Earth Oven Course.

Build with Earth, Bake with Fire!

This popular workshop takes an intensive journey with Earth, Bread and Fire. Expect an illuminating group experience, hearty food and a lot of muddy fun.

Make a super insulated earthen bread oven for home baking with your own hands and feet.

During this residential course, we will cover foundations, hearth floors, doors, chimneys, insulation, cob and render layers. We also look at baking tools and firing an oven. You will leave with practical next steps and all the skills you’ll need to make your own; whilst the host will retain an earthen bread oven that will give years of use.

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What is cob?

Cob or clom is an old English word for this kind of building material; a mixture of straw, clay and sand.

This mixture is a versatile material that can be used to form many different kinds of structures. The technique is ancient, and continues to be used all over the world.

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What will we be doing?

An Oven course is an excellent project to learn about building with cob.

We will look at stone foundations, build with a variety of cob mixes and the structure will be completed with earth plasters.

You will leave the course with all the skills necessary to begin your own earth building project.

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Practical sessions will cover:

  • The location and testing of suitable materials.
  • Mixing cob successfully.
  • How to adapt your mixes to suit the conditions and elements of the design, including fire, insulation, structural & decorative layers.
  • Sculpting with cob/how to create free flowing forms, integrated niches and decoration
  • Different techniques of building and trimming walls.
  • Look at baking tools, baking and firing your oven and make and bake some delicious sourdough breads.

This is an intensive practical and theoretical course; expect long days of hands-on work with short theory sessions.

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About the Venue

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Camas Outdoor Activity Centre welcomes groups and individuals to its pink granite cottages nestled in an isolated bay on the Ross of Mull, a mile and half away from the road. The aim of the centre is to provide a safe haven for individuals to enjoy the company of their group, the wonder of Scotland’s west coast environment and to offer each person opportunities for personal and spiritual development.

Electricity is generated solely from our wind turbine and solar panels heat water. Food is vegetarian and where possible gathered from our organic garden and polytunnels. Building a community based on nurturing confidence and acceptance is all important.

Camas welcomes a diverse range of groups including youth groups, schools, students and individual adults. The day is framed by morning and evening “reflections” designed to engage staff and guests in contemplation about events of the day, themselves, the environment, past and futures.

About your Tutors.

Rhyddian Knight and Laura Gamwell are resident staff at Camas Outdoor Centre. Together they have taught oven building and other cob-related building courses throughout Scotland for many years. On their 2013 ‘Hearth Tour‘ of Scotland, they raised ovens as community building courses in a community garden in Colinton, a primary school in Sighthill, a community woodland in Dunbar, a private settlement in Falkland and a fruit farm in Forres! You can see some pictures from one of their previous oven courses here.

The supporting team.

Behind the course are an eclectic & enthusiastic team of resident staff and long term volunteers who will ensure your stay is a well balanced mix of food, fun, energy, contemplation, nature experience and evening entertainment.
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Booking Inquiries:

Email: camascoord@iona.org.uk
or Phone: Abbi Mason, Camas Coordinator on 01681 700367

Cost:  £225 (Tuition, Full Board & Accommodation)

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[Please note that rhyddian & laura are not claiming any fee for this course; all proceeds  are for the Camas  Outdoor Activity Centre.]

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