listed chronologically

Renewable Energy Workshop
November 28
Petersborough, ON, Canada

It is a widely held dream of many people to live a life powered by renewable energy. But it can be difficult to know how best to proceed with making this dream a reality. This workshop is the perfect introduction to the world of renewable energy, designed to help you figure out the best path to finding yourself living a renewable energy lifestyle. Instructor Sean Flanagan has been designing and installing renewable energy systems for over a decade, and unlike many renewable energy teachers he lives off-grid himself, giving him an intimate knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. The workshop covers all aspects of renewable energy.

See endeavourcentre.org for more information.

Hempcrete Workshop
November 29
Petersborough, ON, Canada

Come and discover how a simple mix of natural materials can create a remarkable thermal insulation! Hempcrete (or hemp-lime) construction uses chopped hemp hurd (the woody core of the hemp plant) mixed with hydraulic lime to create an insulation material with excellent thermal, moisture-handling and structural properties.

In this workshop, participants will learn about the components of hempcrete, see a slideshow of various Canadian and international hempcrete building projects, and gain an understanding of how, why and where hempcrete is an appropriate material choice. In the classroom, we will look at the costs, sourcing and building science of using hempcrete on new building projects and renovations.

In the hands-on component of the workshop, participants will learn how to assess the necessary materials and create a mix that is appropriate for a desired end use. We will use mixing machinery to create batches of hempcrete, and learn how to place them in a wall, floor and/or roof. Different types of framing and shuttering (or forming) systems will be shown, and every participant will leave with a hempcrete block they cast themselves.

See endeavourcentre.org for more information.

Making and Applying YOur Own Natural Finish Plasters
December 5 - 6
Petersborough, ON, Canada

You can make your own natural finish plasters to bring the beauty and benefits of natural building to any home, whether renovating a single room or building a new home. These homemade clay and lime plasters can be applied on any typical wall surface, including drywall (painted or new) and plasters or masonry of all kinds. The plasters are made from easily obtainable, affordable natural materials and can be mixed and applied at home in a vast range of colours and textures.

Natural clay or lime plasters add a dimension to a room unobtainable with any other finish. In addition to their inherent beauty, they are non-toxic and can help regulate humidity in a room. They are durable and repairable and the best way to make your home a more natural, warmer and healthier place.

In this workshop, you will learn how to source the required materials, prepare wall surfaces for plastering, mix and tint plasters and apply to wall surfaces. During the workshop, you will create a series of sample boards in the colours of your choice to take home to help make plaster choices for your own home/project.

See endeavourcentre.org for more information.

Cob Earthen House Building Workshop
December 6 - 31

Learn modern cob techniques and discover beautiful Senegal and discover its rich culture! Cob is strong and cheap. Cob building expert Claudine Desiree is travelling the world to promote sustainable living. In this workshop she will teach all stages of building your own earth house. We will all work together to create a beautiful small guest house in one month. Each week we will be focusing on different phases of the cob house building process from foundation and walls to windows, sculpting, art and fiinally floors, plaster and roof. Each week builds on the last, however each week will give you a full experience of cob, how to make it and build with it.

See www.cruzincobglobal.org for more information.

There is a scholarship fundraiser we are doing to get Senegalese students funded! See

Natural Building WINTERNSHIP
January 4 - February 4
Oxford, Michigan

In this month-long experience you will learn a wide variety of natural building skills, while living and working with others. Daily life also includes classroom presentations on natural building, fermenting, cording, whittling. The program is structured around 4 weekend workshops which are also open to the public: Thatching & Reed Collection, Round Pole Framing, Rocket Stove, Earth Plasters and Sculpting. Other activities include a local Permaculture Meetup & Full Moon Potluck held at the Strawbale Studio. Students live and learn on-site for a month in a beautiful rural wooded setting 1 hour north of Detroit. Structures on site include the thatched Strawbale Studio, the Hobbit Sauna with Living Roof, under construction, a Rocket Stove Heated Bench, Earth Oven, and more.

See the links to the 2015 Winternship Blogs for previous details and pictures.

Contact Deanne at ecoartdbATgmail.com or 248 496 4088 for more information.

Biography: Deanne Bednar is the primary instructor. 2 guest experts will also visit and teach during your stay. Deanne has been doing natural building since 1996 and before that, taught Middle School Art and Sustainability for 28 years. Illustrated 3 books on Natural Building, Masters in Social Ecology. Teaches thatching, cob, strawbale, earth plaster, rocket stove, earth oven construction.

Workshop that are included in the program:


Jan 13th Oakland County Permaculture Meetup

Jan 16 & 17, 2016 ROUND POLE framing

Jan 23 & 24, 2016 ROCKET STOVE Workshop

Jan. 23, 2016 Full Moon Potluck

Jan 30 & 31, 2016 EARTH PLASTER & SCULPTING.

Further Details on Internships / Worktrade / Woofing; Brief Application form for the Winternship and other 2015 Internship options.

Thatching - An Introduction
January 9 - 10
Oxford, Michigan

Learn about the basics of thatching a roof,   tour thatched buildings, see a demonstration of thatching on a small frame, and try your hand at it a bit. Learn the strategies of identifying and storing reed ~ when to harvest and when to thatch, and see a video on thatching.  Then we will go to a site about 10 minutes away, where you will check out the reed fields & see a demo on reed collection.  Consider staying on or coming back Sunday to practice harvesting reed & volunteer.

See testdsw.wordpress.com/thatching-workshop for more information.

January 16 & 17
Oxford, Michigan

Learn principles &  hands-on basics of round pole framing for small structures.  Includes a tour of natural buildings with round poles on site, construction of a small project to take home, use of tools, harvesting wood, designing a small structure & overnight accommodations if needed.  Limited to 12 students. Click link to Register.  Some scholarships available. Overnight accommodations.   More details see testdsw.wordpress.com/round-pole-framing. Blog & pics from 2014 Round Pole wksp ! 

January 23 & 24

Oxford, Michigan

This unique & practical workshop focuses on creating useful heat efficiently from local materials ! Fee Includes a copy of the new edition of the  Rocket Mass Heater Book.  Tour buildings & Stoves on site, Hands-on experiences, Principles of construction, code, etc.. Blog post and pics from last Rocket Stove Workshop.

Click here for details. Includes meals & overnight. 

Jan. 30 & 31
Oxford, Michigan

Get hands-on experience in a variety of applications that you can use in your existing dwellings or future natural building home. Using natural and local soil, we will do earth plaster and sculpting in an conventional home.  Make your existing home more natural, or apply these skills to a future natural building or earth oven you construct.  Bring a bag lunch. Taught by Deanne Bednar, art teacher, illustrator of the Hand-Sculpted House and the Natural Plaster Book. See www.strawbalestudio.org for more information.

Introduction to Cob & Natural Building
April 4-10
Maricopa, CA

Cob building combines clay sediment, sand, fiber, and water, and is hand sculpted to form walls, benches, ovens, and fireplaces. Cob building makes use of readily available, affordable, non-toxic materials to build beautiful, organic structures.

The course is appropriate for both first-time builders and for professionals in the building trade who are interested in natural materials. In this cob workshop, we focus on the characteristics of the natural materials most commonly used in construction: clay soil, sand, and fibers. Our main focus will be cob, though we will touch on various other building techniques that utilize the same materials, including adobe block, light straw-clay, wattle and daub, and plasters. We will discuss how to find and choose appropriate soil for construction, how to create various mixes, how to attach wood to earthen walls, and how to use earthen materials to build walls, sculpt niches, shelves, and furniture.

This course is primarily a hands on course, where we learn by doing. We will be building a small structure from start to finish. As a complement to the hands-on portion of the course, we will include slide shows and discussions of the theoretical aspects of natural building. Subjects include building design and siting, passive solar design, foundations and drainage, earthen floors, appropriate roof design, and wiring and plumbing for natural structures.

See http://www.quailsprings.org/programs/program-calendar/ for more information.

Everything Earthen
June 25 - July 1
Portland, Oregon

Experience Cob and so much more. This is an in-depth summary of how to source, process, mix, and transform common earth materials into beautiful housing and art. You'll learn how to create walls from cob/adobe, wattle and daub, rammed earth, straw clay, wood chip clay, straw bales, and more. Learn to mix and apply plasters of cob/adobe, cement, and lime. Also discover mixing and application of earthen paints and lime paints. Hands-on instruction, lectures and slides.

see www.earthenhand.com for more information.

Cob Dome Construction
weekends August 6 - 28
Portland, Oregon

Math meets mud in this new course. Monolithic earthen domes have been a common form of shelter around the world for eons. They can make great root cellars or garden sheds, and can easily endure the elements with a roof. Learn to construct a small catenary dome over four weekend classes. Attend some or all weekends, but we recommend all. It's going to be technical and fun!

see www.earthenhand.com for more information.

See On-Going Workshops for more listings.

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I specifically disclaim any warranty, either expressed or implied, concerning the information on these pages. Neither I nor any of the advisor/consultants associated with this site will have liability for loss, damage, or injury, resulting from the use of any information found on this, or any other page at this site. Kelly Hart, Hartworks, Inc.


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