2015 Strawbale Studio Workshop postings



January 2, 2015  FIRST FRIDAY ACTIVITIES  at the Strawbale Studio. 12 – 3:30p Volunteer, 3:30 – 5p Tour, 6-8p Crafts.  Note winter Hours.   RSVP

10527458_660835240671004_8014289029842372039_nJanuary 4 , 2015  FULL MOON Potluck & Bonfire 

Saturday  1 – 5p  Volunteer afternoon.  Help with projects as needed & prep for Potluck !   6:00p tour of grounds or come & hang out, read, walk.   7:30  Potluck.    8:30 bonfire.  Bring musical instruments if you wish. Click on link for details.  RSVP



Jan 4 – Feb 4, 2015  WINTERNSHIP – a comprehensive skill-building intensive month.  Live on site, participate in daily life, sustainable projects and all weekend workshops.  Includes harvesting reed, introduction to thatching, earth plastering, creating a cob model, intro to round pole framing and rocket stove mass heater and sustainable living skills. Blog from 2014 Winternship  Report from 2014 Winternship!

thatching wood shelter 2011 group

January 10, 2015    THATCHING – An Introduction.  Saturday.  Arrive 9:30a.  Class  10a – 5p.  Learn about the basics of thatching a roof, harvest materials, tour thatched buildings, see a demo an video on thatching.  Bring a bag lunch.  $50 with RSVP or $35 prepaid 2 weeks in advance.  Limited to 12 students.  Register   Blog from last years’ wksp.

January 11 – We will be harvesting Reed in a local Field.  Join us if you can.  Overnight accommodations available. 

Round Pole Trellis construction. Ruthie & Justin

January 17 & 18, 2015  ROUND POLE FRAMING – The Basics.   2 Day Workshop – Sat 10a  – 5p and Sunday 10a – 4p     Arrive at 9:30a each  day. Learn principles &  hands-on basics of round pole framing for small structures.  Includes a tour of natural buildings with round poles on site, construction of a small project to take home, use of tools, harvesting wood, designing a small structure & overnight accommodations if needed.  $119 if prepaid 1 mo. in advance, $129 prepay 2 wks in advance or $150 thereafter, with RSVP,  if there is room. (Note that the fee has changed)   Bring a bag lunch.  Limited to 12 students. Click link to Register.  Some scholarships available. Overnight accommodations.   More details to come. Blog & pics from 2014 Round Pole wksp ! 


January 24 & 25, 2015  ROCKET STOVE & FIRE 

This unique & practical workshop focuses on creating 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 experiences, Principles of construction, code+. Blog post and pics from last Rocket Stove Workshop !

$119 if prepaid 1 mo. in advance, $129 prepay 2 wks in advance or $150 thereafter, with RSVP.  Some Worktrade Scholarships available. 

J mcd wrkshp. deanne plastering maybe 1-2013

  ~    2 Day Class

Sat. Arrive 9:30a. Class 10 – 5p  Sun 10 – 4p

Get hands-on experience in a variety of applications that you can use in your existing dwellings or future natural building home.     Using natural and local soil, we will do earth plaster and sculpting in an conventional home.  Make your existing home more natural, or apply these skills to a future natural building or earth oven you construct.  Bring a bag lunch.  $90 or Early Bird Special $65 1 month in advance.  Limited to 12 students.  Register now ! Some scholarships available. Taught by Deanne Bednar, art teacher, illustrator of the Hand-Sculpted House and the Natural Plaster Book.  Don’t miss this class ~ at a great price, too

INTERNSHIPS  2014/2015   Click on link for details & fees.

This is a rich experience in local sustainable living.  Attend one or more months, and participate in all activities and workshops during your stay. Room and board included.   $750 (paid 1 month in advance) or $850 thereafter with RSVP.  Some Partial Scholarship Work-trade & Woofing available.  Limit of 6, so register now.

Natural Building INTERNSHIP  April – October*, 2015  Attend 1 month or more.

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 Natural Building Design Classes, all Workshops during months attended, 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. *July is an exception.



Jan 4 – Feb 4      WINTERNSHIP  4 week intensive. (class filled)

January 10           THATCHING – An Introduction

January 17 & 18    ROUND POLE FRAMING  (filled)

Jan. 31 & Feb 1      EARTH PLASTER  & SCULPTING ( filled)



April – Oct*
     INTERNSHIPS  + worktrade & volunteer 1 mo. or more.

April 1, 2015    Edible & Ecological Landscaping *  7p by Trevor & Mark.

April 4 , 2015      Full Moon Potluck  followed by Bonfire.  Saturday  7 p

April 24 – 26,   Green Living Festival 

The Strawbale Studio exhibit included a strawbale climbing pyramid for the kids and food cooked in the Traveling Turtle Earth Oven.



May 3, Sunday Full Moon Potluck & Bonfire.  7p + Workparty 1-5p & Tour 6p

May 17, 2015 FORAGED BRUNCH   Foraging class & meal.  Sunday 10 – 2p  $25 early Bird/$35

May 23, 2015  South Michigan PERMACULTURE -MIXER! Free event.

May 24, 2015  AGRO-FORESTRY Workshop !   4 outstanding Instructors. 



June,  2015     INTERN, WORTRADE, WWOOF or volunteer.  See link, contact DB.

June 2, Tues. FULL MOON ~ Vol. 1- 5p,  Tour  6-7 p,Potluck/Bonfire7p  RSVP            

June 20th & 21  Strawbale Studio Exhibit at CREEKFEST,Ortonville, MI.

Schedule a Class (Foraging, Earth Plaster, Other) or Tour etc. for your group!



Natural Cottage Project 2012

July 1, Wed. 2015   FULL MOON  Workparty 1-5p,  Tour  6p, Potluck & Bonfire 7p  RSVP  

July 3, 4,5,  2015    PROJECT PARTY – Volunteer days & overnight.  Come to part or all !

July 11- 24, 2015   NATURAL COTTAGE BUILD !  Chagrin Falls, OH complete 14 day course.

Note that the above course is the MAIN EVENT FOR 2016.  Several seasoned instructors. This class has been a big hit in the past !  Lots to learn, in a beautiful setting near Cleveland, Ohio.

July 31, Fri.       FULL MOON  Workparty 1-5p,  Tour  6p, Potluck & Bonfire 7p  RSVP 

J mcd wrkshp. deanne plastering maybe 1-2013

August 2015            INTERN, WORTRADE, WWOOF or volunteer.  See link /Contact Deanne.


Aug. 29, Sat.  11a – 1p   Great Lakes Natural Building Meetup. Bring your own bag lunch.  RSVP  & the FULL MOON Activities : *Workparty 1-5p,  *Tour  6p, *Potluck & Bonfire 7p  RSVP   

The Compost Volunteer Gang Saturday October 11, 2014.

September  2015  INTERN, WORTRADE, WWOOF /volunteer. Earth Plaster, Finishing Details, Earthen Floor, Framing, Permaculture Garden.

Dates TBD   Classes & Plerkparties. (play+work)  What do you want to do/learn?    Contact Deanne for scheduling activities YOU would like for yourself or your group.

Sept 19, 2015   BIO-CHAR DEMONSTRATION with instructor Karl Kaufman & Sheldon Smith. Click link for details. 1-5p  Learn how to make this soil additive which reduces carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and contributes to soil health ! We’ll build a pit and make 40-50 gal of premium charcoal with side-by-side demonstrations of both the  TLUD& the Pit Kiln Biochar production techniques. A gallon of bio-char for agricultural use will go to each participant, along with info & handouts on the carbon cycle, charging the biochar with nutrients and mycorrhizae, crop yields, and climate change. Suggested $5 – $25 donation.  Register now.  Limited class size. 🙂

Sept 27, Sun.  12:30p    Great Lakes Natural Building Meetup. Bring your own bag lunch.  RSVP  FULL MOON  * Networking, then Skillshare & Workparty.  1-5p, *Tour  6p, *Potluck & Bonfire 7p  RSVP  


Sept 29 WALDORF FIELDTRIP ~  3rd Grade class tours the Strawbale Studio and does hands-on natural building activities.

October 2015  INTERN, WORTRADE, WWOOF /volunteer.  Earth Plaster, Finishing Details, Earthen Floor, Framing, Permaculture Garden.

October 10th & 17th FOREST STEWARDSHIP CLASSES for land owners & their families. Instructor: Rick McAvinchy, Forester & Wildlife Biologist. For those who own land and want to learn how to sustainably manage it for a variety of outcomes:  food, timber, recreation, and much more ! Suggested donation $100 – $150 sliding scale for both days. Family / Group discounts.  Click link for details and registration.

Oct. 27,2015  Tues. FULL MOON Activities  *Community Workparty 1-5p,  *Tour  6p, *Potluck & Bonfire7p  RSVP 

October 18- 25, 2015  NATURAL BUILDING COLLOQUIUM ~ 20th Reunion !  Kingston NM.  Deanne attends, and also presents on THATCHING.

October 27, 2015  Full Moon 

Nov. 25, Wed, FULL MOON  *Workparty 1-5p,  *Tour  6p, *Potluck & Bonfire 7p  RSVP 

Bees Wax Candle-m,aking

December 6th        
CANDLE MAKING  & Natural Holiday Gifts ! Sunday. 1-5p    $25

December  12th      CANDLE MAKING  & Natural Holiday Gifts !  Saturday 1-5p  $30 / $40     FILLLED

December 13th      CANDLE MAKING  & Natural Holiday Gifts ! Sunday. 1-5p   $30 / $40  Click link for discounts !

DSCF0412The Candle Class has been one of our favorites, and last year all sessions were filled. Consider bringing a friend or relative to share this warming holiday activity.  Contact Deanne if you would like to have an additional class offered for your family or group. Children welcomed.

Fee. The December 6th class Special rate:  $25.
December 12 or 13th:  $30 Early Bird Discount, paid 2 weeks in advance or $40 thereafter if there is room. There is a limit of 12 for this special class.
Ask about group discounts 🙂 Dec 12th FILLED.
Dec 13th Click HERE for discounts !

December 15th  Chatsfield School GREEN CLUB TOUR & Rocket Stove Hands-on.

December 19 &20, 2015  SUSTAINABLE PROJECTS Program ~ visits Strawbale Studio for a Tour, Activities & overnight stay. Students are in Derek Kanwischers class at Western Michigan University. Kalamazoo, MI.

FYI   December   FULL MOON EVENT CANCELLED, due to Christmas !  See you at the January  Full Moon!