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.
The word Cob translates from ol’ English as “lump or mass.” In my experience I’ve noticed that “Cob” is used very flexibly in conversation. Seems to mean so much more than the simple building material of clay, sand and straw. I find Cob is almost referred to as a entity. It represents a departure from conventional thinking, a freedom of form, both in shape and in spirit. It has become a adjective for a path to wholeness; living in tune with the Earth. It points to a tool for community; bringing people together. To some it’s a über-green way of living. Comfort, ergonomics, self expression, free material, hobbit homes: whimsy and fantasy, health, sculpture, nesting, home. All this in a “stuff.” I started thinking, what does Cob represent to me? Continue Reading…
I was fortunate to visit Joshua Tree this weekend. I met up with friends made at the Water Woman Festival in October. During the festival I didn’t really take any photos… to busy plerking ( play-working ). This time I made sure to take some!
There were 4 building projects during the festival. A temple led by Sun Ray Kelly; a cob bench and shade structure led by Kata Polano; Ray Cirino’s cob bench with built in rocket stove cooker; and a pond built by Gregory Glenn or the “goddess dipping pool”. The temple and pool are complete, though the two cob benches are still under construction. We were working on that this week end.
Have you ever heard the expression “I’m a builder not a baker”? It’s funny, until recently, I’ve made more cob ovens than loaves of bread.
My friends Kevin and Kristy ( KK ) came for a visit and we reconstructed the Oasis cob oven. The size was a little too small and it had seen a years-worth of weather, so I destroyed the dome. That’s what I love about cob… you can start over, with ease, creating a whole new form. This time made it a little taller inside and added a chimney stack just for fun. So, it took a while to get all the elements in place… remodeling the oven, gathering ingredients, and researching recipes. But then one day, it was all together, and it was time to bake. Continue Reading…