The Natural Builder's Apprenticeship Program:
advanced training in natural building
2014 DATES ESTIMATE ONLY - TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON/ Point Arena, CA
14 weeks ~ $5,600
for full payment 90 days in advance; 10% off for over 30 days in
advance; 10% off for family and friends coming together. Maximum total
Instructors: Kirk Mobert and Bryan Burnoski
The Natural Builder's Apprenticeship
is advanced training in natural building. This is our fourth year
teaching an apprenticeship program, and it has been designed for people
who want to make their livelihood from natural building as builders
and/or instructors. Apprentices will experience an intensive building
curriculum during their time with us. We teach a wide selection of
powerful natural building techniques, stepping through the building
process, from design to finish. After their time with us, we help to
connect our apprentices with other
projects around the country (and abroad) where they continue
working with experienced builders and can get kickstarted into a Natual
Some of the things an apprentice can expect to learn include:
• Factors to
selecting a site to place a natural building.
• Designing for utility,
comfort, aesthetics, and to make best use of materials available.
• How to build with cob, a
combination of straw bale and cob, adobe bricks, and other techniques.
• Practical experience of the
process: site selection, design, site preparation laying foundation,
building walls, embedding doors, windows, niches, arches, shelves,
completing the roof, an earthen floor, applying plaster finish.
• How to build a rocket stove
for ecologically efficient heating.
Part of SunDog's philosophy in building is continually asking how to
maximize local resources and use as little fossil fuel inputs as
possible to get the required job done. Knowing that compromises are
inevitable with regard to operating outside of the fuel economy, we
challenge ourselves with building methods, techniques, and strategies
that are more indigenous and depend less on fossil fuel consumption.
Apprentices learn the versatility of using different natural materials
for building a variety of structures, and for plastering and repair
work. We believe that teaching and passing on these ways of building
will be most important to future generations.
Another challenge SunDog has made for itself is to build "roofed" or
otherwise fully protected, small, quality earthen structures within our
9 day workshops. In our workshops, we build small single bedroom sized
structures or outside kitchens and bathrooms from the foundation to the
roof. Apprentices play a large role in organizing and taking part in
the various phases of these workshops. While these buildings are
theoretically built in 9 days during the workshops, there are a couple
weeks before and after for site preparation and finishing work, in
which apprentices play a central role.