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2012 Straw Bale Building Workshop at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

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Come join us in July 2012 for a comprehensive straw bale building workshop at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, where you will learn valuable skills you need to know to build your own straw bale home. You’ll get hands-on experience stacking, securing, and pinning bales, and plastering the walls with local clay. Enjoy and learn from the incredible experience of helping to build an actual home in a well-known, inspiring ecovillage community!

Workshop Information at a Glance:

  • Date: July 22 – August 2, 2012
  • Location: Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
  • Cost: $995
  • All-inclusive: workshop includes lodging, and 3 square meals a day at the Milkweed Mercantile Cafe
  • Sustainable Design: Build a 300 sq. ft. straw bale timber frame house with passive solar design, earthen and lime plasters, etc.¬†(Learn more about the Workshop Project.)
  • Learn how to do straw bale infill, a variety of plaster techniques, artistic embellishments, and more
  • Led by skilled instructor Mark Mazziotti, an accomplished natural builder

Straw Bale Building Skills You Can Bring Home

straw bale houseStudents will spend 10 days at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage learning the fundamental craft of straw bale construction, as well as plastering techniques with clay and lime, creating artistic embellishments, and more.

Students will start the straw bale building process from step one — preparing, stacking, and securing straw bale walls, and finishing the walls with plaster made from local materials. Expect to work hard, get your hands dirty, and learn all of the ins and outs to building an actual home with straw bales and local, natural materials.

Evening lectures and activities will include information sharing about straw bale building techniques, straw bale design considerations, plaster and finish information, passive solar design, stories about building with natural materials, and more. Evening events will also include community building activities and some fun activities, too.

Together we will raise the straw bale walls of a timber frame home during this 10 day course!

In addition to teaching a basic proficiency of straw bale straw bale constructionbuilding skills, this course provides a unique ecovillage experience, setting it apart from other programs. You will have the opportunity to learn about other sustainable living  systems that go hand-in-hand with using natural building techniques. Dancing Rabbit offers multiple examples of natural building systems including timber framing, post and beam, straw bale, cob, earthbag, light clay straw, passive solar design, living roofs, rain water catchment systems, greywater systems, rocket stoves, and lime and earth plasters, as well as more conventional systems and methods of construction.

We are seeking participants with all levels of experience. Most importantly, applicants should have enthusiasm, a deep willingness to learn, and an appreciation for working with their hands and bodies. Any previous natural building experience is a plus!

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