Upcoming Events


Asheville, NC
July 28-30, 2017
Early Bird (Through June 15): $245
AFTER June 15: $295

Bales make great sustainable building blocks for many projects, from dog houses, to courtyard walls, to large multi-story houses and public buildings. This workshop offers both informed instruction and practical experience building the straw bale walls of a two-story private house.

Learn the ins and outs of building with bales from fun teachers with decades of experience and keen eyes for detail. Steve Kemble has been building with bales since 1990, and Mollie Curry dove into cob and other natural building techniques in 1996.

The instructors will explain and demonstrate each step and then you will get to learn by doing. We will prep bales before they go in the wall, stack the walls, split bales into tow pieces for custom sizes, shape window and door openings, notch bales to go around posts, and make and apply cob (mud) “chinking.” Each step needs a certain level of completion to move to the next logical step. We will discuss other important issues to consider such as design considerations, plumbing, electrical, and permitting. We also include the crucial steps for prepping the walls for successful plaster. Later in the summer, there may be opportunities to learn about plasters on this project.

The project is located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, about 10 minutes from downtown Asheville! The structure of the house is post and beam with Hempcrete and straw bale infill for the walls. We will only be working on the straw bale section, but we will briefly address the Hempcrete walls. We will be working under the cover of the roof some of the time. Steve and Mollie will share an inspiring and informative slide show Saturday evening. Dinner that night will be pizza cooked in the owner’s on-site cob oven!

Food and lodging not included.

Bring a bag lunch each day, since there will not be time to leave and come back.

Hotels are within a 10-minute drive.

Some camping may be available on site, please contact the host directly if you want to camp. We will email you the contact info when you register (if you request it).

Approximate Schedule

Friday, July 28
10am-6pm: Instruction and Hands-on

Saturday, July 29
9am-5pm: Instruction and Hands-on
5:30-7:30pm: Pizza making and eating
7:30-9pm: Slide show

Sunday, July 30
9am-4pm: Instruction and Hands-On

For more info: EMAIL or call us at 828-775-4823

How to Register

1) PAY WORKSHOP FEE using PayPal (through which you can choose to pay from your PayPal balance, a credit card or other options)

OR by sending a check to this address:

MudStrawLove, LLC
60 Alabama Ave
Asheville, NC 2880

2) COMPLETE YOUR REGISTRATION for the workshop by sending us an EMAIL and telling us:

  • name of the workshop you are registering for
  • your name, phone number, email, and physical location (address)
  • a little something about yourself
  • building experience (any kind)
  • what motivates you to take the workshop/what (if anything) you hope to build with your newfound skills and knowledge!


Intro to Earthen Paint
(aka “Alis” or Clay-Based Paint)

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