A Remarkable Woman Artist
The other day, I had the extreme pleasure to meet a really unique and talented woman and visit her made by hand clay or "cob" home studio. A cob house is a mixture of sand, clay, straw and water and ends up looking something akin to an adobe structure because of it's rounded and smooth walls and spaces. Cob structures have been around for centuries all over the world according to
, but this girl had never heard of one until last year.
I became aware of this remarkable woman, Cara Graver, and her cob studio a little over a year ago when I signed up to be a part of
. I didn't get a chance to meet with her and see her studio then but since I signed up to be a part of this year's tour in November, I didn't want to miss meeting her or seeing it while I was in the area for a meeting.
Cara did not disappoint. First of all, she was such a warm and welcoming person that I felt like I had known her all my life upon our first meeting. When I followed her back through offbeat gravel roadway to her home and the "Cob" behind it, I felt that I was visiting a very special place indeed.
Inspired by the book, "The Cob Builders Handbook,You Can Sculpt Your Own Home", Cara decided at the age of 55 to go to Oregon, where she lived in the woods with no heat, electricity, or running water for a 6 week course on how to build a cob.
On her return, she and her husband used a backhoe to dig the 3 foot bed where the local rocks would be laid for the foundation of the her building. Then the hand building began with the mix of straw, clay, water and sand. Windows and doors were found at dumpsters and rehab sites. The thick walls retain heat and cold and water is supplied by a well. The structure took 4 years to complete though Cara is continuing with a recent edition, a composting toilet annex!
The cob is a very special place where Cara makes beautiful pottery and gives classes. She is also a holistic healer and just an all around amazing lady. If you would like to visit her Cob Studio located in Chester Springs Pa. or learn more about her, please visit her web page at http://www.thecobstudio.com and tell her Karen sent you :0).