• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.


Natural Building Calendar

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 10 months ago

Schedule for Natural Building & Arts

Come to an event, or create an activity for your group.

Fall 2006 through Summer 2007


Contact information for Deposits and Prepayments



Activity List



Kensington Metropark Kids Cottage

Volunteer opportunities & Classes ~ Fall 2006 - Spring 2007


The Art of Thatching

Friday, January 12, 2007


Reed Collection

Harvesting Phragmite, video on thatching & small demonstration


Green Building Series. Cost $60


Tuesday, March 6, 2007.....6:30-8:30pm...Learn about the Strawbale Studio...location: UM-Flint

Saturday,March 17, 2007....3:00-5:00pm...Tour the Strawbale Studio.............location: Oxford, MI

Tuesday, March 20, 2006....6:30-8:30pm...Why Build Green?.........................location: UM-Flint

Tuesday, March 27, 2007....6:30-8:30pm...Is it Legal? Evolving Codes ...........location: UM-Flint


Natural Arts Series

Candles and candlesticks. See below

Cards and wrapping Paper. See below

April 3, 6-8 pm UM-Flint. "Make a Dream Catcher"

April 10,6-8 pm UM-Flint. "Cording and Bracelets"

Activity Details


KENSINGTON METROPARK "KID’S COTTAGE” Dates to be determined. Check website updates or call.

Fall: Earthen Plaster

Winter: Reed Collection

Spring: Roof Thatching & Finish Plasters


Volunteers are needed to finish the earthen plasters (and possibly earthen blocks) on the Kensington Metropark "Kid's Cottage", a natural building project. This hybrid structure incorporates solar design, a shallow frost-protected foundation, radiant floor system, strawbale north wall, compressed earth block east and west walls, a timber frame constructed from dead ash trees harvested and milled in the Kensington Metropark, and a thatched roof(reed to be havested in the winter of 2006-7, and thatching to be done this spring).


No skills necessary. Bring your own lunch and water. Wear work clothes and bring gloves for warmth. Volunteers will help sift earth, mix, and apply plasters. It is not hard work, and it is fun to be with others in this beautiful setting.


What to Bring: Water, lunch, hat & gloves (to keep warm), warm work clothes.


Hours and Dates (updated frequently): Wednesday October 25th, Thursday October 26th, Saturday October 28th. Tuesday October 31st, Wednesday November 1st, Thursday November 2nd. 10 am - 4 pm each day. You must call at least 24 hours in advance (and preferably more) to register to volunteer and leave a phone number where you can be contacted if we need to cancel. Call Deanne at home 248 628 1887 and on the cell phone 248 496 4088. (I don't hear my cell phone when I'm home, and I don't hear my home phone when I'm away.)


Directions: Come to the Farm at the north end of the Kensington Metropark located south of Milford, MI (a few miles N of 96 and E of US 23). You will need to buy a day pass, or let them know at the gate that you will be working on the Kid's Cottage and they will likely let you in.




Friday, November 10, 6:30 pm - 9 pm


Three Little Pigs Tour. Strawbale Video & Supper


Curious about natural building and the Strawbale Studio? Come visit this enchanting thatched-roof structure and learn more about the natural building movement. Also find out about the other activities at the Studio: thatching,model-making, natural paints and plastering. Books/art for sale. Includes a vegetarian supper, a video on Strawbale Construction in the US and Mexico, and a chance to see other natural building and sustainability books and resources.


$25 Register & prepay by October 3. $5 “Bring-a-Friend Discount. Register/prepay by November 3. Make checks out to Deanne Bednar and mail to me at PO Box 733, Oxford, MI 48371. 248 628 1887. Call to register and get directions.


Location: The Strawbale Studio 1 hour north of Detroit, on beautiful wooded rural land.


Sunday, November 19, 2006 2 pm - 5 pm


Introduction to Natural Building & Earthen Model-Making


An introduction to natural building includes a tour of the thatched-roof Strawbale Studio and Rocket Stove Heated Bench, a guided meditation on Intuitive Design, and an opportunity to make an earthen mix and sculpt a model of your choice to take home. $30 by Oct. 6, or $35 by Oct 11. “Bring a friend” - 20% Discount. Deanne Bednar PO Box 733, Oxford, MI 48371. 248 628 1887. www.freewebs.com/strawbalestudio

Location: 1 hour north of Detroit on rural land east of Oxford, MI 48370


Reed Collection for the Thatched Roof on the Kensington Kid’s Cottage


In December, January and February we will be harvesting Phragmite reed grass by hand. Location and dates to be determined. Often we have gone to Harson’s Island south of Port Huron. This wonderful outdoor adventure is fun and a great opportunity to be outdoors with others and learn a unique skill. Some days will include a thatching demonstration. We are planning to set up a 9 day period ( two weekends and the weekdays between to be at one location) for those who can join us for one or more days. Sign up or call (248 628 1887) if you may be interested in taking part in reed collecting. Check the website for updates.



Sunday, December 10, Natural Holiday Crafts



Remember how people used to make their gifts from local, natural materials? Remember the sweet smell of bees wax, and pine needles? Come enjoy some time to be with nature and natural materials as you make a gift for yourself or others. For adults and children. If you are a parent, enjoy the event with your child, or drop off your child for the following activities.


1 - 2:30 pm, Natural Gifts Class: Candle & Candle Holder.

Make your own dipped bees-wax candles and sculpted earthen Candle Stick Holder.

I you wish, you can also use the earthen mix to create a sculpture of your choice. Feel free to go outdoors, collect nature items and combine them with the earthen mix to make an interesting & natural gift.


(Bring a snack for the 2:30-3 break if you are staying for both classes. )


3 - 4:30 pm, Natural Holiday Cards & Wrapping Paper Class. Make your own Holiday cards and gift cards with stencils and pastels. Easy and beautiful. Bring paper bags to make your own wrapping paper using the same techniques. Learn how to cord and make your own natural string for wrapping.


Fee: $15 for each class. Discounts: $25 for both classes, Additional $5 discount for Prepayment by Dec 7. Group discounts & some scholarships available.


Registration by Dec 7: Class is limited to 12, so call in your reservation now. Contact Deanne @ (248)628-1887 for questions, registration & directions.


Location: Located on beautiful wooded rural land, the day will include a tour of the enchanting "Strawbale Studio" a natural building with a thatched roof and sculptural interior! Learn a little bit about natural building and other sustainable strategies, like worm composting!


Teacher: Deanne Bednar, art teach at the Middle School level for 28 years, illustrator of 3 books on natural building, and co-builder of the Strawbale Studioand the Kensington Metropark Kids Cottage.





Monday, December 11, Natural Holiday Crafts


This is a repeat of the above Dec 10 classes. Come either Sunday or Monday, or both, if you wish to explore the media in more depth.


See Dec 10 class for details on registration, etc.


1 - 2:30 pm, Natural Gifts Class: Candle & Candle Holder.

Make your own dipped bees-wax candles and sculpted earthen Candle Stick Holder.

I you wish, you can also use the earthen mix to create a sculpture of your choice. Feel free to go outdoors, collect nature items and combine them with the earthen mix to make an interesting & natural gift.


(Bring a snack for the 2:30-3 break if you are staying for both classes. )


3 - 4:30 pm, Natural Holiday Cards & Wrapping Paper Class. Make your own Holiday cards and gift cards with stencils and pastels. Easy and beautiful. Bring paper bags to make your own wrapping paper using the same techniques. Learn how to cord and make your own natural string for wrapping.



The Art of Thatching

Friday, January 12, 6:30 pm – 9 pm


Enjoy an introduction to the traditional European process of thatching a roof by touring the thatched-roof Strawbale Studio Sanctuary, viewing a video on English Thatching and seeing a small demonstration of applying local reed grass to a roof frame. The evening includes a light supper. Also learn about upcoming reed collection and thatching opportunities. $25 by Jan 5, 2007 $35 by Jan. 12. Discounts and details at www.strawbale.pbwiki.com. Contact Deanne at 248 628 1887. cw


Introduction to Natural Building

Sunday, March 4, 2007


Begin with a tour of the Strawbale Studio, a natural & thatched roof structure, learn about earth as a natural building material by sculpting a small model to take home! Optional: Potluck Supper and Resource evening – a chance to further explore natural building and sustainability books and ideas.


Class limit 15. $35 by Feb 4, $45 by Feb 25. Family and “Bring-a-Friend” Discounts. www.strawbale.pbwiki.com. Contact Deanne at 248 628 1887.

Kids Cottage: Creating a Natural Building

Friday, Mar 16, 2007 6:30 – 8:30pm


Learn about the Kensington Metropark Farm “Kids Cottage” Project through a PowerPoint Slideshow and an upcoming “start-to-finish” Kids Cottage planned for 2007.

Natural Building can include children, and is a creative and empowering process that is in harmony with the environment.


The evening includes a light meal, a tour of the Strawbale Studio, a thatched-roof project and experiencing of the Rocket Stove Heated Bench! On rural land in Northern Oakland County. $20 by March 2, $30 by March 9. Group discounts. All ages welcome. See www.freewebs.com/strawbalestudio. Contact Deanne at 248 628 1887.


Green Building Series Cost $60. Held at U of M Flint & the Strawbale Studio, Oxford, MI

This series is offered through "Amaizing U": U of M Flint life-long learning classes (www.AmaizingU.com). The "Green Arts Project" has presented a number of Amaizing U classes which focus on environmental awareness, education and action, through artistic and creative expression. The Green Arts Project is managed by the UM-Flint University Outreach Center for Applied Environmental Research, and is funded by the Ruth Mott Foundation.


Deanne Bednar, artist, educator and co-builder of the Strawbale Studio, teaches about her studio and other natural building structures. She offers an on-site tour of the thatch-roofed studio in Oxford, Michigan. She discusses ecological materials and designing green buildings to create energy-efficient, sustainable, healthy indoor spaces. Learn how green buildings fulfill building code requirements and ensure the health of the planet. See www.freewebs.com/strawbalestudio



  • Learn about the Strawbale Studio

See slides and learn about the Strawbale Studio, a thatched- roof project in Northern Oakland County, as well as some other natural buildings in the region. Also view an inspiring video (The Strawbale Solution) on strawbale homes and strawbale construction around the US & Mexico. See www.freewebs.com/strawbalestudio for natural building calendar.

Tuesday, March 6 * 6:30-8:30pm * Class Location: UM-Flint


  • Tour the Strawbale Studio

Saturday, March 17 * 3-5pm * Class Location: Oxford, MI

Visit the Strawbale Studio, a unique thatched-roof building with strawbale wall construction, earthen plasters, a fieldstone foundation, round pole framing and a solar electric system. Also see a Rocket Stove Heated Bench. You will have a chance to mix and take home some earthen material used in the plasters, floor and sculptures. Located about 15 miles south of Lapeer, MI.


  • Why Build Green?

Tuesday, March 20 * 6:30-8:30pm * Class Location: UM-Flint

View the inspiring video: “Pennsylvania’s First Green Building” and learn about ecological materials and designing. This movement to create more energy efficient and nature-friendly, healthy indoor environments is growing.


  • Is it Legal? Evolving the Building Codes

Tuesday, March 27 * 6:30-8:30pm * Class Location: UM-Flint

This video, designed for code officials explains why natural building products and ecological design are so important for our health and the future health of the planet and our descendants. Discussion of some Michigan homes and projects will be included. "Building Codes for a Small Planet" redefines public health, safety, and welfare, connecting buildings with their environmental, social, and economic consequences. It lays the groundwork for a major shift in the way that building regulatory community views and carries out its work.


From this video you will learn about:

• The unintended effects of current design and construction and their connection to building regulations.

• Surprising facts about both conventional and alternative materials and methods of construction.

• A vision for a future where buildings do more good than harm, and building departments are recognized as community resources for best building practices.



Natural Arts Classes


  • Make a Dream Catcher

Tuesday, April 3* 6-8pm *UM-Flint. Cost: $25 Class Location: UM-Flint

Create and decorate your own dream catcher to take home. Dream Catchers make a beautiful and special gift for showers, marriages, birthday. The evening includes all materials and handouts.

Instruction by Deanne Bednar. Materials and handouts included. 12 years and up; children must be accompanied by an adult.


  • Cording and Bracelets. Cost: $15 Class Location: UM-Flint

Learn how to make jewelry using materials you can gather from Nature with Deanne Bednar. All materials provided. Age 10 and up; children must be accompanied by an adult.

Tuesday, April 10 * 6-8pm* UM-Flint



Instructor: Deanne Bednar

248 628 187 ecoartdb@aol.com

PO Box 733, Oxford, MI 48371


Deanne Bednar is co-builder of the Strawbale Studio and other natural structures, and illustrator of three books on natural building including “The Hand-Sculpted House”. She has a Masters in Social Ecology and decades of experience as is an art, sustainability and natural building educator.


Activities being planned


Teacher Training:


Global Ecovillage Project: Sculpting Relationships with Nature


Collaboratively create a model of an ecological community that is inspiring, fun, and restorative. How could you integrate renewable energy, organic food production, recycling of wastes, alternative transportation, nature (and more) into an existing or imagined community?Included is a 3 page activity/evalutation sheet, plus an article & notes from the Social Studies Michigan Journal. For age 8 through adult.



Natural Building and Sustainable Design Curriculum


Tour of the Strawbale Studio, Make Earthen Mix, and Design a Global Ecovillage, (above).

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.