Having posted about the shed last night, and now the cob house tonight, I find myself wanting opinions from other humans about whether both structures are beautiful (so please comment). The cob embodies so much of one particular feeling, and I find the shed to appear a bit less alive, but still so fun to build and beautiful in its functionality.
Look at the two:
I'm tempted to think that the cob house is a structure that can stand alone as a whole accomplishment and a finished sculpture that is a very real part of all the artists/builders involved in its making. In contrast, the more conventional shed is a representation of the piecing together of very processed materials that aren't - and can never be - "mine." As a result, the shed will never be my own creation, regardless of how unique the design details are to my brain.
I was thinking about this the other day when working on the cob house. The ladies who I am building it for will most likely refer to it as "our healing room," when introducing it to people in the future. They paid me to build it. Much like I pay for things, and then they are mine; my truck, my clothes, my tools. Now I am thinking that they aren't mine. If I wore carefully crafted clothes from a local seamstress, than my clothes would be hers or his. As it stands, I don't know who or what made my clothes, and so they are no ones. In any case, I think this is one way in which money is (dangerously) powerful. It allows me to claim ownership of things that I did not have a hand or brain in creating.
This brings me to the dilemma of using processed materials. Cob is processed by me, and very little. Milled lumber is processed by a whole host of other machines and people, and quite a bit. I imagine that I'd have the same disconnect with the cob house as I do with the shed if I bought all of my cob at Home Depot, and it had already been mined, transported, mixed, and transported again by machines.
I love both structures, but the struggle persists.