Internships & Worktrade

Strawbale Studio

 

Experience a Lifestyle of Sustainability

Would you love to have more connection with Nature … and explore a wide variety of Natural Building & Sustainability Skills?
  • This is a unique opportunity to live with others, co-creating a beautiful living model of a natural, local lifestyle.   
  • Attend 1 or more months at Strawbale Studio outside Oxford, Michigan, USA.
  • The Strawbale Studio is a place, and also a program with Internships, Classes & Outreach…seeking to joyfully weave  into the Web of Life !  This is a uniquely rich experience. 

2024  SCHEDULE APRIL – OCTOBER + Jan. 2025

MONTH-LONG PROGRAMS   See more photos at the bottom!

 

LOCATION
On beautiful rural wooded land  1 hour North of Detroit. Six miles outside a lovely small town, surrounded by farms, forests and meadows.  Within 6 miles of the Strawbale Studio there are some very nice outdoor opportunities:  Bald Mountain Recreation Center, The Seven Ponds Recreation Center and the Rails to Trails bike path system, connecting several small towns.  (There is a bike available to use).  Two swimming lakes and a series of connected lakes to explore by canoe.

                                                
INSTRUCTOR Main Instructor & Coordinator, Deanne Bednar, is the illustrator of the Hand-Sculpted Housphoto 3e, The Cobbers Companion & the Natural Plaster Book, and has 20 years of experience in natural building. Background: Art & Sustainable Futures teacher at the middle school level + Masters in Social Ecology,  Loves to forage, and use materials directly from nature in an artful and practical way!

 

RESOURCE LINKS

* GREEN EXCHANGE (Money 🙂 3 Program Options:  Intern, 1/2 Pay Worktrade, Wwoofer* (*available during some months). All 3 Programs include room & board, classes (as described per month) & materials, plus sharing of household activities such as cooking & cleaning.  After filling out the Brief Application and being accepted, fees can be paid for Internship & 1/2 Pay worktrade to Paypal (ecoartdb@gmail.com) or check, or postal money order to PO Box 733, Oxford, MI 48370.

  • Intern = Focus on the Projects.  Cost per month $1250 or $950 prepaid 1 month in advance.  After being accepted, payments can be made by PayPal to ecoartdb@gmail.com or Eventbrite
    • Individuals may be able to receive academic credit through their college programs.  (e.g. Vivien Yousif received credit through American University, Anthropology Dept.)
  • 1/2 Pay Worktrade = 10 hours Worktrade per week toward upkeep (office, grounds, gardens, based on participants skills & needs of Strawbale Studio).  The rest of the time, participate in the Internship & all classes.    Cost per month: $625 or $475 prepaid 1 month in advance.
  • Wwoofer = 25 hours Work-trade per week toward prep for workshops and maintenance of gardens, grounds, office, in exchange for room & board, & 2 enrichment classes a week, and any workshops held for the public.  You can come through the Wwoof.usa.org network if you want.   No money exchanged. No wwoofing option during the Intern / Winternship months or Intensive 2 week Classes. Wwoofing / full worktrade is available April, June, Aug, Oct, 2023.

CONTACT: Call, text or email Deanne 248 496 4088 ecoartdb@gmail.com to indicate interest or ask questions.  You can fill out the brief application (BELOW) before or after talking to Deanne. 

Reed Collecting for Thatching

Harvesting Reed in the field

2024 WINTERNSHIP  Jan 7 – Feb 7   “Best. Experience. Ever.”  Doug Reith

Experience a wide range of natural building skills while living & learning on-site. The Strawbale Studio is on beautiful wooded rural land 1 hr north of Detroit. Fire-side Lectures include Site, Design, Foundations.  Hands-on Activities includes Earth Plaster, Round Pole Framing, Thatching, Rocket Stove & Earth Oven.  You can register as an Intern, or 1/2 Pay worktrader.

INTERNSHIPS IN NATURAL BUILDING
May
1-29, 2024,  July 1 – 28 2024,  September 1-28, 2024 + 2025  Winternship

Activities during the month include the following Hands-on activities: which will be accompanied by shade-tree Lecture Classes & Tours of the structures /Projects :

  • Earth Plastering & Sculpting
  • Round Pole Framing basic techniques
  • Thatching  & Living Roofs
  • Foundations, earthen floors, oil finishes on benches + floors, site hydrology n & Materials Class. use of local materials
  • Possible creative landscaping and permaculture projects
  • There will likely be one or more workshops for the public which Intern and Worktraders will help with and participate in.
  • Daily Lifestyle includes foraging, spoon-carving, fermenting, composting, solar oven, outdoor rocket cooker, earth oven, shiitake mushroom production & more.  Buildings on site are the Strawbale Studio, Kids Cottage, Hobbit Sauna, Spiral Chamber and several pretty awesome woodsheds.  Living roofs, Thatched roofs.
  • Community connections:  Typically we have Monthly Full Moon Potluck & bonfire, Permaculture Meetup (off-site), 1 or 2 workshops or tours per month for the public. We have local farmers, and get our eggs and some of our produce from them.
  • BLOG of previous Internship Activities during May 2022.
  • Energy Exchange:  Full Internship $1250/950* + 2 positions available for “1/2 Pay Worktrade” option $625 / $475*  * Paid 1 month in advance.
    • All participants receive lodging, food, classes, hands-on training.  All participants participate in cooking & general house beauty & order (cleaning 🙂 All help prepare for & participate in any workshops offered during the month. Worktraders devote 10 hrs/wk to supporting the infrastructure (see below).  Interns can apply this time toward a natural building learning/project of their choice or free time.
    • Worktrade activities for 1/2 Pay WorkTraders at Strawbale Studio include options such things as Workshop Prep: supplies, Grounds:  firewood, repair, lawn.  Office: data, editing, publicity.  Garden: planting, mulching, watering & harvesting.

WORKTRADE & SUSTAINABLE SKILLS Program 
April 1-28, 2024,   June 1-28, 2024,   August 1-28, 2024, Oct 1-28, 2024.

Enjoy an enriching 4 weeks of living on-site at Strawbale Studio on lovely wooded rural land with natural buildings while contributing to the the grounds & program. Help out 25 hours a week (garden, grounds, maintenance/repairs, office) in exchange for room, board & 2 sustainable skill-building classes per week + any classes that are offered to the public. These skills will include such things as Spoon Carving, Mushroom log inoculation, Living Roof, Rocket Stove Cooker build, Cording & Lashing. tool sharpening, Earth Oven Pizza and Foraging, wood splitting & more!  There will be some variation between months based on progress.  Cost:” / Exchange is 25 worktrade hrs/week.  Wwoofers

April 2023 Blog post of Previous Internship Activities

* GREEN EXCHANGE (Money 🙂 3 Program Options:  Intern, 1/2 Pay Worktrade, Wwoofer* (*available during some months). All 3 Programs include room & board, classes (as described per month) & materials, plus sharing of household activities such as cooking & cleaning.  After filling out the Brief Application and being accepted, fees can be paid for Internship & 1/2 Pay worktrade to Paypal (ecoartdb@gmail.com) or check, or postal money order to PO Box 733, Oxford, MI 48370.

  • Intern = Focus on the Projects.  Cost per month $1250 or $950 prepaid 1 month in advance.  After being accepted, payments can be made by PayPal to ecoartdb@gmail.com or Eventbrite
    • Individuals may be able to receive academic credit through their college programs.  (e.g. Vivien Yousif received credit through American University, Anthropology Dept.)
  • 1/2 Pay Worktrade = 10 hours Worktrade per week toward upkeep (office, grounds, gardens, based on participants skills & needs of Strawbale Studio).  The rest of the time, participate in the Internship & all classes.    Cost per month: $625 or $475 prepaid 1 month in advance.
  • Wwoofer = 25 hours Work-trade per week toward prep for workshops and maintenance of gardens, grounds, office, in exchange for room & board, & 2 enrichment classes a week, and any workshops held for the public.  You can come through the Wwoof.usa.org network if you want.   No money exchanged. No wwoofing option during the Intern / Winternship months or Intensive 2 week Classes. Wwoofing / full worktrade is available April, June, Aug, Oct, 2023.

CONTACT: Call, text or email Deanne 248 496 4088 ecoartdb@gmail.com to indicate interest or ask questions.  You can fill out the brief application (BELOW) before or after talking to Deanne. 

RESOURCE LINKS