Join us for a fun and cozy weekend of making beautiful handmade holiday gifts! In this two-day class, students will have the opportunity to learn a variety of small crafts under the mentorship of several skilled Quail Springs stewards. Using mostly natural and simple materials, many of which have been locally hand-harvested and prepared by our teachers, you will have the opportunity to create several projects from a range of possibilities. Families and children are welcome!
What we’ll be making:
- Hand-bound Books
- Pine Needle Baskets
- Homemade Salves
- Buckskin Pouches
- Felted Bags
- Homemade Candles
- Willow Baskets
- And more!
Cob building combines clay sediment, sand, fiber, and water, and is hand sculpted to form walls, benches, ovens, and fireplaces. Cob building makes use of readily available, affordable, non-toxic materials to build beautiful, organic structures.
The course is appropriate for both first-time builders and for professionals in the building trade who are interested in natural materials. In this cob workshop, we focus on the characteristics of the natural materials most commonly used in construction: clay soil, sand, and fibers. Our main focus will be cob, though we will touch on various other building techniques that utilize the same materials, including adobe block, light straw-clay, wattle and daub, and plasters. We will discuss how to find and choose appropriate soil for construction, how to create various mixes, how to attach wood to earthen walls, and how to use earthen materials to build walls, sculpt niches, shelves, and furniture.
This course is primarily a hands on course, where we learn by doing. We will be building a small structure from start to finish. As a complement to the hands-on portion of the course, we will include slide shows and discussions of the theoretical aspects of natural building. Subjects include building design and siting, passive solar design, foundations and drainage, earthen floors, appropriate roof design, and wiring and plumbing for natural structures.
Earth and lime have been used as beautiful and functional finishes around the world for thousands of years, from lime sealed roofs, to ornately sculpted earthen designs, to earthen floors. This month long apprenticeship will be open to 6 inspired individuals, who have some natural building experience and want to learn more about how to finish the beautiful structures they create. We will explore the wide variety of natural materials used as wall finishes for both artistic and functional finishes, including earthen plasters and paints, earthen floors, and lime plaster. We will spend time testing and experimenting with different materials used in natural finishes, including different clays, aggregates, lime, pigments, and a variety of other additives and binders.
This course equips people working in international development and grassroots projects with the perspectives and skills needed to engage with communities in partnership to incorporate elements into the design of communities, smallholder farms and land with household agricultural production that are holistic, appropriate, strategic, effective, diverse, as well as ecologically and economically sound. This course includes the 72-hr Permaculture Design Certification through the Permaculture Research Institute.
Permaculture is a conscious integrated design system based on ecology and sustainability principles to create resource efficient and productive human environments and reduce our footprint on the earth. Permaculture provides a framework for consciously designed landscapes that mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature that provide diversity, stability, and resilience. These systems yield an abundance of shelter, water, energy, and food for the provision of local needs.People working in international development will benefit from the years of experience of our teaching team in applying permaculture around the globe. We have tailored the entire permaculture certification curriculum to better equip the people who work in international situations where people live in non-westernized conditions. The Quail Springs Learning site is ideal for the immersion of these teachings in an off the grid, nutrient cycling, dry land, water conscious community, where we work with the surrounding natural resources to provide for our shelter, water, food, and energy. Participants learn:
- Tools to integrate sustainable systems design into existing projects
- A systems analysis design protocol for holistic pattern recognition
- To design stable and resilient food, shelter, water and waste cycling systems for health and resilience in all of your projects
- To create an ethics and principle based training program within your organization that honors local customs, traditional knowledge and ecological conditions