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

Straw Bale and Clay Plastering Workshop in Sussex, England

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

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

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…


Location of the straw bale workshop at the Michael Hall Steiner School in Forest Row

The beautiful grounds of our workshop location the Michael Hall Steiner school.

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

Workshops are always lots of fun!

A five day straw bale workshop held between
Tuesday 27th May and Sunday 1st June 2014.
In the beautiful village of Forest Row, East Sussex in the south of England.
Taught by architect and author Paulina Wojciechowska.

A wonderful opportunity to gain hands-on experience of constructing and plastering a real straw bale building that will be used as an outdoor classroom, in beautiful grounds of the Michael Hall Steiner school set in the heart of the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, England.

What You Will Learn

In a two part straw bale workshop you will learn:

Straw bale construction: hands-on experience of all the stages in straw bale wall construction of a real 10m x 7m structure:

  • Raising straw bale walls with hazel pinning
  • 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

Clay plastering techniques: hands-on experience of all stages in clay plastering our straw bale classroom structure:

  • Recognizing the clay found on our land and understanding how to use it for building
  • Preparation of clay plaster
  • Application of three different layers of earthen clay plaster
  • Preparation of wheat paste for stabilizing the final layer
  • Sculpting with clay plaster

This straw bale workshop will be mainly hands-on, working on a 7 x 10 metre building which will become and outdoor classroom for the school. Theory lessons on each day 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 five day straw bale workshop is £230 per person, or an early bird discounted price of £195 is available if booked by 1st May 2014.

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.

To book your place email info@EarthHandsAndHouses.org or call Paulina on +441825713349.

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 and Accommodation

If you travel to the workshop, there will the option of free camping within the beautiful grounds of the Michael Hall Steiner school. Facilities will be basic, with composting toilets and running cold water available at two hand basins.

Consumption of alcohol or being under the influence of alcohol while on the school site will be prohibited.

If you would prefer a more luxurious stay then these links take you to lists of local hotel,  bed and breakfast and self catering accommodation.

A cooked vegetarian midday meal will be available at an additional cost, payable at the start of the workshop.

Timings and Location

The workshop will run from 2pm on Tuesday 27th May through to 1pm on Sunday 1st June. Campers may arrive from midday on the Tuesday, and will need to have left the school site by 3pm on the Sunday.

The workshop will be held at the Michael Hall school in Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JA, England  – click here for a map of the location.

The workshop location is within 30 minutes drive of Gatwick Airport and is served by trains from central London to East Grinstead, about 3 miles north of Forest Row.

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!

For more details…

For more details email info@EarthHandsAndHouses.org or call Paulina on +441825713349

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:

Leave a Reply