We aim:

  • To empower everyone to participate in the process of building: particularly those who have been disenfranchised.
  • To teach the basic principles of straw bale construction and other related crafts in a straight forward and practical style.
  • To foster teamwork and community spirit in building.
  • To have fun.

Go to our about us for a fuller and broader picture of our aims and ethos.

Barbara Jones & Bee Rowan

15th & 16th January 2005

Come and join us early this New Year on a course to learn strawbale building and practical clay plastering at a beautiful owner-built house in Wales. This fantastic house near Cardigan is in a stunning high spot overlooking an estuary by the sea. The design is unique, an almost three storey loadbearing strawbale house with a stone turret. The main structure of walls, gable end walls, shingled roof, windows and doors has been completed, and the outside of the house has been lime plastered and lime washed.

The course will focus on the building of an internal strawbale wall, (sitting on blue bottles for light), preparing the wall for plastering and giving it its first coat of clay plaster.. You will also learn how to make plaster from locally sourced clay, the difference between the three coats of plaster and how they are applied, and gain practical experience by applying the finishing coat to the house itself. Although there will be theory, backed up with handouts to take away, it is a practical course and all teaching will be done whilst doing, so be prepared for some physical work, and bring your overalls! It will be a lot of fun and you will be able to network with lots of people who are interested in the same things.

The course includes vegetarian lunches, Saturday¹s evening meal, dormitory space in the house and a guided tour of the house, its building methods and history by the owner. The cost for the course is £95 and you need to book in with us at Amazon Nails asap as places are limited.

Also coming up . . .

Italy . . . Soon there will be lime plastering courses coming up on an infill strawbale house in Italy near Venice. These are likely to start in March. We will email you again when we have finalised dates.
Essex/Suffolk . . . Course 13­15 April building the strawbale walls of an infill building with car-tyre foundations and a thatched roof. This is a real project to build a strawbale workshop on a farm. The straw is grown on the farm and the building will be clay-plastered, using locally-dug material. For details contact Pauline Hudspith in Heritage Conservation, Essex County Council.

Bath . . . the construction of a circular strawbale garden wall, and the lime plastering and limewashing of the wall. Likely to start in April and continue through to May.

With other possible projects later in the year in West Yorkshire, the Lake District, Wales and Scotland.
There will be more courses and volunteering opportunities this year – we are just waiting for dates to be finalised. If you want to be included on our mailing list to hear about these and other projects, contact Amazon Nails.

Related Crafts
We can also offer courses in coracle-making, charcoal burning, hurdle-making and dry stone walling, if we have the demand. Why not get your friends together to make a group booking, and let us know what you want.

We specialise in tailor-made self-build courses on your own site. If you want to build something for yourself we can provide the tuition and support to help you build with your friends, family, neighbours, etc.

We have a list of volunteers. If you need help with your building, or if you wish to be placed on the list, please contact us.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply