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Cob Oven (Portland, OR)

Cob Oven Portland

Load-bearing strawbale shed (Port. OR)

straw bale house

Hand-made items online at our store

earthen hand conscious awearness etsy shop

For Earthen Hand
Tees, email us.

Scott Howard "Regenerative Design promotes peace."

Earthen Hand Workshops

About Our Workshops


Workshop Schedule

• Earthbag EcovillageApril 20 - 30, 2015    
• The Regenerative HomeMay 16 - 23, 2015    
• Everything Earthen - cob and so much moreJune 20 - 27, 2015    
• Natural Building Summer Camp (ages 11-14)July 6 - 10    
• Earthen Paints - distance learningNow    

To Register, or get more information, Email us at: workshops@earthenhand.com

Get a 10% discount for each additional friend you bring, AND get 10% off on your second course.

Our courses are designed to be accessible to all skill levels. Students will learn cumulatively if they attend several workshops.

Ask us about individual Apprenticeships tailored to your interests.

Take a look at the Earthen Hand You Tube Channel and our Facebookpage

Below is our most up to date workshop schedule. Also, please join our mailing list via the home page.

Earthbag Ecovillage
April 20 - 30, 2015 — Negril, Jamaica
Our budding ecovillage is the location for this course, where there are already several mostly completed earthbag buildings. You will learn the skills needed to plan and finish your own buildings out of earth, rocks, and wood. Learn the art of masonry dome building with earthbags. We will construct an 8 ft earthbag dome in this course. Study concepts of bio-architecture like whole-systems design, water, power, thermal mass climate control, and passive solar heat collection. Practice drawing methods to help you design structures with these features. Experience finishing techniques in earthen plaster, cement, and lime. Your tuition gets you: Lectures, hands-on instruction, tour of the area, ground transport, meals, and camping. Enjoy seeing a slice of Jamaica on a couple incredible field trips. We will visit beautiful swimming and diving location on the seaboard, swimming spots along streams, and pass through nearby farms and towns. Permaculture and alternative technology topics will also be highlighted.

$1000 by March 15th, $1500 after (April 1st deadline).

Vegetarian food provided. Camping on site. Kitchen and shower on site. Class size is limited to 15 people.
The Regenerative Home
May 16 - 23, 2015 — La Garita, Colorado (near Alamosa)

This is a special workshop that will give you an inside view into the making of this futuristic home from it's inception. We will focus on systems primarily, such as grey/blackwater usage, indoor and vertical food gardening, masonry heaters, off grid electrical and plumbing, rainwater catchment, and more. We will also cover other topics like how to build and finish with earthen materials, designing woodless architecture, passive annual heat storage, passive solar design, and permaculture site planning. Shared meals and camping by a beautiful stream.

$800 before April 15, $1000 after

Class size limited to 10 people. Bring food and water, Shared meals and Camping by a stream.

Everything Earthen - cob and so much more
June 20 - 27, 2015 — Deer Island, Oregon
Experience Cob and so much more at our new location in Oregon, just 1 hour from Portland city center. This course is an in-depth overview of how to source, process, mix, and transform common earth materials into fantastically beautiful artwork and housing. You'll learn how to create walls from cob/adobe, wattle and daub, rammed earth, straw clay, wood chip clay, strawbales, and more. Learn to mix and apply plasters of cob/adobe, cement, and lime. Also discover mixing and application of earthen paints and lime paints. Hands-on instruction, lectures and slides.

$700 before May 15, $850 after

Class size limited to 10 people. Bring a lunch each day. Inquire about camping.
Natural Building Summer Camp (ages 11-14)
July 6 - 10 — Gresham, OR

Ages 10-14. This will be an adventure in designing and creating earthen art and architecture. We had a blast last year and are excited to offer this again. Study design principles for ecological structures. Learn a variety of natural building techniques. Come play with earthen building materials, make models of your own designs and build a full size Cob Bench with the group. Plus, we play other games like soccer, basketball, and riddles. Learning is fun!


Bring clothes that can get dirty, gloves, snacks and lunch, a towel that can get dirty, water, a notebook, and sun hat and sunscreen.

Earthen Paints - distance learning
Now — Your house
Our newest type of course allows you to study home made Earthen Paints and applications whenever you have time from your computer via our distance learning videos. These techniques are very accessible and easy to learn with this kind of guidance. Earthen Paints have been used for thousands of years to beautify human dwellings, and can produce a wide variety of colors and textures. They are non-toxic, ecological, and inexpensive to make.


Includes email support. Registration is anytime and ongoing. Email us at workshops@earthenhand.com to begin.

Photos of a few workshops

Earthbag workshop photos 5/'13 - Jamaica

Hot tub workshop photos 4/'13- Hawaii

Earth Oven workshop photos 4/'11 - Puerto Rico

Earthbag workshop photos 5/'09 - Portland, OR

About Earthen Hand Workshops

A growing number of people are interested in natural building, earthen building, and permaculture techniques. Our workshops seek to empower people with information and hands-on instruction for a self-reliant, ecological lifestyle.

We are dedicated to educating people about ecological building, and simple alternative technologies. Workshops offered focus on skills and intuition that allow a builder to create within a natural harmony. Each day of a workshop includes hands-on training, discussion, and lecture. We hope that anyone who attends our workshops will continue to learn and teach technologies of global self-empowerment.

Potential workshop hosts can contact us by email at: workshops@earthenhand.com. Our ideal workshop is cooperatively organized, delivering quality education while completing a useful structure at an affordable price for everyone.

Our local workshops provide:

  • Hands-on learning in earthen building techniques
  • Useful and beautiful structures that cooperate with their surrounding landscape
  • Opportunities to learn skills for free—Public workshops offered annually through Portland's Village Building Convergence event

Our international workshops:

  • Create a positive cross-cultural exchange
  • Train participants in earthen building techniques
  • Provide international communities with needed structures that cooperate with their surroundings
  • Draw funds and human energy to places where the resources are more needed
Earthbag dome workshop in Thailand, 2004 Earthbag dome workshop in Thailand, 2004


"Your workshop was better than I could have hoped for. This introduction to natural building harmonized with me on every level: from the excellent and well-organized instruction, to the relaxed approach to teaching, to each facet of the hands-on learning. Hats off to your methods and approach. Thanks. I couldn't have asked for better!"
— Myriem

"The program more than exceeded my expectations! As a beginner to natural building, the workshop provided a helpful introduction to the different natural building materials and techniques which are available and how to determine which would be appropriate to any given environment or project. Your real-world experience with natural building, combined with your technical knowledge and friendly manner resulted in a workshop that was both highly informative, comprehensible and fun. I have often found that the ability to communicate complex ideas with numerous variables in a clear, concise and understandable way is the sign of true mastery of the material being taught. Your personalized attention to each workshop participant and their building designs is a reflection of your passion for the work, for the people involved and the creation of an environment which is inclusive, enriching and empowering. The handout materials, books available for review, website links and references provided at the workshop have formed the foundation of my natural building library and are invaluable. I highly recommend this workshop for those interested in the nuts and bolts of how to design, plan and actually create a natural building."
— Brian

"Great class Scott. It was fantastic to get an idea on how to really get the ball rolling on natural building. I am looking forward to working with you again!"
— Tim

"Scott was an excellent teacher, and super patient with all of us newbies. Totally worth the flight from Charlotte, and I recommend this style of learning very highly!"
— Luke

"I loved creating a structure by hand with our class. It was fun to get dirty and work hard with our amazing crew and teachers. We learned a specific method of natural building, but were also introduced to many ways of sculpting earthen materials and living in harmony with nature."
— Skylark

"Thanks for the great cob workshop! It was great to meet other people who are into cob and take the first step towards making my own cob house a reality."
— Katie

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