    I’m a student in South Africa learning about sustainable techniques, hopefully aiding major housing probs here, do you have any advice regarding general cob use and any knowledge of waterproofing regarding organic materials?
    Your advice would be appreciated.
    T

  • Emerson says:

    Nice, this looks fantastic! How long did it take to complete? I never would have thought to place something like this into a design, but it fits very well.

  • Bernadette says:

    Hello,
    I am a Dutch ceramist, and living in Holland, and I am very interested in cob-techniques inside and outside. Plastering and building.
    Last yeat I built my own cobbench without a shelter/roof above because I wanted to see how to get it waterresistant. To experiment. I tried first to use many,6, layers of linseedoil thinned with terpentine. It didn’t protect it enough against eroding. It had lots of rain, snow and frost and didn’t crack, what already surprised me to be honest, but there was too much erosion, Then this spring I took of loosened top layer and restored it with new cob and claycolor. After drying I covered it with waterglass:water 50:50. Also that is not completely sufficient. we had a lot of rain this summer and it is erroding a lot already. I also tried on parts to use a material what is beiing used in monumental-renovation works and that is based on beewax. I am very surprised to see that also that does’t protect. It wears off qiuckly. Now I am very curious to hear about the wheat plaster that you mentioned. I know about the alis claypaints,they are on basis of wheatflour and I make them for inside purpose, but I didn’t expect them to be waterproof and therefore not suitable for my bench project. Could you please share your experience wuith me?
    With kind regards

  • Carl Huyghe says:

    It is really a nice and useful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

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