I have obtained permits to build a 40+' privacy fence/garden wall out of strawbales and cob. In the first weekend of workshops we will install stone splash stem wall, mix cob, apply clay slip on the bales, stack the bales on the wall. In the next workshop we will apply the brown coat. The remainder of the workshops may get pushed off until spring we'll just have to see how it works out. There will be a workshop for the finish plaster coat and possibly one for the cap/cedar roof. I will install the drain pipe and rubble trench this coming weekend Sept 4th 5th and 6th. If you want to help then just send me an email and we can work something out. Sept 11th and 12th will be stem wall and concrete again email me if you want to help. The official workshop(s) will be Sept 18th and 19th. Then the rest will follow with announcements made on this site. I expect to hold additional workshops on Oct 2nd, Oct 3rd, Oct 10th, Oct 16th and Oct 17th. The property is located just north of Antioch IL. I believe that commuter rail to Antioch is not available on weekends. You will need to plan on transportation of whatever means you can. I will try and help organize carpooling and or answer questions about what is near and what is not. Lets recap:
Sept 4th 5th and 6th (layout wall, dig trench, install drain line, install rubble, harvest clay)not official workshops, you can help if you would like - you need to email me to make arrangements
On or around Sept 11th and 12th (install stem wall, pour concrete bond beam, install rebar) not official workshops, you can help if you would like - you need to email me to make arrangements
Sept 18th and 19th OFFICIAL WORKSHOP, make cobb, apply clay slip to bales, install cobb on stem wall, impale bales on rebar and stack more bales, apply cobb to joints, lots and lots of muddy fun. Similar activities both days with some variations. Snacks, food, and water will be available - please bring your own if you have allergies or special dietary needs.
Oct 2nd and 3rd, OFFICIAL WORKSHOP, make cobb, apply cobb to joints, focus on "Brown coat" we will be finishing our shape and working to make the vertical surface of the wall plumb. Attention to detail and focus on the tools for such activities will be covered, lots and lots of muddy fun. Similar activities both days with some variations. Snacks, food, and water will be available - please bring your own if you have allergies or special dietary needs.
Each workshop will have time set aside for group discussion, topics will be class driven but may include the following: jobsite management, material acquisition, building concepts, individual onsite sewage disposal systems, composting toilets, living roofs, or ?
additional workshops will follow, watch for meetup notices.
Please note: Children are more than welcome - I like to teach and really get a kick out of listening to the unpolluted building perspectives of little people. You are the best judge of weather or not your child will be able to sit through teaching and building. If you bring your children you will be in charge of watching your own child.
If you need to come late or leave early you are welcome to do so
Are you flat broke but really want to be involved? I know the feeling!!! Maybe you have something of value to barter? Give me a try, I love tools especially old ones. I need a big 1/2" drill of my own. Some other ideas are, flower seeds - you could collect seeds now from browneyed or blackeyed Susans and bring them to the workshop for partial trade, or possibly camping gear, gas weedwipper (running), maybe you could bring all or some of the food? Are you a starving artist? If your work appeals to me I may be willing to trade? Email me, I do not want people to miss out due financial hardship. I may not know you (yet) but I would rather have you at the workshop than not.
The cost for each day a workshop is offered will be $ 35.00. Pay for two days save $ 10.00, pay for three save $ 20.00, pay for 4 days save $ 40.00! One condition - you must pay in full at the start of your first visit to take advantage of any savings.
One day sign ups will be $ 35.00 per day.
I will limit the attendees to 8 per day to allow for proper hands on learning and discussion time. There may be a campfire later in the day. Please bring a folding chair, note pad, proper clothing for the weather, drinking water, extra dry clothes and shoes (just in case), you may want to wear work gloves, you may want to consider bringing a hat? Please restrict cell phone use to break time only as to keep class disruptions to a minimum.
Class times will run from 9:30 am through 3:30pm (you may be able to stay later and keep working if you wish)
Do you have ideas or suggestions for me? Send me an email.
I look forward to talking to you soon,