Just a note to offer some info on the summer building workshops coming up, and clarify confusion. I've been getting feedback from new members that suggests that there is some confusion over
whether we are a free group, or whether we are the Natural Cottage Project, so here is a
The Chicago Natural Building Meetup exists to allow members to do the following:
1) Post natural building projects in Chicago and the region in order to reach out to would be participants. Both free and fee based projects may be
2) Find natural building projects to participate in and work on
3) Foster a natural building community by connecting projects with builders ("builders" are amateurs, volunteers, workshop participants etc. Professional builders are welcome - but we aren't focused on connecting professionals with professional projects)
We are a free group. While I do ask for a $10 per year contribution per family in order to defray the cost of the meetup site fees and occasional incidentals, this is a suggested donation and all are welcome regardless of financial resources.
So who is the Natural Cottage Project? If you look on our site right now, you will see that a number of summer workshops were posted recently. Emails went out about these as well.
The Natural Cottage project is a collaboration of professional natural builders, some of them associated with our sister organization, Strawbale Studio in Oxford, Michigan. These are intensive workshops that will provide a huge boost in information and hands-on experience.
If anyone has questions about The Natural Cottage Project or the workshops, I will be happy to try to answer them. I receive no financial compensation from them for posting their workshops, but I believe in what they are doing and I can testify to their knowledge and expertise.
So, why is our upcoming schedule dominated by these workshops?
Well...because I am waiting to hear from the rest of you about your upcoming projects for the building season! My backyard Cob Wall project, in Humboldt Park, will probably (I think...weather and logistics permitting) take place under the auspices of the Monthly Meeting.
Keep an eye on the conversation taking place for the upcoming monthly meetings for more details.
However, the strength and growth of our Natural Building community here in the city depends on a variety of projects for people to be able to work on. Do you want to build a pizza oven in your backyard? Are you lacking knowledge and skills? Don't be shy- all
of us are lacking knowledge and
skills and we can only learn by doing.
Other possible backyard projects you may consider:
cob garden bench
cob sculpture (from knick knack size to yard oddity size)
straw bale sheds or other structures
natural plastering projects
etc. etc. etc.
Don't worry about building codes - all of these projects are legal in the city (within certain size and height restrictions).
Don't have a backyard? Maybe a friend does.
No friends with backyards? Suggest your idea and specify that we need a member with a yard (and a desire for the final product) to offer the space.
Plastering projects, by the way, don't require backyards. Everyone on this list who lives either inside or outside is in a position to take on a project of their own. We are here to help you make it happen.
If you have an idea, suggest it as a meetup. This is your group, and it exists to help you build. The worst thing that can happen is that you make new friends doing what you love.