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Lime Plaster Workshop

September 10, 2021 - September 13, 2021


In this hands-on workshop, participants will be introduced to the basic principles and best practices of designing for and using lime plasters on a range of common substrates.  Students will plaster a variety of interior and exterior walls with different types of lime plaster and will experience how to prepare work areas for plastering.  Additional discussion topics will include the do’s and don’ts of lime, the different kinds of lime and pre-made lime plasters, considerations for base and finish coats, and the basics of plastering and plastering tools.  Experience level: beginner to intermediate.  This course is accessible for beginner plasterers, but will be more rewarding if participants already have some familiarity with using a hawk and trowel for applying plaster.

Instructor Massey Burke is the co-director of the California Straw Building Association and a natural building practitioner in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was originally trained in hands-on construction by Darryl Berlin, Michael Smith, and other accomplished members of the natural building movement. After working on various projects in northern California and elsewhere, she settled in the East Bay and became focussed on integrating natural building methods with the urban fabric.  This grew into involvement with structural testing and code development, setting technical precedents, and working on carbon footprinting for natural materials, all to help expand the contexts, cultural acceptance, and support for natural building techniques, in collaboration with partners such as Arup, Stopwaste, the Carbon Leadership Forum, and others.    She currently works as a design/build consultant for architects, contractors, owner-builders, and organizations to support research and implementation of natural building, as well as teaching hands-on natural building workshops for CASBA and other organizations.

The workshops will be held at Emerald Earth Sanctuary, an intentional community, educational hub and a model for alternative practices in the hills above Anderson Valley, traditional lands of the Tabuteh Pomo people. The land we call Emerald Earth is set on 189 acres of coniferous forest and oak woodland. Each year we offer a variety of scheduled tours, workshops, work parties, internship positions, and farm stays. Our purpose is to honor the sacredness of the Earth and the interconnectedness of all things, to celebrate the rhythms and cycles of the natural world, and to live in a creative and engaged community.

Emerald Earth may be the most complete Natural Building demonstration site in the USA. It has 6 small homes, a large common house, and many utility structures that were built as part of natural building workshops, work parties, and internships. The buildings use passive solar principles for heating and cooling; they feature off-grid solar electricity; composting toilets and greywater recycling; many construction materials were harvested on site. Tours will be incorporated into both workshops, showing the use of round pole timber framing; walls of cob, straw bale, light straw-clay, wattle-and daub, and other natural infill systems; foundations of earthbags, rammed tires, stone and local wood; living green roofs (some insulated with shredded local redwood bark); earthen floors; many kinds of natural plasters and home-made paints.


September 10, 2021
September 13, 2021
Event Category:


Emerald Earth Sanctuary
7700 Peachland Rd.
Boonville, CA 90145 United States


Straw Clay Wood
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