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Earthbag house (Portland, OR)

earth bag house

Load-bearing strawbale shed (Port. OR)

straw bale house

Hand-made items online at our store

earthen hand cermics etsy shop

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Scott Howard "Regenerative Design promotes peace."

Earthen Hand Workshops

About Our Workshops


2014 Workshop Schedule

• Artistic Sculpture in Unfired EarthJuly 19 - 20    
• Natural Building (ages 11-14)August 4 - 8    
• Earthbag Dome BuildingOctober 1 - 9    
• Regenerative Home IntensiveMay 10 - 18    
• 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.

Artistic Sculpture in Unfired Earth
July 19 - 20 — Portland, Oregon

This class explores the infinite artistic possibilities of unfired clay/sand/fiber mixtures. We will use pigments, and a wide variety of techniques to create innumerable effects. Learn how to make earthen plasters, paints, pigments, constructing an armature to support the sculpture. Great fun for all skill levels, ages 12 and up.

$150 before June 10, $180 after

Class size is limited to 6 people. Bring a lunch.

Natural Building (ages 11-14)
August 4 - 8 — Gresham, OR

AGES 11 - 14 ONLY. Natural Building Summer Camp is an adventure in learning about natural building techniques and permaculture. We will study how to design ecological structures and we will learn from various cultural natural building styles; we will play with earthen building materials, make models of our own designs and build elements of them; we will learn natural building techniques, like how to build domes and vaults and plaster walls. Accessible for all and 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.

Earthbag Dome Building
October 1 - 9 — Negril, Jamaica
Our budding ecovillage in Negril, Jamaica is the location for this course, where there are already two partially completed Earthbag buildings. You will learn skills needed to plan and finish your own buildings out of earth, rocks, and wood. Learn the art of masonry dome building with Hyperadobe 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 simple drawing methods to help you design structures with these features. Experience finishing techniques like earthen plasters, 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. Mostly a hands-on course, also including slideshows, lectures, and fun field trips.

$900 by August 1st, $1500 after (Sept 1 deadline).

Vegetarian food provided. Camping on site. Kitchen and shower on site. Class size is limited to 15 people.
Regenerative Home Intensive
May 10 - 18 — La Garita, Colorado (near Alamosa)

Eight days of intensive learning at a remote site in Southern Colorado. We will put the final touches on the Regenerative Home. The home is self-sufficient, low-cost, using appropriate technology for these times. We will touch on passive and active solar arrays, passive solar design, rocket stoves, rammed earth building, adobe brick vault building, grey and black water use, berming, plasters and paints, permaculture site design, building codes, plumbing, electrical, passive refrigeration, solar water distillation, and solar hot water heating. Experience an amazing natural setting - A stream with resident beavers runs by the site. Learn all the details of construction with lectures, slides, and hands on classes. You will come away from this experience fired up to build your own home with some further guidance.

$700 before April 15, $850 after

Class size limited to 10 people. Bring food and water.

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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