The Clay Source
I just returned from digging clay outside of Ashland Oregon. Let me tell you hauling three five pound buckets of wet clay across and open field is not an easy feat for someone is who is under five foot. But I did it and that makes me smile. But let me start from the beginning why I even want to make a cob oven. When I first heard of cob was in the early 90s the first thing I thought this would be the perfect building material to make shrines. Later my friend Tony Corsini invited me to mush cob clay with my feet on Earth Day several years ago while he was building a cob oven. So this has been on my bucket list for year but I never realized how heavy the buckets would.
A few weeks ago I was at Silent Retreat growing new Mediterranean Herbal Garden. Everyday I would be digging very large holes throwing clay over the embankment and then adding top soil for the herbs. Now Silent Retreat is just likes its name you work in Silence and you meditate twice a day. So one night after evening meditation I went to bed and had this dream. ” I was in a market place somewhere in South America and I came to stall and saw a clay image shaped like a lump of clay but was glazed in bright colors of orange and red. I pick of the clay and a Goddess’s face was molded into its form. They insisted I take the piece and said this is Hotcha Mama. Then I was told you are the link between the Virgin Mother and Hotcha Mama.”
I woke up from the dream and went to the internet to see who is Hotcha Mama? There was not a Hotcha Mama but there was a Pachamama link. Pachamama is a Earth Goddess revered by Native People in Peru, Argentina and Bolivia.
The next morning I jumped the retaining wall with a bucket and picked up all the adobe clay I had throwing out of the garden. The bucket of clay will be part of my first clay oven “Hot Cha Cha Mama”. I brought the clay home and began to do my researched. I realized I needed much more. So today after meeting Tony Corsini at Jackson Well Springs I got several more bucket of clay to begin the cob oven project. Luckily my 94 year old father Jack, a stone mason and tile setter from way back, help me lift the bucket onto the truck. So this is the beginning my mystical journey of learning how to make a cob oven.