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Traditional Round Pole Timber Framing

July 26, 2019 - August 1, 2019

$650 – $1300

This is the first of a series of comprehensive workshops in which we will construct a hybrid natural building using many site-sourced materials and permaculture principles. This workshop will focus on round pole timber framing, an attractive structural skeleton that can accompany many natural wall systems. The first part of the workshop will cover:

  • Design Overview;

  • Structural considerations;

  • Aesthetic considerations;

  • How to interface timber frames with cob, straw bale & clay wattle;

  • Preparing logs (peeling, washing, relief cuts, curing);

  • Mortise & tenon joinery – the defining element of timber framing.  Demonstrations will be provided followed by hands-on sessions with coaching;

  • Layout and set up;

  • Cutting tenons;

  • Cutting housings;

  • Cutting mortises;

  • Honing and fitting joints;

  • Pegging joints with hardwood dowels;

  • Cutting & fitting braces;

  • Assembling & raising a “bent” frame.

The extended practicum will cover:

  • Assembling, raising and linking more “bent” frames;

  • Positioning and leveling the structure;

  • Bolting frames to the foundation;

  • Rafter fitting (if time allows).

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. ​

Instructors are Eric Lassotovitch and Colin Gillespie of polecraftsolutions.com.  

Colin has worked in the construction trades for over 10 years, with previous experience in integrative landscaping. He has dedicated himself to the study and mindful application of Natural Building, Permaculture Design, Eco-forestry, and Sociology. Son of an architect and a physicist, his attention to detail coupled with a passion for smart buildings and landscapes has inspired him to produce exemplary structures combining the benefits of modern and ancient building techniques. Elegant round-pole timber frame with straw bale infill constructions with robust contoured plasters are his specialty and have been featured in many of the projects he has led. In addition to his familiarity with standard stud construction, he is also known for his use of a variety of natural building techniques involving local resources such as wood, clay, and rock. He champions keen observation, considerate visioning, and thorough planning, all tempered with good humor to allow long-term efficient function and beauty to emerge naturally.

Eric is a licensed building contractor in Northern California.  He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from California College Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA. Upon moving to Mendocino County in Northern California he began homesteading his property in 1989 and as a natural extension of his passion for the subject, started helping others homestead their properties. He advocates keeping the goals of energy efficiency, affordability, and appropriate usage of local materials always in mind. The appeal of using the small diameter trees that currently need to be thinned from many tracts of forests in Mendocino County has inspired him to use his drawing skills to manifest new tools and techniques for Polecraft Solution’s unique approach to round-pole timber framing. Using 3D modeling software has enabled him to have a more satisfactory dialog with clients by showing them a better approximation of how their final project will appear. Other home building projects Eric has been involved in include homes and garden walls of rammed earth, straw bale homes, panelized yurt homes, and traditional stick framed homes. Eric has also created custom details for homes including cabinetry, tables, entry gates, local hardwood floors, and various tile projects. He and his wife Cindy enjoy seeing how hard work and dedication to sustainable living helps their community to thrive.




July 26, 2019
August 1, 2019
$650 – $1300
Event Category:


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


Blair Phillips
707 272-2929
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