Straw Bale Building & Clay Plastering Course: The Story Garden, King’s Cross, London

5 Day Course 1: 6 – 10 April inclusive

5 Day Course 2 : 13 – 17 April inclusive

The Story Garden is a community garden in Central London run by environmental education charity Global Generation. The garden is open five days a week and is a place to sit, talk, read, eat lunch and enjoy the sanctuary for people, plants and wildlife. It is a space bringing the local community together over food growing, communal meals, shared stories and creative activities. The Story Garden is based in Somers Town, Kings Cross, and is situated behind the British Library.

A key part of this space will be the ‘Community Roundhouse’, which has been designed in response to a local need for an affordable space for community meetings, screenings, rehearsals, educational activity and workshops.

To get the Roundhouse ready for community use there will be 2 courses on natural building techniques over Easter Break. The frame for the community roundhouse has been designed in collaboration with Architecture students from Central Saint Martins, part of the University of the Arts London. The main frame has already been constructed by students and support from local contractors. The final stage of construction will be adding the straw!

The aim of the two courses is to complete the building and get it ready for use by the local community.

Please note: this is not one of our usual straw bale building courses, it is a mixture of straw building and clay plastering with an artistic theme. As such, it will not be counted for those following the SNaB curriculum, but it will be fun and you’ll learn a lot!

Both courses will cover the following:

  • The principles of building with straw bales
  • Putting straw bales in the previously constructed boxes and stuffing the gaps
  • Adding mesh to the inside of the boxes during plastering
  • Placing a membrane on parts of the outside of the building to hold in the straw if needed
  • Clay plastering the inside of the building

Miki Z will be teaching this course. Miki is both a visual artist and natural builder who has a desire to inspire curiosity in a hands on creative way. She has a degree in Three Dimensional Design (2000) and a Postgraduate Degree ‘Building Beyond Borders’ Belgium (2019). Her natural building career began in 2016 when she joined the School of Natural Building.

She has skills in natural building techniques including straw bale construction, lime rendering, decorative clay plastering, hempcrete, cob, adobe, natural floors, clay ovens and tadelakt. She has experience working on natural building sites in the UK, Ireland, Bulgaria, Italy and Morocco using a diversity of materials and techniques.

Miki’s focus is on the well being gained through hands on work, ‘learning through doing’, and physical contact with the natural materials. She is enthusiastic about teaching and sharing knowledge in an inspirational and artistic way.

£325 inc. refreshments and complimentary vegetarian lunch

We will work from 8:45 – 17:00 each day

Please request details of local accommodation.

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