Natural Building Workshop: Creating Natural Walls

Do you dream of building your own eco-home someday?


Are you excited about building with cob, light clay straw, wattle & daub,
and other natural materials?


Are you ready to sling mud with people who have built their own
sustainable homes out of clay, sand, and straw?

 

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, we’d love to have you join us for our next natural building workshop!

Our 2017 workshop filled up quickly- if you want to be first in line when dates for 2018 registration opens, sign up below.

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is a natural builders’ paradise! Experienced builder Hassan Hall, one of Dancing Rabbit’s leading natural building artists, will lead this hands-on workshop focusing on techniques for creatively building natural walls.

During the workshop you’ll work with cob and bottles, wattle-and-daub, light clay straw, cordwood, and earthen wall plaster—five fun and creative natural building methods! You’ll take away natural building knowledge and experience that can be applied anywhere, including an existing home. All of this, set in an ecovillage committed to learning, living, and sharing ways to live more lightly on the earth!

Also in this workshop, you’ll help create artful, affordable, and environmentally-sustainable shelter. You’ll take a tour of naturally-built homes at Dancing Rabbit, and learn what you need to consider when building or retrofitting your own sustainable home. You’ll see how earthen walls fit into the context of foundation, frame, and roof, and how to select appropriate materials for exterior and interior walls. You’ll build and plaster interior walls within a straw bale house, immersing yourself in five different simple and creative techniques.

This one-of-a-kind workshop will provide you with:

  • new insights into human shelter and a deep understanding of the important role natural building can play in these unpredictable climatic times
  • an understanding of how a building’s foundation, frame, roof, and walls fit together in design and construction
  • a framework for choosing appropriate materials and techniques to meet your building needs
  • sensory experiences of natural material mixes and how to adapt them to your needs
  • practice with a variety of building tools
  • tips on what requires detailed attention, and what can be “quick and dirty,” so you can build both artfully and efficiently
  • exercise, laughter, and a dozen new friends!

 

Most of the workshop will be experiential and hands-on, working with five natural building techniques:

  • Cob
  • Light Clay Straw
  • Wattle-and-daub
  • Cordwood
  • Finish earthen plaster

If you want to have fun while getting messy, making new friends, and learning how to create sustainable, non-industrial, low-impact buildings, we invite you to register now, since this workshop is likely to sell out. You’ll come away knowing how you can contribute to a healthier world with your new natural building skills.

 

Location

gobcobatron_dsc_2838-copyDancing Rabbit Ecovillage, in northeastern Missouri, is home to some of the most excellent examples of sustainable building and eco-living in the country. Although course days are packed full, there will be opportunities to learn about Dancing Rabbit, connect with villagers, and participate in village activities. Please check out the rest of our website to learn more about our ecovillage.
The workshop will be held in two of the natural buildings at Dancing Rabbit. The hands-on segments will take place at Hassan’s latest project site: a beautifully-designed round home with straw bale walls and a reciprocal roof. Workshop participants will build four interior walls using different techniques during the workshop. Find out more about this building on Hassan’s website.

Classroom segments will be held at co-teacher Sharon’s home, Robinia, a hand-built timber-framed, earth-sheltered straw bale home with a gardenable roof. Designed as part of a permaculture homestead, Robinia includes examples of straw bale and earthbag walls, as well as light clay straw, wattle-and-daub, and cordwood techniques.

Dates

June 22-25, 2017
Arrive on the afternoon of Thursday, June 22.  Depart Sunday afternoon, June 25.
Meals provided from Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch.
 

 

Hassan Hall, lead instructor, has built three natural buildings at Dancing Rabbit since 2012, added artful and eccentric frills to many others, and taught at every opportunity. With an ideal to inspire and empower, he shares with students his passion for, knowledge of, and experience in artful natural building.

Sharon Bagatell, assistant instructor, has extensive experience in education and permaculture, and brought these skills to bear when she helped build Robinia, her beautiful natural home at Dancing Rabbit. She is also a certified permaculture teacher, and currently coordinates educational programs for the Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.
The course fee includes 3 meals a day, packed with as much nourishing, local food as possible. We can work with a wide range of dietary needs – let us know your particulars and we’ll do our best to accommodate them.
The course fee includes camping accommodations in Dancing Rabbit’s wooded campground. Platforms for tents are provided, along with a composting toilet and access to showers in the Dancing Rabbit Common House.

We also have several indoor accommodation options available for an additional fee, ranging from small, rustic cabins to guest rooms in beautiful, naturally-built homes to the comfortable strawbale Milkweed Mercantile B&B right here at Dancing Rabbit. We’ll send you more information about indoor accommodations after you’ve registered.
$450
All-inclusive: Cost covers instruction, materials, meals, camping, showers, bathrooms, wifi, and community building access. Indoor accommodations available for an extra cost.
"Working with Hassan was an all-around exceptionally positive experience. His knowledge about natural building and patience with guiding me through new techniques were a huge asset to my experience. But more than that; Hassan is a skilled problem-solver. Natural building is often less structured and by-the-book than conventional building, which can leave room for uncertainties and potential mistakes. Hassan has the experience to guide you through any questions and help problem-solve any concerns you may have on building plans of your own.

Living at Dancing Rabbit Eco-village has given Hassan the unique opportunity to create multiple beautiful and one of a kind buildings in very close proximity to one another. By partaking in a workshop with Hassan you get the opportunity to experience not just one building but several. I can't think of a better place to experience natural building than at Dancing Rabbit with Hassan!"


-Kale W., former work exchanger at Dancing Rabbit

 

Sign up below to be first in line when we announce 2018 dates for natural building workshops