Rethink Your Life!
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The Work of Art and The Art of Work
Kiko Denzer on Art

[Cob] "FELLOW CRUSHED" the real story

Charmaine Taylor dirtcheapbuilderbooks at
Tue Aug 19 21:04:24 CDT 2008


As I suspected from emails I am getting the "fellow" is Ken Kern, a
prodigious builder and inventor, in fact he died JUST as he was
encouraging people to come together to build with cob.

 It is very sad  but he did die in a freak accident of nature.  The
last book he was working on  was called "Owner Built Home Revisited +
A house of clay"   which shows a design of 3 cement aches coming
together, and covered with a clay mix. He was experimenting with
materials, and  was still building and working on his latest idea.

the facts are garbled totally in the telling over time-- so here is the story.

Others- like Joe & Joe  may have this same- or similar story-  and
Yes, Ianto Evans has told me part of it, and I know his widow,
Barbara, who is still alive, and his son and daughter and their
children, so I do not want to cause them pain.

After all if your partner died in a horrible accident you would not
want it blasted all over and gossiped about forever.

unfortunately it will be.

1. Ken did have an argument with his wife, and left the home to go
sleep in his experimental building. something he would never
ordinarily do.

2. there was a  powerful rain storm that soaked the clay and the walls
and the ground on his  experimental, unfinished  dome.

3. one of the cement arches, not yet cured the full time cracked under
the absorbed pressure of the wet clay, and the building failed and
killed him.

4. his son found him the next morning.
and life goes on.   and rumors start.

I have heard people say he was a 'stupid builder', nothing could be
further from the truth. if you read his last, unfinished book, you
would see all the great ideas and genius he had going on. his ideas
for wood chip abnd sawdust clay inspired me to use these materials in
my studio and home... but his promotion of 'cob' building stopped
there... not many saw his unfinished work, and cob lost its
introduction for 15 years until Ianto and crew came along to
reintroduce it.

So let's put to rest the story that a "cob house killed someone".
Ms. Charmaine  Taylor/ Taylor Publishing
707 441-1632   www.
PO Box 375, Cutten CA 95534