the culture of earth buildings
8 – 13th June 2015
In response to growing interest from our members for more activities, in 2015 EBUKI organised a week-long programme of earth workshops and events around our annual conference. The theme of the conference was the culture of earth building and we wanted to explore how people and places reflect the experience of building with clay.
We worked with the Tay Landscape Partnership and the local community as part of 3-year programme of activities to explore and celebrate local earth heritage. If you came to Clayfest you will have seen some of these activities, including oral history, schools projects, recording, repair and training, alongside the normal events. Our main focus was 4 days of workshops covering arrange of techniques including rammed earth, cob, mudwall conservation, clay plasters, turf building, and clay/fibres.
8 – 11th June
There will be eleven different training workshops, masterclasses and tours on Monday to Thursday, ranging from short day tours of local conservation projects to three days solid building. They are designed to offer something to all interests, from those new to clay building and want an introduction across the range, to experienced professionals who want to hone their skills in a particular field. You can come for a day or stay all week. Camping is available to those booking onto workshops. We are excited to be hosting so many clay building experts and this is a rare opportunity to experience a range of techniques in the same place. The workshops will be well structured, but held in an informal atmosphere to foster interactions between participants, so if you want to make a presentation on your own work, or pull together a discussion group on a particular topic, then there will be an opportunity to do this. Some of the workshops require a minimum number to sign up, so we may not be able to run all the courses advertised, but we will contact you if you book and this looks likely to offer you a refund or a place on a different course. Workshops will include:
- Cob Buildingof a serpentine wall by Irish experts Feile and Colin Butler. This will be over four days and people can come for one and learn a bit of stay for all four and really get immersed in the technique.
- Mudwall Conservation Masterclass – mudwall is the Scottish term for cob and Becky Little of Rebearth will lead a series of presentations and site visits to study the challenges and solutions for effective repairs.
- Clay Plaster– Adam and Katy from Clayworks have had to pull out as they are expecting a baby a few days after Clayfest. But we are absolutely delighted that Bill and Athena Steen from Canelo in Arizona, internationsal earth superstars, are going to lead our workshops on clay plaster.
- Rammed Earth – Rowland Keable, EBUK’s resident rammer, will lead 3 days for workshops building a 2m column on each day. Lots of fun and our new training tables fresh from Craterre too!
- Turf Building – learn the lost skill of building walls with turf from people trained in Iceland where the tradition lives on. There will also be a one-day symposium to look at the current turf scene and how it might develop in the future.
- Clay Stove Building – a special 3-day course to build a 2-tonne stove led by top Swedish expert Johannes Riesterer.
- Clay-fibre Sculpture – a playful exploration of the potential to create forms using clay, fibres and fabric building up over several days.
Un-melting: In the ebb and flow of habitat and habitation
Tim Fitpatrick & Tanja Romankiewicz
Irelands Earth Building Culture
Iceland Turf Traditions