February 25 @ 5:54 am
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THATCHED ROOF 2 Day workshop  Jan 13 & 14, 2024

9:30a to 5:00p Saturday & Sunday

Yes ! Thatching in Michigan ! Explore this beautiful, ecological, insulative & long-lasting roof system during this 2-day workshop. The Strawbale Studio roof was thatched before the turn of the century …in 1998 …and is still sound & beautiful.

Instructor: Deanne Bednar

Thatching on a frame

SATURDAY, Jan 13, 2024   9:30a to 5:00p Learn the basics of thatching a roof,

  • Tour : See 3 thatched structures on-site including the Strawbale Studio!
  • Demo & Hands-on Thatching. Try your hand at thatching on a small, indoor frame.
  • Lecture Class: Learn design and construction principles of creating a thatched roof. Learn when to harvest, how to store reed and when to apply the thatch.
  • Reed Harvesting, bundling, storing.
  • Overnight accommodations available*.




Reed Collecting for Thatching

Harvesting Reed in the field

SUNDAY, Jan.14, 2024  9:30a to 5:00p Hands-on reed harvesting & Thatching Videos/ Discussion/ Q & A.

  • Harvest & bundle reed grass. We will visit a near-by field, learn to identify suitable reed and using hand-tools, experience reed collection, bundling the reed !
  • Transport & Store Reed in a Tipi. Learn techniques of safely transporting & storing for later use.
  • View & discuss 2 Thatching Videos – from UK & Denmark – in the cozy main house at Strawbale Studio.





  • FOOD Bring a BAG LUNCH for Saturday and Sunday — and if you are staying overnight, some extra food to share (anything will do). We will make supper together, and breakfast will be provided.
  • CLOTHING Dress WARMLY : boots (preferably loose & waterproof) Sox – preferably wool or insulated, ski pants or a few layers of sweat pants (jeans are COLD). Hats, some work gloves. We will be both indoors & outdoors.
  • OTHER Suggested: Bring a water bottle and perhaps a thermos for a warm drink. Snack for yourself or to share, if you wish. Camera, notebook, print out the Thatching Google doc to bring with you if you wish. LABEL your items 🙂
  • OVERNIGHT option. If staying overnight, bring bedding if you can. If not we have sleeping bags, etc. There are some beds and cots, and couches, the floor! If staying overnight, Bring some extra food to share for supper and Sunday if you can. We can cook together.

Payment information at Registration link

  • $95 Early Bird Discount by Jan 1 or $120 thereafter.
  • Bring a Friend Discount of -$20/person.
  • Two 1/2 Pay Scholarships available. $55
  • Class limited to 12.
  • *Overnight accommodations & supper/breakfast available for $20


A portrait of Deanne demonstrating thatching technique with a model piece of thatched roof at a natural building colloquium.

Deanne demonstrating thatching technique

In 1998, a Master Thatcher from Europe lead a 12 day class here, and we learned about and helped thatch the Strawbale Studio under his guidance. Since then, I have helped to thatch the Strawbale Studio in Oxford Michigan, and directed the thatching on the Kensington Kid’s Cottage at the Farm Center in Kensington Metropark, Milford, Michigan. In the process, I have done a lot of reed collecting, and understand the basic principles of design and attachment for Phragmite reed grass roofing system. Although I consider myself a “novice thatcher”, certainly not a master thatcher, I feel confident in showing you how the common person – like you or I – can successfully and beautifully thatch a roof with minimal skills. I am a teacher, and a curious person. I find thatched roofs to be very intriguing and enjoy sharing the knowledge I have about it!


Check out this Blog on a previous Thatching Workshop !.

Thatched Roof in the rain Tara & Tylers pics of Thatching 2012

Basics of thatching a roof

An exterior shot of the North facade of the strawbale studio.

The North side of the Strawbale Studio

Harvesting in the Reed Fields

2012 Retreat Cabin

Harvesting reed

Preparing reed bundles


January 13 @ 9:30 am
January 14 @ 5:00 pm
$55 – $120
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2691 Noble Rd. Oxford, MI Private Residence
2691 Noble
Oxford, MI 48370 United States
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248 496 4088
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