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

joseph r dupont joedupont at
Tue Aug 19 23:13:18 CDT 2008

the problem is that we have lost our rights to have freedom of
and building by hand..even if it kills us is a freedom of expression as
much as painting a picture.
Ken kern has inspired countless thousands of people to explore new ideas.
yes he got himself killed.. but we all die sooner or later and most could
not even shine his shoes.

On Tue, 19 Aug 2008 19:04:24 -0700 "Charmaine Taylor"
<dirtcheapbuilderbooks at> writes:
> 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
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> Coblist mailing list
> Coblist at
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