Below, Ashley Lubyk (our instructor) is teaching us how to assess the clay (found on site) to determine how much sand to add to it to make good cob.
Once we had the mix right, we all set to work mixing up cob on tarps with our feet. We ended up using 7 tarps full of cob in the end with each tarp holding one 5 gallon bucket of clay, 3.5 buckets of sand and enough water to mix it thoroughly. It was surprising how long it took to mix each batch! Below, is Kelly with our fellow "cob mixer", LOL. I have no pictures of me, as I was in charge of the camera all day!
Here's Kelly with the completed mould all covered with wet newspaper - READY FOR COB!
In the end, the oven turned out GREAT and we learned a ton. Nothing like being shown something in person! We did choose to buy a book that our instructors recommended as it's going to prove REALLY handy to have that resource on hand when we are building our own oven.
Stay tuned for that post... we hope to start on the foundation this month!