Straw Bale Workshops in the Time of COVID

“…My neck is stiff, my voice is weak, I hardly whisper when I speak. My tongue is filling up my mouth, I think my hair is falling out. My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight, My temperature is one-o-eight. My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear, There is a hole inside my ear. I have […]

2020 Straw Bale Workshop Hosts: Last Call!

Group Photo os straw bale workshop

This is the last call for 2020 straw bale workshop hosts. If you hope to host a workshop on your project, please get me your application soon. You can find the application by reading this article or visiting the hosting page on the website.

Something is Missing in Your Life…and We Can Change That

If you’re like most people in the world, something is missing in your life. You may not know what it is, or may not have even identified with “missing something” until just now; all the same, you can feel it. Don’t believe me? Sit quietly and ask yourself: “Is there something missing? Is there a […]

Bale Stops Strengthen and Simplify Your Build

Having built hundreds of straw bale houses over the years, I’ve learned that bale stops do an incredible job of both strengthening and simplifying a build. I use them in every bale structure I work on. The most common placement for bale stops is at the top of the wall so that I can compress […]

Inspiring Straw Bale Workshop Video

Walsenburg straw bale workshop Group Photo

This is a must watch if you are interested in attending a straw bale workshop. In fact, even if you are not planning on attending, this inspiring straw bale workshop video is worth watching anyway. The video really sums up the workshop experience and the potential for life changing relationships that are born there.

The Power of Education – A 15 Question Test

straw bale workshop site

It may sound obvious, but learning how to build a house, of any kind but especially a straw bale house, is a good thing to do before you actually start building. Ask yourself the following 15 questions and if you cannot answer them with a high level of confidence, you would be best served to gain some more experience before you start building.

California Straw Building Association’s 20th Anniversary Gathering

Bales of Straw in the Field

The California Straw Building Association (CASBA) has done amazing work in the field of straw bale construction for the last twenty years. This year’s annual meeting will celebrate those achievements and look to the future to see how CASBA can continue to build positive relationships in the field.

Finish Plaster Texture Options

woman applying finish plaster

There are a lot of finish plaster texture options available for your straw bale home and knowing which one is best for you can be difficult. The best decisions are based on understanding the combination of application-technical difficulty, personal aesthetics, durability, crack hiding ability, and material availability.

Getting Ready for the 2016 Straw Bale Workshop Season

La Grande straw bale Workshop Group Photo

Ever wonder what one of my straw bale workshops is like? This video will give you a taste. For starters, we have a ton of fun, learn mountains of information, build someone’s dream, and make friendships that last.

Another Amazing Straw Bale Workshop

entry doors on timber frame straw bale house

I recently returned home from another amazing straw bale workshop in Arlington, Vermont. This was truly one of the most fun workshops I have had in years. The building will be used as woodworking shop, home brew facility, pottery studio and forge. It will certainly provide years of fun and creativity for the hosts: Tara and Tyler.

Another Great Week of Hard Work and Fun

La Grande straw bale Workshop Group Photo

I’m happy to announce that we recently completed another great week of hard work and fun at the La Grande, Oregon straw bale workshop. With a large group of dynamic and fun people, the week of work felt like anything but work. (This is pretty much always true, of course!)

Upcoming Straw Bale Workshops

timber frame straw bale house interior

With my 2014 workshop schedule complete, I am looking to finalize my 2015 schedule. If you are interested in hosting or participating in 2015, it’s time to get excited and get in touch. In the meantime, check out these two workshops presented by CASBA.

Sale Ends Friday, November 30th at 9:00am EST

man standing by straw bale wall

We are having a sale on everything in our store including workshop tuitions (up to $200 off!), all of our How-To DVDs, my new book: “A Modern Look At Straw Bale Construction,” and two sets of professional construction plans for small or tiny houses. You’ll even discover that I have created discounts on the three most popular ways to work with me directly. You can get my help with a construction plan review, have me come to your site and train your baling crew for three days, or get both of those plus a year of consulting and more.

Straw Bale Design Seminar: Old Friends and New Friends

straw bale design seminar

Last weekend in Denver, Colorado I held my first ever 2-day Straw Bale Design Seminar. I suppose it would be silly for me to try and share the group experience via a blog post. We simply covered too much ground and had too much fun to sum it up in a few paragraphs. I’ll do my best, nonetheless, to let you in on it as best I can. I started my workshop by hugging old friends and saying hello to new ones. I think there is something about starting a workshop that way because the smiles seemed to be contagious. I think they came from knowing that the room was full of like minded people willing to share their questions and experiences to help the group move forward. The simple format of the weekend allowed us to discuss the inner workings of straw bale construction in great detail. We covered the construction details of building a straw bale home and how to properly represent those details on the construction drawings. We talked at great length about working with building departments, banks, insurance companies, and more. We dove into managing subcontractors, budgets, and time lines. We reviewed the plans that participants brought with them and offered feedback and guidance on each set.