WINTERNSHIP ~ Natural Building & Sustainable Skills Program

Harvesting reed for Thatching

Jan 8 – Feb 8, 2017   WINTERNSHIP !
A rich program with hands-on skills & classroom training. This is a one of the most popular courses at Strawbale Studio !  A chance to continue your learning during the winter-time.  Live and learn with others who are interested in natural building & sustainability.  

Join in the living and learning at Strawbale Studio this Jan 8 thru Feb 8.   Held on beautiful wooded rural land 1 hour north of Detroit Michigan, U.S.A , this program includes room & board, all materials and classes.

In this favorite program, students will participate in hands-on & classroom learning ~including classes in design, workshops in round pole framing, earth plaster, thatching & reed collection and rocket stoves, plus much more.

Participants will go home with a wide skill set in basic natural building, reference materials, and increased confidence to apply to future building projects.

The 1 month Wintern Program is $850 if prepaid 1 month in advance or $950.  Some 1/2 Pay Worktrade options are available at $425/475 .  Click the link for an application form and more information.   Contact: text or call Deanne Bednar for further questions at 248 236 5432 We are offering a significant Early Bird discount to those who register and pay by December 8.

Details at WINTERNSHIP 

Winternship 2015 Crew

Winternship 2015 Crew

JANUARY WEEKEND WORKSHOPS
- for the Public, and included in the Winternship

Details below and at the links.

Thatching: Jan 14-15,

Round Pole:  Jan 21+22,

Rocket Stove:  Jan 28+29,

Earth Plaster  & Sculpting Feb 5+6.

 

 JANUARY WEEKEND WORKSHOPS

Thatching Demonstration in the Red Shed
THATCHING & REED COLLECTION : January 14 & 15, 2017.  Arrive 9:30a. Class 10a – 5p. Learn the basics of thatching with reed grass.  Explore this beautiful, ecological & long-lasting roof system. Tour several thatched roof buildings, see a demo of thatching and try your hand at it, harvest  & bundle/store reed. 12 student limit. A unique weekend. One of the few classes offered in North America on Thatching !  Group discounts.  $95 1 week in advance or $110  thereafter. Some scholarships. 

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ROUND POLE FRAMING :  January 21 & 22, 2017   Sat 10 – 5, Sun 10 – 4p
Learn principles & hands-on basics of round pole framing for small structures. Tour thatched roofs & round pole structures on site, harvest wood, debark logs, practice making notches using hand tools ~ make a mallet to take home plus a small team project & design a small structure. Limited to 12 participants; includes overnight accommodations if needed.  $89 if prepaid 2 wks in advance, or $110 thereafter, with RSVP, if there is room. Some scholarships available.

Instructors:  Deanne Bednar & Micah Lindquist

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FIRE !  Rocket Stove  & Earth Oven  January 28 & 29, 2017   
Sat 10a-5p Sun 10-4p Create useful heat efficiently from local materials ! Fee Includes a copy of the new edition of the Rocket Mass Heater Book. Tour buildings & Stoves on site, Hands-on: mockup of combustion unit, mixing cob & finish plaster, make a small earth oven together. Principles of construction, code+. Bring a bag lunch. Supper/breakfast provided if you stay overnight.  $125 for both days prepaid 2 wks in advance, or $150 if there is room. Saturday only $80/$90 with RSVP. Some Worktrade Scholarships available.  Instructor, Deanne Bednar


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EARTH PLASTER & SCULPTING  February  5+6, 2017  
Arrive 9:30a. Class 10 – 5p Sun 10 – 4p  Learn the joy of natural earthen plasters that can be used in a variety of applications to beautify and naturalize your existing dwellings or future natural strawbale home or Earth Oven project ! Learn to identify, mix & apply natural local soil to create simple or artistic expressions. Bring a bag lunch. Overnight available.    $95 Early Bird Special 2 weeks in advance or $120 thereafter.
Instructor Deanne Bednar:  Illustrated the Hand-Sculpted House book and The Natural Plaster Book. 20 years experience with basic earth plasters and sculpting !

 

Kids Cottage Volunteer Team for the day.

2017 Season INTERNSHIPS & Worktrade, Wwoofer. April through October. 
Attend 1 month or more.  CONNECT 
to the land, work with natural materials, live & build in community !    Immerse yourself in a one month learning experience which includes a wide variety of hands-on skills and classroom subjects in design & construction.  Focus on earth plaster and building surrounds. Live & learn on-site with others, in a beautiful rural wooded setting 1 hr n of Detroit.

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Strawbale Studio - photo by Dawn Holtz

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Rocket Mass Heater Intro and Complete Build

IMG_20150208_122526035_HDRsNovember 4-5, 2016, 

Burton, Ohio

Come build a Rocket Mass Heater with us from start to finish (Friday night to Sunday), or just come for the Friday Night Intro Class. The party starts Friday with a cob oven pizza potluck around 5:30pm followed by a tour of the natural buildings at Kelly’s Working Well Farm.

We will then retire to the cottage to be warmed by its rocket mass heater while we learn the physics behind these low-cost high-efficiency woodstoves. Find out how you can build one yourself with local clay and easily scrounged materials. We will discuss the requirements for safe, clean, efficient wood burning and look at photos of heaters we have built in houses, barns, greenhouses and even a school bus.
 Saturday we will divide our attention between the cob thermal mass heat exchanger/battery and building/test firing the heater core. We will discuss common design problems as well as care and feeding of your RMH. For those who care to stick around we will continue the build more informally on Sunday.
 Participants will go home with reference materials, simple RMH plans and a better grasp of what makes them work. Rocket Heater books, parts, detailed plans & consultation available. RSVP 440-221-6609 or info@unclemud.com. Camping or a couch to crash on available upon request. $150 per person or $225 per couple (see below for discounted price). Intro only price is $25 per person or $40 per couple. Some partial scholarships are available for anyone who cares to be here early to help us set up and make cob.

UPDATE!! Please note that in the interest of getting a firm headcount we are offering a significant discount to those who register and pay by Sunday October 30, 2016.

Please use the Pay Now button below.


Registration



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Build Your Own Wood Fired Pizza Oven (Ohio Workshop)

ovens

April 25, 10:00am-6:00pm

Burton Ohio

This is an especially exciting workshop because it means Uncle Mud is finally getting around to the cob pizza oven at his own place. Something about the cobbler’s kids having having no shoes…

It seems you can’t fire up a pizza oven without a party happening, but that’s not the only reason to have one. Earthen ovens are cheap or free to build, they use free fuel, they don’t heat up the house like your regular oven, and they make everything you cook in them taste better. From bread baking to slow coking casseroles to drying fruits and veggies, to canning, an earthen oven does it all. Come learn how you can build your own.

Participants will go home with reference materials, simple plans to build their own earthen pizza oven, and a better grasp of what makes them work. Earthen oven books, detailed plans & consultation available. RSVP 440-221-6609 or info@unclemud.com to hold your place (20 participants max). Guests coming a long way can camp onsite upon request. $65 per person or $90 per couple or see below for our discount pricing. Some partial scholarships available.

Come prepared to get muddy! Bring a sack lunch & a water bottle. Snacks will be provided. We will finish up the build with a pizza party and bonfire so bring your favorite pizza toppings to share and your favorite musical instruments/camp chair/blanket/smooching partner.

Please note that in the interest of getting a firm headcount we are offering a further discount to those who register and pay by April 18.


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Build Your Own Wood Fired Pizza Oven (Alabama)

fuzzyovensMarch 21, 10:00am-6:00pm

Monkey Tree Farm

6083 e dogwood trail, Greenville, Alabama 36037

Register Early for a great discount!! See below.

Uncle Mud​ of the Natural Cottage Project​ will be visiting Monkey Tree Farm​ the weekend of March 21 to help us lay out our cob house and start our long anticipated outdoor kitchen with a cob wood-fired pizza oven sculpted from the clay soil right here on the site.

It seems you can’t fire up a pizza oven without a party happening, but that’s not the only reason to have one. Earthen ovens are cheap or free to build, they use free fuel, they don’t heat up the house like your regular oven, and they make everything you cook in them taste better. From bread baking to slow coking casseroles to drying fruits and veggies, to canning, an earthen oven does it all. Come learn how you can build your own.

Participants will go home with reference materials, simple plans to build their own earthen pizza oven, and a better grasp of what makes them work. Earthen oven books, detailed plans & consultation available. RSVP 334-662-7409 or 440-221-6609 or info@unclemud.com. Guests coming a long way can camp onsite upon request. $65 per person or $90 per couple. Or $45 per person/$80 per couple if you register 1 week in advance. Some partial scholarships available.

Come prepared to get muddy! Bring a sack lunch & a water bottle. Snacks will be provided. We will finish up the build with a pizza party and bonfire so bring your favorite pizza toppings to share and your favorite musical instruments/camp chair/blanket/smooching partner.

UPDATE!! Please note that in the interest of getting a firm headcount we are offering a further discount to those who register and pay by March 7.


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Intro to Rocket Mass Heaters Workshop

IMG_20150208_122526035_HDRsFebruary 28 2015, 10:00am-4:00pm

Burton, Ohio

Come see Rocket Mass Heaters (RMH) in action. Warm your butt on a heated thermal mass bench as you learn the physics behind these low-cost high-efficiency woodstoves that you can build yourself with local clay and easily scrounged materials. We will discuss the requirements for safe, clean, efficient wood burning in houses, barns, greenhouses and even a school bus.

After a potluck lunch we will build a RMH core and tune it to burn cleanly. We will also play with a portable Rocket based on a Dragonheater core, a woodstove-based hybrid heater, and the monster 8″ RMH that heats our barn.

Participants will go home with reference materials, simple RMH plans and a better grasp of what makes them work. Rocket Heater books, parts, detailed plans & consultation available. RSVP 440-221-6609 or info@unclemud.com. Guests coming a long way will have a couch or guest bed to crash on upon request. $65 per person or $90 per couple. Some partial scholarships available.

In the interest of getting an accurate head-count we are offering a discount for people who register and pay by February 21. Please use the Pay Now button below.


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IMAG0815s RMH Jacob's Bus finals Rocket Portable 1 build 6s

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Natural Cottage Project 2015 Calendar

* Two-Week  Building Course  * NCP Campuses   *Internships   *Classes

** Parts of this website are under construction as we plan our 2015 season. Below is our current information, with updates forthcoming !   The Staff 

Natural Cottage Project is pleased to announce our 2015 Calendar.  We have a wide variety of offerings this year, from afternoon workshops to an Intensive Cottage Build in July, to internships up to 3 months. Geographically we will range from Michigan to eastern Ohio to central Tennessee, with some fun visits to the Mother Earth News Fairs in North Carolina, Washington, Pennsylvania and Kansas.

Except for our new Cottage Build in July, our theme this year is “Completion”.  All of our projects this year will move along existing buildings with final plasters, finish carpentry, earthen floors or thatch/ living roofs. No two workshops will cover the same material, so this year has us really excited to teach.

For information email info@naturalcottageproject.com or call 440-682-0502.

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The Main Event :

NATURAL COTTAGE INTENSIVE

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2 Week Cottage Build
July 10-24 2015
Kelly’s Working Well Farm
Chagrin Falls, Ohio

   

We are pleased to announce Natural Cottage Project’s big summer event, a two week “foundation to roof” cottage build in beautiful Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Whether you long for a natural cottage of your own, or just want to get your hands muddy or improve your skill-set, this intensive course will draw you in. Hands-on work includes stone foundations, round pole framing, cob and straw-clay, windows and doors, earthen plasters, earthen floors, living roofs, thatching and more. Shade-tree lectures include building code, harvesting materials, natural design, passive heating and cooling. Taught by seasoned instructors including Christina, this is one of the most comprehensive workshops available.

Our site is a small demonstration farm a few minutes’ walk from historic downtown Chagrin Falls, Ohio just East of Cleveland. We have a pond on site and we are minutes from the beautiful waterfalls and wading pools of the Chagrin River. Workshop tuition includes all activities, camping, hot showers, vegan-friendly whole foods prepared by our onsite chef, and all the fun you can stuff in. The workshop and site are family friendly, with lots for the kids to do too. Sign up early, space is limited and the early-bird discount is significant. Partial work-trade scholarships are available.

Contact Chris at  info@naturalcottageproject.com or call 440-682-0502 to get on a contact list.

Natural Cottage Project Campuses:

* Uncle Mud’s Land (Ohio)  Classes on Rocket Stoves and Natural Building Skills are held here and around the Cleveland area  This will be the host site of our July Intensive Build. This beautiful wooded land is west of Cleveland and located on a small lake. Projects at Uncle Mud’s Land include several Rocket Mass Heaters, and many creative natural retrofit features on existing structures. You will also find “Free Range Children” on site !
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Straw Bale Studio (Michigan) One-month build-study opportunities available

strawbale_lg_180dpi dana lynn driscoll 2013throughout the year. Included is room and board, and all activities and workshops during your stay of one month or more. Internships are available May through October, and there is a January Winternship as well.  $950 per month ($850 if paid one month early).  Partial Worktrade Scholarships available available at 1/2 fee : help out with infrastructure 10 per week.
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* Barefoot Builder  (Tennessee) 2014   Be part of a small crew led by expert Natural cob and timber cottage workshopBuilder Christina Ott as you complete the fine detail work on a cob cottage in the mountains or Tennessee. This is a perfect “next step” for an apprentice builder looking to build confidence and experience.

Act fast, only 8 spots are available.   $1950. Discounts and partial Woofing trade available. Click Here for details.

info@naturalcottageproject.com or call 440-682-0502.

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Natural Cottage Project Small Workshops Calendar

(Strawbale Studio, Oxford Michigan unless over wise noted)

 Jan 3 through Feb 3, 2015  WINTERNSHIP  (Winter Internship)   

group reed collecting Strawbale Studio - photo by Dawn Holtz reed bundling Cheese making workshop A happy group on the Rocket Stove - Potluck tour 7-2014

Participate in all workshops during this time : Rocket Stove, Round Pole framing, Reed Collection & Thatching demo, while helping with sustainable living projects at the Strawbale Studio. We will be reed collecting about 2 half days a week.  Attend the permaculture meet up, full moon potluck. Learn skills such as fermenting and cording as well. 

January 10 & 11, 2015    Introduction to THATCHING Workshop.  This CIMG8606enchanting roofing material utilizes our invasive Phragmites !  Hand-on: harvest reed in a nearby field, see a thatching demo on a small frame, and try your hand at it.  Tour: the 3 thatched structures on site. Presentation: principles of roof design and thatching, handouts, a video.  Fee includes all activities, materials, overnight lodging if needed.  Bring food to share.  $120 prepaid 1 month in advance, or $150 thereafter.  Some partial work-trade scholarship or barter available.  Details and Registration.

January 17 & 18, 2015   ROUND POLE Workshop. Sat 10 – 5p.  Sun 10 – 4p Round Pole Trellis construction. Ruthie & JustinInstructors, Mark Angelini (permaculture instructor and green wood worker) and Deanne Bednar, natural builder. Learn to harvest, prepare, notch and assemble round poles off the land to create a small structure. Applicable to any small project or cottage.  This is information and training that is rare to come by ! Includes 2 teachers, all materials, training, handouts, lodging.  Bring food to share.   Fee:  $125 prepaid one month in advance, or $150 thereafter.  Limit 15 students so register now. Some partial pay work-trade scholarships or barter available.  Details and Registration.

January 24 & 25, 2015    ROCKET STOVE and FIRE Workshop.  See these stoves Rocket Stove - fired up!onsite: 2 Rocket Stove heated benches, a Rocket Stove Cooker, 2 Earth Ovens, a Solar Cooker, Hay Box Cooker, 2 Pocket Rockets and a Rumford Fireplace ! We will fire some of them up, and discuss the principles of how they work and are constructed.  Then we will construct a mock up the combustion unit of a Rocket Stove, using bricks. You will learn to identify and locate appropriate soil and make earthen mortar and Cob used in the construction and shaping of the stoves and benches.  ! Includes all training, materials, lodging. Bring food to share.  Books will be available to buy.  Fee:  $125 prepaid one month in advance, or $150 thereafter with RSVP.  Limit 15 students so register now. Some partial pay work-trade scholarships or barter available.  Details and Registration.

January 31 & Feb 1, 2015  EARTH PLASTER & SCULPTING.   Try your hand at OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmixing and applying earthen plaster and sculpture to walls.  You can apply these skills to your existing home or your future natural buildings !  It is beautiful, local, natural, soulful…oh, and did I mention, FUN ? !  Instructor, Deanne Bednar is the illustrator of the Natural Plaster Book, among others.  Fee includes all materials, training, overnight lodging in a dorm situation. Bring food to share.  $125 prepaid 1 month in advance or $150 thereafter. Limited to 12 participants.  Register now !   Some partial pay work-trade scholarships or barter available.  Details and Registration.

Natural Building INTERNSHIP  April, May, June, 2015  Attend 1 to 3 months.

sbs happy cleaner, linda gHands-on learning in Strawbale & Cob Wall systems, Earth Plaster & Floors, Thatching & Living Roofs. Students will learn about and practice these skills on structures & projects that are under construction, while living on site (rural, wooded land 1 hr N. of Detroit).  Included are NB Design Classes, some Permaculture Gardening, Rocket Stove experience, foraging, fermenting & community connections + all materials, lodging & food.  Limited to 8 students. Just $850/mo (1 mo. In advance) or $950 thereafter.  Some ½ pay Worktrade & Wwoofing may be available.

June 27 & 28 2-Day Building Essentials Course by Strawbale Studio held at the Michigan Folk School in the Ann Arbor Area.   Contact Deanne for information and get on the list.

 

TOUR the enchanting Strawbale Studio & grounds ! 6 pm before the Full Moon Tour of the Strawbale Studio, Permaculture Meetup 5-2014Potluck & Bonfire each month. 4:30p during “First Friday’s at the Strawbale Studio” each month, or schedule a Tour for your Group.

Enjoy a tour of Thatched-roof structures (The Strawbale Studio & the Oxford Kids’ Cottage), Living Roofs (The Hobbit Sauna, and Wood Shelter), two Rocket Stove Heated Benches, an Earth Oven and a NEW Compost Furnace, plus a variety of other enchanting & practical projects on beautiful, rural land 1 hr. N. of Detroit.

$10 suggested donation / group rates.

Volunteer Opportunities at the Strawbale StudioIf you feel like helping, while IMG_0588being outdoors in a wonderful wooded rural setting, that would be a great fit for the Strawbale Studio.  Projects vary by season and need, and may include earth plastering, wood collection, gardening and even data entry (if you are into it).  Includes a tour of the buildings & grounds. April through October  1-5p, every First Friday & 1-5p before the Full Moon Potluck.   Check the website for details and to RSVP. No charge.

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info@naturalcottageproject.com or call 440-682-0502

2014 Archived Calendar

 

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Watch a Time Lapse of the 2012 Natural Cottage Project Workshop!

Participants in our 2012 workshop built this strawbale, timber frame, cob, thatch hybrid cottage. See our schedule below to find out when you can join in on the next project!

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