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Natural Building Part 2: Adobe, Cob, Wattle and Daub, Arches & Clay Plasters

September 6, 2019 - September 12, 2019

$650 – $1300

More fun with clay, straw, and sticks! This is one of a series of comprehensive workshops in which we will be constructing a hybrid natural building using many site-sourced materials and permaculture principles. Building on what we learned in the previous workshop, we will branch out into other earthen wall systems and begin the finishing process.

• Make adobe blocks from clay soil mixed with straw or other fibers

• Build different styles of earthen arches, with and without forms

• Make several types of wattle and daub, a sculptural, thin earthen wall made of sticks, clay and straw

• Learn the steps to turn a raw earthen or straw bale wall into a finished, durable wall by applying plasters made of clay and lime.

• Understand how to connect multiple natural wall systems together in a strong, efficient hybrid home

The extended practicum will include more wall building and much more experience with earthen plasters.

Each workshop is organized into two parts, the weekend Intensive (Friday through Sunday) will include the bulk of theoretical and practical training, followed by a 4-day Practicum (Monday through Thursday) focused on hands-on building experience. Participants are encouraged to attend both the workshop and practicum for the full experience, which is incentivized by a reduced workshop tuition. Workshops fees include an all-organic lunch and dinner as well as camping/housing options and an early morning yoga class.

For friends interested in going deep we are inviting 6 people to do an immersion through the Natural Building series. This immersion allows participants to attend workshops for free and have all meals provided in exchange for weekly work hours, primarily toward building, but also other supportive tasks for workshop prep and facility maintenance. ​

Lead instructor Michael G. Smith is one of the world’s authorities on building with earth and straw with over 25 years of teaching experience. In 1993, Michael co-founded the Cob Cottage Company, which reintroduced cob building to the United States. He is the author or co-author of many articles and books, including “The Art of Natural Building” and “The Hand-Sculpted House.” Michael has designed and/or built over 60 natural structures, specializing in space- and energy-efficient hybrid designs. Learn more at http://strawclaywood.com


September 6, 2019
September 12, 2019
$650 – $1300
Event Category:


Abuela Gardens
4649 Bear Canyon Rd.
Willits, CA 95490 United States
707 272-2929


Blair Phillips
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