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Previous Workshops

Previously held workshops: (archived)

Wallerawang, NSW – June 2015

Tuross Heads, NSW – May 2015

Tumbarumba, NSW – April 2015

!cid_29813019-6BF8-4D15-9BF7-942B5214BBBF  A 3 bedro0m home built in beautiful Tumbarumba, NSW.

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Jindabyne Joy – March 2014

The project: A 3 bedroom 150 m2 house, with a loft/storage area located on a 2.9ha block about 20mins drive south of Jindabyne.

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Light Earth Workshop –  Easter 2014

What do you get if you mix straw with clay slip (clay and water in a creamy solution), place them within a frame and let them dry to form a solid, insulating wall? Light earth construction, that’s what. Light Earth is the generic name given to a method of construction whereby straw is coated in clay slip and set within a frame to which both the shuttering, and later services, joinery etc. are fixed. Light Earth is usually made in-situ, but can equally be constructed from blocks / infill panels. The surfaces are normally rendered on both sides, with lime based or earth renders.

This is a useful alternative option for ecological designers and builders alike, using non-toxic building materials with no “off-gassing”. The picture below shows the grass-roofed building you will be working on during the workshop.



Build your own Pizza Oven – April 2014

Frank and James showed a wonderful group how to build a pizza oven out of cob and clay. Once you have the know how, pizza ovens can be built cheaply and easily in your own backyard. This workshop showed you how to avoid some common pitfalls when building pizza ovens and gave you the tips and confidence you need to start enjoying those wonderful flavours of your own home cooked pizzas





Clay & lime rendering with the experts – May 2014

This 3 days showed the basics of: Identifying, processing and testing clays, making a clay slip, a basic overview of the possibilities of using clay as a building product and gain plenty of practical hands-on experience using sand-clay, straw-clay and lime renders. Those who  joined us for 4 days also had the opportunity to learn about tools and tips and techniques for the professional (Earth) builder.

They rendered on light earth and drywall surfaces, were shown many different rendering techniques, use a variety of tools and how to achieve stunning finishes.


How to build a Rocket Stove  – May 2014

Rocket Mass Heaters are a super-efficient wood fired masonry heater. Developed by Ianto Evans in Oregon, USA as a way for do it yourself people to be able to build their own masonry stove. In the tradition of masonry stoves, the Rocket is burnt for a few hours a day and the retained heat radiates into the building for the rest of the day.

Providing safe overnight warmth from a daytime fire, they burn cleanly, producing very little smoke. Can be owner-built with local, non-toxic and recycled materials.  Adaptable design for cosy seating, heated floors, beds and more


Strawtec & Traditional Timber FramesMarch 2015

Hands on instructional course working with Frank and Chris on a gazebo as shown in the image below.



Introduction to Earth & Strawbale BuildingMarch 2015

Discover more about the process of building an earth or strawbale house with Architect Ray Trappel and builder Frank Thomas. With over 50 years combined experience working on earth and strawbale houses they will take you on a tour of a strawbale house constructed by Frank, as well as a permaculture garden.

Frank Thomas: Frank is the owner of Strawtec, the leading strawbale educator and construction company in Australia. Strawtec has built over 220 homes and conducted 180 workshops since 1997.

Ray Trappel: As an architect, Ray has designed earth homes for over 35 years. He is the secretary of the Earth Building Association of Australia and also leads workshops for the Alternative Technology Association and Sydney Design Festival.


Tumberumba Wall Raising workshopApril 2015

Tuross Heads Wall Raising workshop June 2015


3 day Traditional Timber Framing Workshop

June Long Weekend – 6th,7th & 8th June 2015 “Strawtec” and “Traditional Timber Frames” have come together to offer you this hands on instructional course. Work with Frank and Chris on a gazebo as shown in the image below.