2017 Strawbale Studio REPORT & pictures !

2017 Strawbale Studio REPORT & pictures !

2017 Strawbale Studio REPORT & pictures ! 150 150 Strawbale Studio


Internships, Activities, Re-skilling & Projects, Gifts & Donors

Strawbale Studio 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION was the focus of the year. 20 Years ago Fran Lee wanted a structure, and I wanted to build. Many, many hands accomplished that goal. This process resulted in lots of completion on both the buildings and surrounding environments ! Many skills learned and practiced, and friendships made as intern, volunteer & workshop folks co-created ! This list contains many, but not all the the projects and happenings during 2017. Such richness ! Appreciation to all who contributed!

2017 Photos as a Gallery     2017 Photos as a Slideshow + Captions

Gifts & Donors

2017 Report with Details. 

FULL MOON POTLUCKS monthly.  This free event for the community, and families, includes a tour, fabulous potluck food, a bonfire and lots of free-form conversations and networking.
30-50 average.   480 participants total.

Many folks came by Strawbale Studio on times other than events, and visited, toured, sometimes volunteered.  180 participants total. Dimitri Flam, studying yoga, permaculture, Jared Aiken and sister from Ontario, yoga and natural skills. Michael Mallon – brave spaces, super-hero training academy. Linda Jackson, Clarkston, MI, Peggy Maggid, retired elementary teacher, Susan Schwenn, Battle Creek, MI. Kay Fedewa guest with Dana Driscoll & friends. Ann Ford, Birmingham, MI. Charlie Reischl, Ann Arbor, MI. Emerson Schreiner, Grand Rapids. Jolene Ciglano,  Fallon Januska, Matt Swain, Emily Tour. Ruthie Lane, Antioch College & Auburn Hills, Michigan. Genevieve Grover, traveling the Americas, Brita Anderson, studying natural building in Ontario. Peter Simic, co-manager Community Farm of Ann Arbor, Dominec Juarez, previous intern, NY. Gaylyn Kaufman, MI Ecovillage Movement, Christian Smith, Neighborwood presentation for the July Intensive, Andy Bologovski & friend, NY state, Holly Wunderlich, Dori, AK & Mira .Rachel Rogers, Ronni Marcus, , Jen Shannon. Jim & Doris, Keon Walker, Rabi Arnie & Robert Crowe & friend Marie …and more ! If I have time, I will continue to add in the names.

Harvesting in the Reed Fields

2017 INTERNSHIPS -Throughout the year 17 awesome folks lived and learned, helped and shared, either as a paying Intern, 1/2 Pay Worktrader, of a Volunteer “Wwoofer”.   545 Total Intern days.  Sonnie from Denmark. Emerson from Grand Rapids. Alice from Michigan, traveling the Americas, Cassidy from Holland, MI. Archer from Vermont, Alex from Northville, MI, Andy from New Jersey, Madi from Wisconsin, Blair from San Francisco, Cindy from Michigan – traveling, Dominec from Dearborn, MI, Emily from Ontario, Paul from Brighton, MI, Mathew from Burville (yes, Burville) Michigan.  For more details on Intern, click here. 


January 14 & 15, 2017 Thatching & Reed Collection.  Deanne Bednar Instructor
January 21 & 22, 2017 Round Pole Framing Basics Deanne Bednar Instructor
January 28 & 29, 2017 FIRE ! Rocket Stove & Earth Oven Deanne Bednar Instructor
February 4 & 5, 2017 Earth Plaster & Sculpting cancelled – illness
February 28, 2017 February Strawbale Studio Newsletter Deanne Bednar
March 17, 2017 Unitarian Universalist Church of Farmington ~ Presentation Deanne Bednar Slideshow/presentation at the church
March 21, 2017 At Grand Valley College: Rocket Stove workshop / slideshow by Deanne Bednar Sarah Lucas Chatterley Graduate Assistant
Sustainable Ag Project
April 10-15, 2017 Artist in Residence ~ Michigan State U. Residential College of Arts & Humanities Deanne Bednar guest at MSU Assist Steve Baibaks art class:
April 16, 2017 Joy of Foraging Class Deanne Bednar Kelly Theide
April 22, 2017 Huron Valley Earth Day ~ SBS exhibit table Tanya Metfah hosted table
April 21-23, 2017 MI Earth Day Fest ~ Rochester, MI exhibit / activities 37 sign ins
March 1-30, 2017 May Internship – Boat Launch & Bench ! Worktraders The A Team + Madi
May 10, 2017 Full Moon Potluck + Permaculture Meetup hosted at Strawbale Studio
May 11, 2017 Waldorf School – 3rd grade fieldtrip to SBS Linda Williams is their teacher
May 13, 2017 Agro-Forest Permablitz Jared Bogdonov-Hanna
+ Pizza in the Earth Oven
May 14, 2017 Foraged Brunch (see the VIDEO) Deanne Bednar Kelly Theide
May 17, 2017 Baker College – Interior Design Class visit Deanne Bednar Instructor
May 28 Family Adventure Day individual family attended
May 29 Biochar Workshop Karl Kaufman Gaylin Kaufman
June 12, 2017 Oakland University Permaculture Class Jared Bogdonov-Hanna Fay Hanson
June – October, 2017 Finishing Structures at Strawbale Studio See details below DB + 2017 intern
June & July 2017 Kensington Kids Cottage Restoration Blair S & Cindy B. Paul B. & Emily G-B
July 1-9, 2017 9 Day Natural Building SKILL BUILDER Deanne Bednar Chris McClellan
July 7, 2017 Christian Smith, Neighborwood presentation for the July Intensive. Designs for an evolving Ecovillage Land located by Ann Arbor, MI
July 29, 2017 Bio Char Workshop – class & hands-on Karl Kaufman Gaylin Kaufman
August 1, 2017 Volunteer Day 🙂 Krisi Holmstrom &
Steve Bean
Living in Ann Arbor, heating with wood.
August 27, 2017 Exhibit / Demo at Eastern Market 22 sign in 100+ view /participate Deanne Bednar
Interns – exhibit table, cob demo + Paul Beaudet, Tanya Meftah
August 28, 2017 BioChar Workshop Karl & Gaylin Kaufmann
September 11-15, 2017 Artist in Residence ~ Michigan State U. Residential College of Arts & Humanities Deanne Bednar Support a natural building project.
September 23, 2017 Strawbale Studio 20th Celebration Deanne Bednar Intern and Friends
October 24, 2017 Baker College, Interior Design Class. Fieldtrip to Strawbale Studio Deanne Bednar Tour and Hands-on.
October 27-29, 2017 Great Lake BIONEERS Detroit Deanne Bednar Co-Presenter
October 24, 2017 Exhibit Table – hosted by Interns Paul Beaudet Mathew McCoul
Co-presenters of a Learnshop Greg Crawford Maina Petre
November 8, 2017 Detroit Waldorf School ~ 3rd Grade visit Deanne Bednar Tour & Hands-on
December 2017 Childrens Natural Building. Planning for 2018 Project in Elkhart Indiana Deanne Bednar, Tyler Schaeffer WellField Gardens Coordinator: Josh Steffen
December 6, 2017 GLEA – Zoom Slideshow presentation Deanne Bednar Building with local, natural materials
December 9, 2017 Candle-Making & Holiday Gifts class Deanne Bednar Instructor
December 10, 2017 Candle-Making & Holiday Gifts Class Deanne Bednar Instructor

Kelly Theide, Jared Bogdonov-Hanna, Micah Lindquist, Karl & Gaylin Kaufman. Tyler & Davin Schaeffer. Co-presenters Greg Crawford & Maina Peitre.  Assistants Tanya & others !

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New Boat Launch  Initiated by Andy Bologovsky and built by the May Interns ~ includes a Lime plastered Bench, Fire Pit & Boat Slip and stone bench. Built at the swamp by the May “A-Team (Andy, Archer, Alex) plus Madi.
Awesome addition to the land.
The Flying Toad (aka Identity Cabin) This new structure includes curvy logs & benches, new strawbale walls, earth plasters & bottle window and living roof The porch addition was constructed by the July 9-Day Natural Building Essentials Course Interns built the walls, plasters, benches & details including a lashed ladder to the green roof!
Oxford Kids Cottage Ridge The “Oak & Oat” ridge of straw & wood was finished on the thatched roof. Tyler Schaeffer championed this project.
Oxford Kids Cottage Door & Pipes A new beautiful arched door was built and installed, the Rocket Stove pipe in and stabalized, and windows are under construction. Gene Vilenni is building the windows & doors ! Gene stabalized the Rocket Stove exterior pipes.
Spiral Chamber revival ! Renewal ! Wattle & Daub Walls removed, support posts replaced and stabilized and ready for a new wall system in 2018! Thanks to Matt, Spencer, Paul, Shelby +
Rumford Fireplace & wood box The fireplace in “my cabin” recieved finish plasters and sculpting. An old trunk was made into a wood box with leather hinges.
Open Pole Barn re-organization ! Lots of improvements in storage ! Wow. Roof fixed New shelves in, bricks & wood organized, lots of sorting, consolidation, recycling. Thanks to Paul & Matt
Things Fixed ! Bathtub pipes fixed, bathroom sink leak fixed ! Kitchen door replaced from Habitat for Humanity. Freezer decommissioned. Kitchen organized, faucet replaced & dishwasher out! Special thanks to Andy Bologovsky & Paul Beaudet !
New Strawbalestudio.org website created A website re-do & software upgrade. Thanks to Archer Greenhalgh !
Tadelakt – lime plaster finish Emily Gaudreau-Brown & Paul Beaudet “tadylakted” the bathroom sink surround for my birthday. Beautiful ! traditional polished water-proof finish.
Apple harvesting from the land. So much collecting, dehydrating & being creative with apples in all sorts of food!! Thanks especially to Paul Beaudet
Charging Bio-Char with urine. This natural nitrogen source turns charcoal to a soil amendment !
Black Ash Basket-Making A black ash log was soaked in the swamp & pounded to peel off strips of wood for start-to-finish basket-making ! Great Lakes Traditional Arts Gathering Tyler & Davin Schaeffer from Pennsylvania
Wood Projects Matt McCoul & Paul championed the cutting dead trees on the land, and processing them. Lots of wood carving going on ! Spoon carving, chopsticks + eating bowl Many interns tried their hand at carving.
Bucking Saw Horse Built of local round poles for cross-cutting logs. Tyler led the way with by building the bucking horse. 2-person buck saw, tylers, was used to cut .. ..downed trees into sections for benches, projects & firewood.
Freezer shut down Energy Efficiency improvement ! There is still a combination refrigerator/freezer, but the extra freezer is empty and off !
Mushroom production + forage Innoculated Shiitake logs are still producing after soaking. Foraged ‘shrooms: Dryads Saddle, Morel, Turkey Tail, Velvet Foot
Food experiments ! LOTS ! Kimchi of all sorts ! Sourdough wraps with creative additions ! More !!
Kitchen improvements Dishwasher out, storage shelfs in. Several cupboard cleared out, simplified ! Paul champions improvements!
Yoga Daily yoga on site, sometime on the lawn + weekly class at Hamsa Yoga in Lake Orion. Alan Harras, teacher at Hamsa. Hamsa Yoga weekly in Lake Orion.
Compassionate Communication Communication Skills practiced, some study groups attended NVC (Non-violent communication) Ghandi Peace Day at 3 Roods Farm.
CSA Food Harvest at 3 Roods Farm Once a month, May through September, Interns help harvest vegetables and fruits for the weekly share of food that people prepaid for.
Connections with local farms Interns visit East River Farm, getting eggs + meet animals. Harvest the CSA food at 3 Roods Farm 5 x, Attend the Ghandi Peace Day at Three Roods Farm
Oakland Co.Permaculture Meetup Attended monthly by intern. Re-Skilling lesson “Skill-Share” at each event. Held at local farms & other regional venues
Building Community Deanne & others took the Thom Bond Compassion Course online.

Fabulous year.

Great gratitude for all who were part of this co-creation of hope and connection to the community of people and nature ! 

P.S.  Oh, this photo.  We are processing Bio Char that was create in a workshop lead by Karl & Gaylyn Kaufman.  Charcoal is pretty messy.  We are crushing it into rice-size pieces to become a “soil additive” that holds moisture, creates a home for beneficial soil micro-organisms, and sequesters carbon.  Of course, fun is to be had along the way….:)