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Build A Super Efficient Wood Fired Cob Oven – May SOLD OUT

May 27, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Wood fired pizza, fresh baked breads, slow cooked meats and tasty sweet treats; they can all be done with a single firing of a thermal mass, super efficient cob oven over an afternoon.
Join Ashley Lubyk, experienced cob builder and the owner of Dirt Craft Natural Building, as he teaches all the steps necessary for you to build your very own double chamber cob oven in this day long workshop.


COB!  It is an English word and method for one of the most fundamental building materials known.  Used for millennia, lasting for centuries (with some love and care) and used the world over, it is just sand, clay, and straw, and it is sometimes made into adobe bricks or compressed in rammed earth formwork.

A cob oven is a thick monolithic domed structure that gets heated from the inside with a wood fire.  The thermal mass of the oven walls gathers and stores the heat and the wood fire is removed (or pushed aside).  Then the oven is ready for baking as it slowly releases the radiant heat for hours.

During this workshop, the cob will be mixed with your feet, and stacked with your hands.  It is the simplest, low cost, low embodied energy and infinitely recyclable building material around and it can be enjoyed by both young and old alike.

Wood Fired Bread Baking with Aviv July 15-001


After years of building ovens, Dirt Craft has taken the cob oven design to the next level. Combining the traditional proportions of the oven, with the addition of a smoke chamber and chimney, they’ve managed to arrive at a design that maximizes the heating potential and minimizes, actually basically eliminates, smoke. We’ll get into the details of this design during the workshop.


  • determine the optimal location to place your oven
  • create a base for an oven
  • identify suitable soil for making cob
  • lay firebricks for an effective hearth
  • build an oven form
  • mix thermal cob & natural insulation for a highly efficient oven
  • cure your oven
  • light a fire for optimal cooking
  • mix a simple and beautiful earthen plaster
  • build the perfect door
  • use wood efficiently
  • The secrets for a successful bake – thermal cooking vs. live fire cooking



  • You want to build your own wood fire oven and want guidance on how to start
  • You don’t mind rolling up your sleeves and getting a little (or a lot) dirty.
  • You are interested in natural building
  • You want an introduction to the fundamental principles of building with mud and detailing so you can take on more complex projects
  • You want a hands-on experience working and building with cob



  • a full hands on workshop experience (but everyone works to their ability and comfort level – there is something for everyone) – we will be building a cob oven in a day
  • the confidence to go and build an oven on your own
  • some design plans and the opportunity to talk through your design ideas with a knowledgeable and experienced builder.



Ashley has taught close to 75 workshops through his company Dirt Craft Natural Building, where he has taught hundreds of students how to build their own wood fired cob ovens. He sees the cob oven as a community building tool that brings people together over some of the essentials of life: sharing food, enjoying fire and being outside.

In addition to ovens, Ashley is also passionate about creating sustainable shelter. As a teacher, builder and consultant, he’s committed to helping people build homes that are beautiful, comfortable, and energy efficient, without undermining the integrity of life on earth.

His specialties include straw bale construction, light-clay straw, cob & adobe, as well as natural finishes, non-toxic paints, clay & lime plasters, earthen floors and healthy materials for new & existing homes.

Both his strong leadership skills and his astute ability to communicate are keen attributes which he puts to work when he is teaching, consulting on building design, or working alongside owner-builders on the construction site.

As of September 2016, Ashley has returned to school to pursue a graduate degree in Building Science, in the faculty of Engineering and Architecture Science at Ryerson University in Toronto. His research focuses on using natural materials in the context of ultra low energy, super-insulated building envelopes for cold climates.


Date: Saturday May 27th

Time: 9 am – 5 pm

Where: – Ami’s House – 28 Inkerman Street, Guelph ON, N1H 3C5


  • You should come dressed in work clothes that can get dirty and muddy.  We will be building a full cob oven in a day.
  • We will be mixing the cob with our feet.  If you are not comfortable mixing mud with your bare feet, you should wear boots or shoes that can get muddy. 
  • Working with cob is manual labour.  Please be sure to look after yourself. Eat a good breakfast.
  • Please be sure to bring water, lunch and snacks.  Light snacks and drinks will also be provided, but lunch will not. 
  • The backyard that we will be working has minimal shade, be sure to wear proper sun protection. 
  • Please park anywhere along Inkerman Street. Please do not park in the driveway.


Early Bird: $110 until April 3rd, 2017

Regular: $125 after April 3rd until spots remain.

*** You do not need to pay through Eventbrite. You are welcome to send an email money transfer to ami@mingaskillbuilding.ca or mail a cheque to 28 Inkerman Street Guelph ON N1H3C5.

Cancellation Guidelines

  • Minga will provide a 100% refund for workshops cancelled by Minga.
  • If a registrant cancels a workshop with more than 5 days notice, a 100% refund will be issued.
  • If a registrant cancels with less than 5 days notice, or does not show up, no refund will be issued.
  • The above policies apply for pre-registered workshops. Refunds or credits will not be issued for a missed class.

* Please note that we’ll be sending out information about specifics of the workshop a few days before the workshop, including a reminder of what to bring.


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May 27, 2017
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Minga Skill Building Hub


Ami’s House
28 Inkerman Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H3C5 Canada
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