Building With Slip Straw Clay and Natural Plaster Workshop

August 4th -5th (or starting the 3rd for fem folks)

Maple Grove, Mi’kmaqi (NS)

Reserve your spot with Pay Pal bellow.

Join us for a weekend of alternative building! Enjoy a day and a half of learning, getting dirty and having fun! Slip straw clay (also known as light straw clay) is a popular natural insulating technique that involves making a thin clay slip to cover loose straw and packing the mixture into forms. During this workshop we will be practising our new skills on an unfinished cottage. The natural plaster we will learn to make is a mixture of sand, clay, straw and natural dye.

Participants are invited to arrive between 10 and 10:30am Saturday. The workshop will start at 11am with an introduction to these two building techniques and to some basic principles of alternative building. Following lunch will be our chance to “dig in”. By rotating roles in the production and application of slip straw clay everyone will get a thorough experience and practice with the technique. The work day will end with a dip in the river followed by dinner and free time for campfire, music and other activities. Those deciding to stay for the Sunday workshop are invited to bring tents and sleeping bags for camping but there are also limited spaces indoors for any who would appreciate more comfort. Don’t hesitates to let us know. Sunday’s workshop will start at 10am with making and applying natural plaster. We’ll finish at 2pm after lunch.

There is also an optional early start for women, trans and queer folks. Those interested are invited to arrive Friday evening after 5pm, to enjoy dinner around a fire. There will also be a sharing circle to discuss experiences in male dominated spaces / building spaces and what is needed to undo imposed gender roles and and systemic sexism. This will also be an opportunity to ground in the space with an option to participate in an energetic boundary setting ritual.

Bring appropriate clothing, bathing suits and games for spending time outdoors. Meals are provided from Saturday dinner to Sunday breakfast. Food will be vegan and home cooked from locally sourced ingredients as much as possible.

Costs, gifts and contribution… We will not exclude anyone based on their financial position and we do not believe in the ability of money to adequately express value. We choose to see this workshop as a gift that will inspire return gifts. From this perspective we ask that our costs be covered and we hope that if you benefit from the weekend you will want to show your appreciation for the energy we have spent organizing. Our estimated costs for organizing this weekend are $25 per person for just Saturday and $35 for both Saturday and Sunday. This covers food, cook wage, amenities and bringing our facilitators but does not cover the organizing time and energy of volunteers and staff, the cost of site rental or honorarium for our facilitators. Other similar workshops often charge $100-$150 per person. We welcome what you can give and will use your contributions to pay our facilitators and as affirmation and material support for similar projects that can benefit more people. We also offer work exchanges to those interested in helping on the land or scholarships to those who need.

The space falls short of adequate accessibility but we aim to accommodate as much as possible within our present circumstances. We are open to arrange child care if it is requested though we are unable to promise it at this time. We welcome requests and hope to meet the needs of all interested in participating.

To reserve your spot in this workshop leave us a deposit of $25 with Pay Pal (for just Saturday) of $35 (for Saturday and Sunday or Friday and Saturday for fem folks) or $45 (for Friday, Saturday and Sunday for Fem Folks). Or email for arrangements if this is not accessible to you.