If you’ve voyaged into the realm of natural building you’ve probably seen the awe inspiring work of Master Sculptor Builder SunRay Kelly. His sculptural homes seem to come straight out of a dream! He has been a great teacher and inspiration for many. Personally, the moment I saw a photo of the “The Yogurt” I was hooked on cob and the possibilities for our built environment. Thanks SunRay!
I love this story on his website:
SunRay’s organic designs take their form from the shapes of living trees. His study of architecture and sculpture only reinforced his affinity for the forms Nature takes, in rejection of the artificial forms in rectilinear Western architecture.
The teacher in his first college drafting class told SunRay on seeing his designs,
“Learn to use a hammer, boy, because no one but you is going to be able to build that.”
SunRay’s work is showcased, by his daughter Kumara, on MTV Extreme Cribs.
We get a tour through the one-of-a-kind homestead known as The Nature Village.
Cob as a sculptural medium is realized when Miguel Elliot of Living Earth Structures is at the helm. Miguel is an artisan and builder who offers cob construction services and workshops. Creating whimsical structures, ovens, cob saunas, and sculpture. I was particularly impressed to see Miguel’s work in an urban setting at the Butterfly Social Club, in Chicago, IL. Miguel transformed a night club with lively cob sculpture. If your ever in need of some inspiration stroll over to Miguel’s site!
Carole Crews, is an artist, author, natural builder, and plaster guru near Taos, New Mexico. She has worked with mud and finishes for earthen buildings professionally for 25 years. She is also the creator of this incredible earthen building. The Dome is a work of art. Never before have I seen a building quite like this – it’s magic.
The Dome is 16 feet in diameter and roughly 550 square feet. All made of adobe and cob. Carole started the project back in 1992, working sporadically over the years. The adobe bricks were laid one by one, cut to specific shapes and leveled with pea stones and adobe mortar or cob forming the adobe dome. Over time extra space was added including a kitchen, bedroom, and a outdoor space. The outdoor space, which is around 200 square feet, was originally meant to be room for her daughters, but in the end was left open-air. What a nice place to hang out and take in the view of Taos Mountain.
In August, I had a chance to sling some mud over at Kindra’s Mountain Cottage. This beautiful, 1200 square foot, fully permitted cob house is tucked away in the mountains of Black Lake, in northern New Mexico. It’s constructed from locally harvested round wood, straw bale, cob, and adobe. It’s a passive solar design with radiant ( earthen ) floor heating and a living roof. The quality is magnificent, like we have come to expect from Kindra’s work. Though the cottage is a bit of a family art project, with most of the labor provided by Kindra, her family and friends.
When I arrived, the work party was applying the exterior render to the walls. A mix of 2 red clay, 1 lime, 3 course sand, 3 fine sand and some chopped straw. Then washed with a color coat while still wet.