Winternship 2016 ~ January 4 to February 4

Winternship 2015 Crew

Winternship 2015 Crew

This is one of most popular Internships of the year ! Live at the Strawbale  Studio for a month while learning natural building & sustainable living skills.  The Winternship includes daily activities and classes as well as participation in the 4 weekend workshops that are open to the public: Thatching & Reed Collection, Round Pole Framing, Rocket Stove , Earth Plasters and Sculpting.
       See workshop details at the bottom of this page.

During the month Winterns will

  • Practice hands-on skills  learned in the 4 weekend workshops in Thatching, Round Pole, Rocket Stove and Earth Plaster.
  • Attend classes  on the basics of building & site design, foundation, framing, wall and roof systems.
  • Design and sculpt a model from Cob.
  • Participate in a number of sustainable living skills:  fermentation (Kombucha, sourdough, Dosahs),  hay box cooking, worm composting, whittling and more.
  • Attend the Permaculture Meetup and the Full Moon Potluck.
  • Enjoy a fabulous Library of books and videos.
Round Pole class with Mark Angelini.

Round Pole class with Mark Angelini.

Come as an Intern, or as a 1/2 Pay Worktrader  (assist 10 hours per week with office, grounds, maintenance, other.)    Limited to 8 participants. 

 *Fee Includes room & board, plus all workshops, activities & materials.
All participants will share in  cooking and household activities.

  • INTERNSHIP *  $850 prepaid 2 months in advance. $950 one month in advance, or $1025 1 month in advance if there is room.
  • Some worktrade positions are available at half fee.
    1/2 Pay WORKTRADER  ~ $425/ $475/ $ 525   Participate in all activities plus help out 10 hours a week toward grounds, maintenance, office work, publicity, based on skills & needs.

Contact: Deanne Bednar 248 496 4088
Brief Application Form


Christina Keegan writes:  “I highly recommend this natural building internship opportunity to anyone. I did this last year and am so grateful for the experience. It’s only one month, very affordable, and you get to live with and learn from one of the best natural builders around. In addition, the activities are chosen based on the interests and learning goals of the participants, and Deanne makes sure to create an egalitarian environment in which everyone learns from and supports each other. “  See Christina’s memories of her experience ’12 – WOOFing at the Strawbale Studio (72 photos).  


WORKSHOPS that are part of the WINTERNSHIP

thatching wood shelter 2011 group

January 9, 2016   THATCHIN– 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 and video on thatching.  Bring a bag lunch.  $45 early bird – prepaid 1 month in advance or $60 thereafter.  Limited to 12 students.  Some Scholarships available. Overnight accommodations available. Register  Blog from last years’ wksp.

January 10 – Hands-on HARVESTING Reed Grass (Phragmite). Go to local site, use hand-tools, learn to identify, collect, bundle & store reed.  $25 Early Bird Special 1 month in advance or $35 thereafter.  Register 

Round Pole Trellis construction. Ruthie & Justin

January 16 & 17, 2016 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 23 & 24, 2016  ROCKET STOVE & FIRE  – Includes Earth Oven

This unique & practical workshop focuses on creating useful heat efficiently from local materials ! Learn what you need to construct these fire devices ! Fee Includes a copy of the new edition of the  Rocket Mass Heater Book.  The Earth Oven book is available for $20.  Tour 100_1273buildings and see a number of fire devices. See link.

rocket stove- fired up 4-19-2014 mushroom wksp

Rocket Stove – fired up!gs & Stoves on site, Hands-on experiences, Principles of construction, code+. Blog post and pics from last Rocket Stove Workshop !

$125 for both days prepaid one month in advance, or $150 thereafter with RSVP. Saturday only $80/$90.  with RSVP.  Some Worktrade Scholarships available. Click here for details. Includes meals & overnight.  


Jan. 23, Sat,   FULL MOON Activities *Workparty 1-5p,  *Tour  5p *Potluck & Bonfire 6p  RSVP (note winter hours)

J mcd wrkshp. deanne plastering maybe 1-2013

Jan. 30 & 31, 2016 EARTH PLASTER  & SCULPTING Jan 2016  ~    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. $95 Early Bird Special 1 month in advance or $120 thereafter.  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  Details