What to Expect

At at Dirt Craft Workshop…

Here at Dirt Craft, we take your workshop experience very seriously! We strive to offer the best natural building training and hands-on education. We feel strongly that natural building, a unique practice, is best learned with guided support from a talented teacher. Your hands will tell you what is right. Learning to trust in your experiences is part of the process.

applying earthen plaster mid coat in interior at dirt craft workshopWhen you attend a Dirt Craft workshop you become an active participant. We work together on real projects, whether it’s constructing an oven, plastering walls or building with straw bales, so that you get real-world, practical knowledge. Our workshops are designed specifically to give you building skills based on first-hand experience and practice. So be prepared to get dirty!

You can also expect a small class size. This will increase your one on one time with us, your instructors, directly. With all of our workshops, you will receive a comprehensive note package that covers the topics we go over during the workshop.

Throughout the year, Dirt Craft facilitates a really great variety of workshops across British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, including Learn to Build a Wood Fired Cob Oven, Learn to Build a Rocket Mass Heater, the Straw Bale Comprehensive, and Earthen Plasters for Natural Buildings, just to name a few. For a detailed descriptions check out this page for upcoming dates and workshops in your area.

Learn From Experience:

applying earthen plaster base coatWe have taught over 450 students, since we officially became a business in 2010. This means we have encountered many different, and sometimes difficult situations. We bring experience and knowledge to each workshop, so that when you encounter your own difficulties, during your own project, you will be armed with all of the necessary information to make decisions when the time comes.

Natural Building Education:

We strongly believe that natural building is best learned in a hands-on environment, and this is why we always work on real projects in our workshops. Our goal is to ensure that you get the education and experience you need, to have the confidence to work on your own projects. We want to contribute in a positive and meaningful manner to the natural building community and we think that education, with integrity, in the latest building techniques can expand and add to this emerging field.

For more photos, visit our gallery here!


Our workshops are a great way for you to connect with a like minded community. Learn about natural building while swapping ideas and making new friends.

We are also passionate about local food, produced by ethical farmers, and prepared with love. In an effort to live our values, we like to offer healthy meals with all of our workshops, if they are a least a day long. For our longer courses, different options are available. Please refer to specific workshops for details.

                       delicious lunch for wood fired cob oven workshop_0                       mixing cob jess and paula


What our students are saying:
Thanks for this Ashely and Heather.  Although we don't have an imminent earthen floor project we really enjoyed the workshop as base experience to think back on when we actually do have an earthen floor project.  The notes you included are really wonderful to have to support us when that happens. We both felt you facilitated a fantastic program.  As it was the first of your workshops we didn't have particular expectations, but we both left really inspired.  We would definitely participate in another.
- Megan and Ian Odell

I have taken three workshops [Cob Oven, Rocket Mass Heater, Interior Paints & Plasters] with Ashley and heather. They are both very knowledgeable and kind teachers. They are very passionate about their craft and seem to hold strong ethics. For this reason I traveled to Alberta from New Brunswick because their workshops have been very valuable with real life applications. I feel comfortable and confident enough to continue with my own projects and know they will be available should I have questions. All workshop hosts also have provided excellent meals that where organic or local. I highly recommend Dirt Craft and hope to do more workshops in the future....

- Stephanie Mathews, Student

Great job guys! I recently had the pleasure of participating in a Cob Oven building workshop with Dirt Craft. Ashley and Heather did an incredible job taking us from 0 -  60 in one fun filled day. By 4:30 pm we had built an oven. I can't wait to host an event. Sign me up. I am a convert...I am starting the planning process today. Those pizzas are going to taste might fine. Hats off to [our host] for hosting the event and to all the great participants that were in my group. I will  remember that event for a long time. Kind Regards.

- Jim Little, Student

This course [Walls Au Naturel: The Art of Clay Paint & Plaster] was taught with so much passion that learning came easily. After only two full workshop days I could actually leave with my newly acquired knowledge and skills to create something beautiful on my own in my own home. Now that's a course worth taking! Thanks Ashley and Heather!

- Bonnie Hamilton, Student

"Heather and Ashley embody an incredible wealth of knowledge and earth wisdom. They took responsibility and care for the project as if it were their own. What a wonderful way to build community and rejoin a more sustainable lifestyle."

- Jen Stotland, Student
Thank you so so very much for the amazing day!! I'm definitely feeling inspired. I enjoyed very much the hands-on approach. There really is no other way. The instructions were simple, clear and relaxed...which I also loved.
- Dalia Kohen, Student


What to Expect 2