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Natural Building Workshops

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

Are you excited about building with straw bales, earthen plaster, lime plaster, 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?

Join us for our next natural building workshop!

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is a natural builders’ paradise! Experienced builder Mark Mazzioti, one of Dancing Rabbit’s leading natural building artists, will lead this hands-on workshop focusing on techniques for creatively building straw bales, earthen plaster, and lime plaster.

During the workshop you’ll stack straw bale walls, and apply both lime and clay-based plasters. You’ll work with base coats, rough plasters, and finish plasters. You’ll also make clay and lime-base paints, and do a mosaic art installation. 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.

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
  • 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 a variety of natural wall-building techniques:

  • straw bales
  • earthen plaster
  • lime plaster
  • tile/stained glass mosaic

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 quickly. You’ll come away knowing how you can contribute to a healthier world with your new natural building skills.

Sign up now for our 2021 Workshop!

June 10-13, 2021

 *We respect your email privacy. You may opt-out at any time.  

Discover What People Have to Say About Their Experience

  • I loved doing this workshop. It was full of hands on activity and I liked the variety of building techniques.


    Natural Building Student
  • Awesome learning time, practical and Mark is a great teacher!


    Natural Building Student
  • Mark’s knowledge, especially the breadth, really shines through. I really like the way he generally frames things making it more accessible to understand and learn.


    Natural Building Student
  • This workshop was great to experience. I enjoyed experimenting and making errors together as a learning process during some of our activities.


    Natural Building Student

Located in Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, nestled in the rolling hills of Northeast Missouri, is one of the most well-known and successful ecovillages in the country, and one of the few in the Midwest. Founded in 1997, DR is home to many excellent examples of sustainable and eco-living. Plus the stars at night are amazing. You can check out the rest of our website to learn more about our ecovillage.

Mark Mazziotti discovered natural building in 2003 at a gathering in New Mexico. Ever since then he’s had his hands (and feet) in the mix of techniques that make up this labor of love. He learned straw bale building from Steve Kemble, one of the founders of the movement, apprenticed with Michael Smith, co-author of The Hand-Sculpted House, and taught earthbag building in South Africa with Joseph Kennedy, cofounder of Builders Without Borders. Mark holds a degree in fine arts from University of Pittsburgh and a masters in communications design from Pratt Institute. Before turning towards natural building he worked for many years as an art director at Public Media Center in San Francisco. Mark designed and built his own straw bale house at Red Earth Farms in Missouri where he currently resides. Most recently, he has been working with a group of Maskoke original people who have reclaimed their ancestral land in Alabama.

The course fee includes 3 meals a day, packed with as much nourishing, local food as possible. We can work with a range of dietary needs – let us know your particulars when you fill out the registration form. Please note that we do our best to accommodate different dietary needs but cannot guarantee that we will be able to.

June 10-13, 2021

Arrive Thursday afternoon, depart Sunday afternoon.
Meals provided from Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch.

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 Community Building.

Indoor accommodations are available to rent during the course for an additional fee. We have several options: rooms in cabins, private homes, and the bed & breakfast. Email us after you register to see what’s still available.

1 Adult: $497

The all-inclusive fee covers: instruction, materials, meals, camping platform (bring your own gear), showers, bathrooms, WiFi, and community building access. Indoor accommodations are available at an extra cost.