A similar straw bale structure we made at our Turkey workshop in October.

Straw Bale and Clay Plaster Workshop, Spain

A similar straw bale structure we made at our Turkey workshop in October.

A similar, but larger straw bale structure we made at our Turkey workshop in October 2013.

Clay plastering the joints between bales...

Clay plastering the joints between bales…

Having fun in the sun...

Having fun in the sun…

The walls take shape... clay plastering the bale walls.

The walls take shape… clay plastering the bale walls.

Earth, Hands and Houses Straw Bale Workshop Leader, Paulina Wojciechowska

Building with earth: Paulina and her passion…

People having fun at a Clay Plastering Workshop run by Earth, Hands and Houses.

Workshops are always lots of fun!

A six day straw bale and clay plastering workshop
(with an optional extra two days)

Wednesday 11th – Tuesday 17th May 2016 or Wednesday 11th – Thursday 19th May 2016

Set in a beautiful olive grove in the rugged mountains near Tarbena in the Costa Blanca region of Spain.

Taught by architect and author Paulina Wojciechowska, and Antony Dennis.

This workshop is a wonderful opportunity to gain hands-on experience of constructing and plastering a real straw bale building that will be used for visitor accommodation, in the beautiful surroundings of our olive grove set in a lush green valley in the mountains north of Alicante.

What You Will Learn

Hands-on experience of all the stages in straw bale wall construction, and in depth theory and practice of applying a wide range of different clay plasters to a real structure.

On the first six days we will build a straw bale structure and cover it with the first two layers of plaster. Topics covered will be:

  • Site planning and building of the foundations for a straw bale structure
  • Raising straw bale walls
  • How to tie the straw bale walls together
  • Making a wall plate and compressing a wall
  • Installation of door and window frames
  • Managing the use of bales to maintain wall strength
  • Recognizing the clay found on our land and understanding how to use it for building
  • Preparation and application of the first 2 coats of clay plaster onto the straw bale wall

The final two days will present both the theory and practice of clay plastering in much more depth. Topics will include:

  • Preparation and application of the final layer of smooth plaster
  • Sculpting with clay plaster
  • Application of clay plaster to existing brick and cement structures so you can enjoy all the benefits of clay plasters without building a new house from the beginning.
  • Methods of protecting clay plaster from the elements
  • Application of lime to protect a naturally constructed building.
  • Preparation and application of clay paints for a beautiful natural finish.
  • A variety of methods using in the creation of different internal wall structures.
  • The theory of how clay floors are built.

This straw bale workshop will be mainly hands-on, building a small temporary structure out of straw bales, and applying all the different clay plaster techniques to both this and an existing 4×4 metre building which will be used for visitor accommodation at the olive grove site. Theory lessons will back up the practical skills learned and provide the opportunity for more detailed questions to be answered.

Book Your Place

The price of the two workshop options are:

Six day straw bale and clay plaster workshop:
340€ per person, or a discounted price of 295€ is available if booked by 1st March 2016.

Eight day straw bale and clay plaster workshop
450€ per person, or a discounted price of 395€ is available if booked by 1st March 2016.

Note that we are running a series of workshops at this time in Spain, also covering how to plan your dream natural home, building with earthbags, building a natural floor, and a final workshop combining natural building with meditation, yoga, dance and sensuality.

Numbers on the workshop will be limited to ensure a good learning experience, and we are expecting the allocated places to fill up before the workshop begins.

To book your place
email info@EarthHandsAndHouses.org or
call Antony on (+34) 633 012 477.

About your Workshop Leader

The workshop will be lead by Earth, Hands and Houses founder Paulina Wojciechowska, a qualified architect who has over 17 years of experience building with straw bales and  earthbags in communities all around the world. Paulina worked alongside leading straw bale and clay plaster veterans Bill and Athena Steen in 1997-8 and has been involved in running straw bale workshops and designing and building straw bale structures since then. Click here to hear Paulina talk about her experiences.

Food, Location, Accommodation

Vegetarian food will be available at an additional cost, payable upon arrival. The food will comprise a self service breakfast, full cooked lunchtime meal, and a light supper.

The workshop will be held in an olive grove, 2km south of the village of Tarbena. You may camp within the olive grove for free.

Click here for more details of the camping facilities, maps, travel information and other accommodation available.

Please note that consumption of alcohol and smoking on the site are not allowed.

Workshop Timing

The workshop will run from 09:00 to 17:00 on each day. If you are  camping, you are welcome to arrive any time on the day before the workshop starts and to depart the day after the workshop ends. There is a rest day on Sunday 15th May.

But there is more…

This will be more than just a straw bale workshop – it will be a wonderful opportunity to enjoy learning and relaxing amongst like minded people, some who may become your friends for life!

Learn more…

Hear Paulina talk about her experience and vision for Earth, Hands and Houses:


Watch people’s experience of an Earth, Hands and Houses straw bale and clay plastering workshop: