MAKING COB IS A VERY SOCIABLE BUILDING ACTIVITY – 2nd wk in July 2014

Having visited Vivienne and Chris Hayes outside Wexford town to taste the delicious pizzas made in their homemade cob oven, the idea of building our own outdoor cob oven became very appealing. Cob is made from subsoil or marle, sand, straw and water – not forgetting many bare feet and hands. The ‘meitheal’ factor is vital as all the work has to be done in one day so the finished structure dries at a uniform rate.

Saul Moshbacher, plus his WWOOF-ing helper Theo, drove from Feakle in Co. Clare to Wexford to train the willing workers on how to make a cob oven. They brought large tarpaulins on which the mixing could take place. This looked to any passerby like barefoot dancing, but there was thorough mixing of sand, subsoil and water going on. Three layers each 2 inches thick were moulded around a damp sand dome on top of a stone base. The outer layer had straw added to the mix to make it harder wearing.

Once made the cob should really be left to dry

One of the cob mixing teams hard at 'work'. Meet Peter, Niamh, Ailis, Dana and Theo dancing for their supper!

One of the cob mixing teams hard at ‘work’. Meet Peter, Niamh, Ailis, Dana and Theo dancing for their supper!

for several months, but we needed to test it earlier than that in advance of our wedding! So next week’s blog will report on testing the cob oven for the first time.

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