Currently viable crafts


Cob building


The making of and building in cob (also known as ‘cobb’, ‘clom’ or ‘clay lump’), a natural building material made from subsoil, water, organic fibrous material such as straw, and sometimes lime.


Status Currently viable
Craft category Walling and hedging; Building crafts
Historic area of significance Global
Area currently practised Devon and Cornwall predominantly
Origin in the UK
Current no. of professionals (main income) 6-10
Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
Current no. of trainees 1-5
Current total no. serious amateur makers
Current total no. of leisure makers
Minimum no. of craftspeople required





  • Understanding the characteristics of cob and its place in our built environment.
  • Understanding correct mixing processes and building techniques

Local forms

The basic ingredients are similar world-wide. However, there are regional names [of this medium] that vary.



Issues affecting the viability of the craft

  • Lack of regulation
  • Lack of proper training and opportunities to train
  • There are many people who incorporate some cob building into their work, but only a few remaining experienced practitioners to pass on skills.

Support organisations

Craftspeople currently known

Other information

If experienced practitioners drop away altogether our historic built environment will be impacted upon