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Natural Plaster Intensive Workshop, Alberta Canada – Dirt Craft Natural Building

June 3, 2016 - June 6, 2016 Contact

Dirt Craft Natural Building will be teaching a 3 day (plus an additional optional 4th day – details below) hands on workshop dedicated to plaster systems for natural buildings from Friday June 3rd to Sunday June 5th 2016 + optional bonus day, Monday June 6th, just outside Edmonton in Sherwood Park, AB. These will be full days, so come prepared to have fun, learn, and get your hands dirty! Lunch and refreshments included.

Purpose: to understand the steps necessary to finish any natural wall system, including your straw bale home. It is one thing to learn how to stack straw bales or stomp cob, but it is critically important to understand how to finish a building, as it will determine the longevity of your home or building. A good plaster system will mean the difference between success and failure of a natural building.

Here is some of what to expect:

  • Using plasters to create an air tight wall system = super energy efficient, comfortable homes, use Passive House design methodology
  • Wall preparation for various natural building techniques, including clay fiber, cob and straw bales
  • Sourcing local materials
  • Learn to identify clay, and process this inexpensive local material
  • Recipes for exterior renders and interior plasters
  • Rain screens (siding for straw bale homes): an alternative to plaster for exteriors
  • Learn to mix & apply interior plasters that can be applied to a variety of wall surfaces
  • Discussions comparing different plaster systems, pros and cons of earthen plasters, concrete stucco, especially focused on the areas of durability and vapour permeability
  • Plaster as it pertains to the long term health of a building with natural walls
  • Tool selection
  • Application techniques for base coats and finish plasters, including proper trowel techniques
  • Building design for earthen plasters
  • Different treatments for durability and weather resistance

Optional 4th Day:

Stick with us for Monday June 6th and learn the art of finish clay plasters and paints. These are the colours and textures that you’ll experience everyday in your home, so it is worth learning . Spend the day learning our refined recipes, how to work with pigment, and how to create a durable finishes. Best of all, you can introduce natural materials to any home, and these recipes can go easily over drywall!

What You Get:

  • 3/4 full days with 2 skilled natural building instructors. You get to ask questions, and learn from our mistakes.
  • Comprehensive note package outlining what we cover in the workshop.
  • Food during the day is included! Sit back, and engage with the learning.
  • There are very few places to learn about the true art of clay plaster; if you are considering building with natural materials, this is a skill that you will see on your walls for years to come.
  • If you are committed to engaging in the process of sustainable building, there are very few better ways to use truly local materials: clay is the most prolific building material on the planet – learn the critical step of how to source and identify clay

Lunch is included for all days. Camping & additional meal options available.

We will be working on the straw bale Temple that we started last year through a work party. The Temple itself is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the lands in Alberta and the people who strive to protect them. This space is to be available for people of all faiths, spiritual beliefs and religions, as a global healing temple for all. offering a great opportunity to all students to get to know more about the designing and approval process for a natural building. This calm, beautiful rural site is located in Sherwood Park, Alberta, just outside Edmonton, and presents a rare opportunity to get quality hands-on natural building experience. You’ll be nurtured by the landscape, while you enjoy an opportunity to be immersed in rewarding learning.

Early bird pricing available!


Hope to see you there.


June 3, 2016
June 6, 2016
Event Category:


StoneHedge Gardens near Edmonton, AB
Sherwood Park, Alberta Canada


Dirt Craft Natural Building