Internships & Worktrade

dscf9858Would you love to …
   Experience more connection with Nature?
       Explore a wide variety of Natural Building & Sustainability Skills?
           Be immersed in a Living, Building Community? 
                 Consider the 2018 INTERNSHIPS  & Worktrade !
Attend one or more months at the Strawbale Studio outside Oxford, Michigan, USA.

Openings are available April through September, 2018 and January 7 through February 7th, 2019  (The Winternship !)Attend for a month or longer, and experience a range of skills and learning !  This is a unique opportunity to live with others, co-creating a beautiful living model of a natural, local lifestyle.

Come as an Intern, 1/2 Pay Worktrader or Wwoofer / Poosher. *

The 2018 Program includes a lifestyle of sustainability.  

  • Shade-tree classes  will be taught on components of natural building ~ foundation, framing, strawbale, cob and use of local materials ~ accompanied by tours of the structures on site. During the month there will also be one or more workshops for the public which Intern and Worktraders/Wwoofers will help with and participate in.
  • Hands-on activities will focus on earth plastering & sculpting,  earthen floors, oil finishes on benches, detailing of living roofs, site hydrology & creative landscaping and permaculture projects.  There will be some variation between months based on progress.
  • 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: 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.
  • Worktrade activities for 1/2 Pay WorkTraders and Wwoofers at Strawbale Studio are Grounds:  firewood, repair, lawn.  Office: data, editing, publicity.  Garden: planting, mulching, watering & harvesting.  Other: repair canoe, solar dehydrator.

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. 

On this 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.

Main Instructor & Coordinator, Deanne Bednar, is the illustrator of the Hand-Sculpted Housphoto 3e & the Natural Plaster Book, and has 20 years of experience in natural building. Background: Art & Sustainable Futures teacher at the middle school level.  Loves to forage, use materials directly from nature in an artful and practical way !
Other instructors sometimes drop in:  Micah Lindquist, our round pole and spoon carving teacher,  Jim the Timberframer, a local guy who can show us his barn and tools.  Jared Bogdonov-Hanna a Permaculture Teacher who has designed some of the gardens on site. Rick McAvinchy Forester & Wildlife Biologist. Chris McClellan, “uncle mud”….. Ernie & Erica, rocket-stovers. 


3 Program Options:  Intern, 1/2 Pay Worktrade, Wwoofer* (*available during some months). All 3 Programs include room & board, classes & materials, plus sharing of household activities such as cooking & cleaning.

  • Intern  = Focus on the Projects.  Cost per month $950 or $850 prepaid 1 month in advance.
  • 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: $475 or $425 prepaid 1 month in advance.
  • Wwoofer = 20 hours Work-trade per week toward maintenance of gardens, grounds, office.  The rest of the time participate in the Internship & all classes. No money exchanged. No wwoofing option during the Winternship or Intensive Classes.

CONTACT: Call, text or email Deanne 248 236 5432 to indicate interest or ask questions.  You can fill out the brief application before or after talking to Deanne. 

  • EXPECTATIONS for living and working together.  READ OVER – see if it is a fit!
  • DETAILS on Worktrade & Wwoofing
  • LOGISTICS – how to get here by car, bus, train or plane
  • 2016 ARCHIVE  of Projects & Worktrade
  • 2017 Strawbale Studio REPORT & pictures !


The 2018 Strawbale Studio Program started with the Winternship ….

        A month long live-in program from Jan 7 to Feb 7, 2018.   

This unique, intensive & fun course will inreed bundlingclude

4 Weekend Workshops for Wintern and the Public   Thatching  Jan 13 & 14 Round Pole Jan 20+21, Rocket Stove 27 & 28, Earth Plaster  & Sculpting Feb 3 & 4.

Community Events
Jan 10  Permaculture Meetup,  Jan 31 Full Moon Potluck & Bonfire.

During the week
 :  Natural Building & Sustainability Classes/Activities + 2 days off.

Access to online handouts for classes on foundations, round pole framing, stoves, earth plasters and more.

Check out the Winternship from previous years !  2016 Winternship Activities List   Winternship 2016: Thatching  Winternship 2016: Week 1  2015 Winternship Outline & Schedule   Winternship 2015 Blog & Pics     Pictures below are from previous years’ adventures.

 The 2019 Winternship Jan 7 – Feb 7 will be similar to the 2018 Winternship & will include the following workshops for intern and the public:  

Thatching  Jan 12 & 1, 2019

Round Pole Framing Jan 19 & 20, 2019.  

Rocket Stove & Earth Oven 26 & 27,  2019.

Earth Plaster & Sculpting Feb 2 & 3, 2019.