Workshops

2017 Workshop Schedule at Eathwood, West Chazy, New York.

Cordwood Masonry – Three Day, (In 2017, these workshops will be May 26th – 28th and September 1st – 3rd. Morning sessions include cordwood theory, slide presentations, explanatory tours, and discussion of the three styles of cordwood construction: built-up corners (stackwall), round houses, and cordwood as infilling within a post-and-beam framework. The kinds of wood and how long to dry them is covered, as well as various alternative mortar mixes. Installing doors and windows is detailed, as is cordwood masonry “special effects.” At Earthwood, students examine several different kinds of cordwood masonry buildings. Afternoons are reserved for practical, hands-on work sessions. At Earthwood, the project is cordwood infilling within a timber frame building nearby.  The third afternoon affords an opportunity for students to consult with Rob about their plans, while Jaki maintains order on the worksite. This workshop gives the student a strong introduction to this ancient building technique. Textbook: Cordwood Building: A Comprehensive Guide to the State of the Art.  This is a brand new textbook, as of October 1st, 2016.

Earthwood Techniques – One Day. (In 2017: May 29 & September 4 ) Low-cost foundations and earth-sheltering methods used at the Earthwood house are emphasized, accenting surface bonded wall construction and plank-and-beam roofing. The five elements that affect load calculations are discussed. Alternative foundations, drainage and waterproofing, insulation, structural considerations and the masonry stove are all covered. An explanatory tour of the Earthwood house is included, as well as a step-by-step slide presentation documenting the construction of Earthwood from floating slab foundation to earth roof. Textbook: Earth-Sheltered Houses. This is a very full day, consisting of mostly classroom instruction. Like all of our workshops, sessions are punctuated by Jaki’s excellent coffee and tea breaks featured home-baked goodies, and her hearty vegetarian lunches.

Cordwood Workweek – Five Days, July 10-14, 2017. The Cordwood Workweek combines all of the features of of the three-day Cordwood Workshop and the One-day Earthwood Techniques workshop, but there is more time for individual hands-on instruction and consultations. The discussions and site work are more detailed, yet the pace is more relaxed. After lunch on Wednesday, for example, we tour two cordwood homes on the way to Chateaugay Lake, then relax with swimming, hot-tubbing, conversation, and individual consultations on the deck at Mushwood.

Timber Framing for the Rest of Us – Three Days (May 19-21, 2017). This one covers basic “post and beam” construction as done by most contractors and owner-builders using sound building design and techniques and readily available mechanical fasteners made for the purpose. Morning classroom sessions cover structural principles and examples, including basic load calculations. Afternoon hands-on work consist of building a 6-poster sauna, similar to the building described in Chapter 4 of Rob’s The Sauna book. The roof is 12′ by 16′. The textbook, supplied, is Rob’s Timber Framing for the Rest of Us.

© 2016, Earthwood Building School