What is cob? Cob is a building material composed of clay, sand, and straw. This humble formula often prompts jokes about mud huts or spurs snap judgments that cob structures will dissolve in the first rainstorm. Such understandable misconceptions, however, are immediately put to rest the first time one gets a look at a sophisticated cob work of art that one can sculpt with one’s own hands, live in, and leave to one’s great great grandchildren. Cob is very durable and requires little upkeep. As Daniel Chiras puts it, "It won't burn, bugs won't eat it, and it's dirt cheap." Additionally, it's non-toxic, creates no waste, and requires minimal tools to construct. Thousands of cob houses have weathered rainy England for hundreds of years, and a recent renaissance of cob building centered in Oregon has joyfully explored the modern artistic and architectural possibilities of the material.