Join us for a hands-on introduction to the transformative world of natural building! Cob sculpting and earthen floors are age-old building techniques that make use of a free, non-toxic, and abundant resource—the earth beneath our feet. Combine common ground clay with sand and straw and you can build just about anything from load-bearing walls and benches to durable floors and beautiful plasters. This workshop will introduce you to the fundamental skills necessary to understand and work with natural building materials.
With the guidance of experienced natural builder & teacher Mark Mazziotti (who, along with Ziggy Liloia & his crew, helped us put on a very successful straw bale construction workshop last summer!), we will complete a heated cob bench on day one and install a finish earthen floor on day two. Participants will literally jump right into mixing cob with their feet and sculpting it with their hands. Along the way, they will learn the characteristics of the materials and the tricks and techniques of how to apply them. Our new, small, off-grid straw bale house will be the worksite and classroom. It will provide examples for discussion of other natural building techniques, insulation vs. thermal mass, and the principles of passive solar design. We will also talk about alternative wood burning stove technology such as rocket mass heaters and masonry heaters. The cob bench will be heated by a hand-built Cabin Stove—one of only a few in existence—that will be on site to examine.
This workshop is for those interested in natural building at any level. No experience is necessary. Mud and fun are guaranteed!
Participants will have the option of attending either day or joining us for the whole weekend. On-site camping is available, and 3 vegetarian meals/day will be provided.