Sign Up For New Workshop Info.:

2014 Cob Building Workshop (Berea, Kentucky)

– Workshop Complete! Sign Up For Future Workshop News –

Come join us in summer 2014 for a 3-day cob building workshop outside Berea, Kentucky on a mountain homestead, where you’ll build an outdoor cob bench and wall in a natural home. You’ll get hands-on experience stomping and sculpting cob, and acquire essential cob and natural building skills. Enjoy the experience of working and learning with other enthusiastic people in an inspiring homestead located in the beautiful foothills of Appalachia!

Workshop Information at a Glance:


  • Workshop Date: September 5-7, 2014
  • Location: Forest Retreats of Berea, Kentucky
  • Cost and Discounts:
    $350 Early Registration Discount (register 30+ days in advance – $25 off savings!)
    $375 Regular Registration (register less than 30 days in advance)
  • All-inclusive: Workshop includes camping accommodations, and 3 square meals a day.
  • Homestead Experience: Get a homestead living and natural building tour
  • Led by Brian “Ziggy” Liloia, builder of cob house ‘Gobcobatron’, which has appeared in newsstand publications nationwide

Register For Workshop Now

cob-building-workshop-2014Get Your Hands Muddy and Your Mind Enlivened

This course is an excellent primer to working with cob and discovering the versatility of one of the world’s oldest building materials. We’ll explore how to properly mix sand, clay, and straw to make a durable cob mix, and then have ample creative opportunity to design a unique bench and wall, complete with artistic touches.

Discover the joys of building with mud, and expect to get your hands dirty in this completely hands-on experience. You’ll walk away with a solid understanding of cob building basics, and have an amazing opportunity to explore natural building concepts and different aspects of what it means to live sustainably. Consider it a vacation… where you’ll take home much more than just pictures.

[toggles title=”Additional Workshop Information” active=0 speed=750]
Workshop Registration and Payment

How To Register

Please reserve your spot by completing the workshop registration. Remember, spaces are limited! Do not forget to apply early to earn your registration discount.

Payments can be made via check or (a Paypal alternative) once your registration is complete. Details will be provided once we review your registration. Thanks for joining!

Please contact Ziggy with any questions you may have.

Workshop Schedule

Workshop Schedule

Students must arrive the afternoon prior to the official workshop start date, September 4th. We will start with a leisurely dinner and introductions. The workshop will end the morning after the official posted date, with the departure of students on Monday, September 8th. Please factor this in to your travel plans!

Travel directions will be provided once students complete their registration.

Food and Lodging

Food and Dining

coboven-pizzaUnlike other similar natural building workshops, we provide all meals during our workshops. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be lovingly prepared with fresh, local, and organic ingredients.  The meals will largely consist of hearty organic vegetarian dishes. You will not go hungry with us! (In fact, you might have a hard time leaving the table after each meal.) We do our best to accommodate dietary restrictions and food allergies. Make sure to indicate any restrictions/allergies in your application.

It is recommended that participants bring snacks and specialty items only if they wish (think coffee, nuts, dried fruit) to supplement the otherwise complete meal service.

Lodging and Accommodations During Your Stay

We provide student accommodations including camping space, access to composting toilets and shower facilities. These accommodations are already included in the price of the Workshop. Please note: cell phone reception is very poor, and land line telephone use will be available only in the case of an emergency. There will be limited internet access on the property.

For students that do not wish to camp, indoor accommodations may be available very near to the workshop site.

Travel directions and a packing list will be provided to workshop participants.

Workshop Location

berea-kentuckyAbout the Workshop Location

The 2014 Cob Building Workshop is located 15 minutes outside of Berea, Kentucky (map) at the working farm of Tim Hensley and Jane Post, located on 200 acres of gorgeous wooded nestled in the Appalachian mountains. This year, The Year of Mud is helping Tim and Jane to build a small off-grid straw bale home, and this project will serve as the site and backdrop to portions of our cob workshop.

Berea is a small town in central Kentucky, home to a thriving population of craftspeople, artists, woodworkers, musicians, social activists, and homesteaders. Berea has a longstanding tradition of diversity, social justice, environmental responsibility, and community service. The historic Berea College is the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, and its influence on the town remains strong to this day. The area continues to attract a progressive population.


The Year of Mud Workshop Testimonials

“We have talked nonstop about the workshop. It was GREAT! We learned a lot and are really inspired. I think that anytime I want to learn something I will start with a workshop… I am recommending your workshop to everyone.” – Callie C., Cob Oven Workshop 2013 participant

“Loved learning things I never knew before, working with other folks, accomplishing things together that we could not do alone, [and] seeing something big come together before our eyes. Ziggy and April were wonderful organizers and hosts. Lots of thought and preparation!” – Margaret W., Timber Framing Workshop 2013 participant

“This was one of the best experiences of my life.” – Jeff P.,  Straw Bale Workshop 2012 participant



Sign Up For New Workshop Info.: