Hosting a Workshop

Hosting a workshop is a very rewarding adventure and a terrific way to bring skilled leadership and an eager crew to your natural building project. It is also a very affordable way to further the completion of your project.

  • Be guided through the process by experienced natural builders
  • Build your project faster
  • Contribute to the growing knowledge of alternative building by providing an educational opportunity for others
  • Meet great people and build community

While there is certainly some work involved, our hosts are forever impressed by the accomplishments of our work and the work of our students as well.

straw bale workshop alberta group photo
Since we offer a wide variety of workshop topics, there are many opportunities to host a successful Dirt Craft workshop. Some topics include Learn to Build a Wood Fired Cob Oven, the Straw Bale Comprehensive, Learn to Build a Rocket Mass Heater, Earthen Plasters for Natural Buildings, Earthen Floors, and Interior Clay Paints & Plasters.

Some responsibilities of the Host:

  • Providing healthy meals for participants
  • Site preparation – the work that needs to be done to ensure a successful workshop (Note: this is a really critical step, but you can be assured that we will outline clear expectations, and support you along the way)
  • Gathering materials
  • Access to water for mixing and clean up
  • General tools
  • Promotion of the workshop through your local networks

Some of what Dirt Craft brings to the table:

  • Skilled and knowledgeable to direct the direction of your project
  • Our extensive Host Guide to help you easily fulfill the above list
  • Assistance in material assessment
  • Provide specialized tools during the workshop
  • Accept, track, and handle student registration and communication
  • Provide student hand outs
  • Promote the workshop on our website and through our networks
  • Provide posters & other marketing material to help advertise in your local area

clay plaster workshop group photo May 19 2013_1

The one day Learn to Build a Wood Fired Cob Oven is a very popular workshop. As such, we prefer that before you host, you attend a workshop. In our experience, this is the best preparation for being a host. If you would like to be a workshop host please contact us [email protected] We look forward to working with you!

When you are inquiring about hosting a workshop, please include answers to the following questions relevant to your project:

Where will the workshop take place? What is the scope of the project (cob oven, rocket mass heater, straw bale building)? What is your project timeline and when would you like the workshop to take place? For longer, more involved workshops, like our week long Straw Bale Comprehensive, are there facilities for hosting 15 – 20 people?

Here’s What Past Hosts are Saying About The Experience of Hosting a Workshop:

After going through the process of preparing for this workshop and seeing how much we accomplished in a very short period of time I’m really happy we did the workshop.

Ashley and Heather are wonderful teachers and were very encouraging in the process. We weren’t building an alternative structure such as a straw bale or an adobe home but we still felt like the project we choose was a valuable learning experience.

- Doug Pritcher, Host (and past student)

"I have always been interested in cool projects that my family can put on our property in Calgary that will help to change the norm in our neighbourhood and move us towards a post-carbon world. When Ashley and Heather asked if I wanted to have a workshop at my place to teach others how to build a cob oven, I was thrilled about the opportunity since I had participated in one of Dirt Craft's cob oven workshops the previous year.

Ashley and Heather gave me clear instructions about siting the oven, building the base and gathering the materials. They prepared us wonderfully for having 12 guests to our place for a day of learning and fun.

When the oven-building day came around, they encouraged us to have our almost two-year old son involved and our whole family helped out as much as possible. It was great fun to meet all the participants in the workshop, to learn about their particular backgrounds and interests and, of course, to work together as a community. The whole workshop went off without a hitch. We can't wait to have the neighbours over for pizza. Thanks Dirt Craft!"


- Lindsay Luhnau, Calgary, AB

"Hosting a cob oven workshop was a great experience. We had so many questions about the prep work required but Ashley & Heather were very supportive and encouraging. They helped us design a base that worked for us and they guided us through each step of preparation. Once the workshop day had come we felt confident and excited to host. The day of the workshop was so amazing, we learned a lot and had a beautiful cob oven as a result."


Dylan and Gillian- Dylan & Gillian, Calgary, AB