Natural Building

While working on the Honey House project,  we were invited to our first “Natural Building Colloquium” in Southern New Mexico. We had never heard the term “natural building” but, hey, it sounded like fun! Suddenly we found ourselves cavorting with a tribal gathering of 150 playful, creative, pro-active people innovating extraordinary natural building techniques integrating renewable energy, rainwater harvesting, living wastewater treatment, regenerative farming, passive solar and assorted super energy efficient living systems…in essence; all the stuff that adds up to inspiring Happy, Healthy, Human Habitats in Harmony with Nature!

wild yellow clay

Locally sourced, wild yellow clay for earthen plaster!

thunderbird studio bird

Sculpted clay plaster wall art on the exterior of the Thunderbird Studio.

SEI detail

Detail of strawbale and earthbag earthen bench for Solar Energy International in Paonia, Colorado.


Bench built with used plastic water bottles stuffed with plastic garbage bags, urbanite foundation, earthbags and cob covered with an earthen plaster with inset broken tiles and plates. Youth Garden Project, Moab, Utah.

Bluff, Utah tiny structure

Small strawbale structure in Bluff, Utah.

bayfield middle school earthbag planters (After)

Bayfield Middle School earthbag planters (After)

earthbag massage party (Before)

Bayfield Middle School Earthbag planters (Before). Look at that massage train!


Making Light Clay Straw in a Light Clay Straw mixing contraption! Loose straw and clay slip go in one end of the rotating funnel and…


…comes out the other end a perfectly mixed ratio of Clay slip to Straw…

Natural Builders

…ready to tamp in-between slip forms. The slip forms are removed / the LCS allowed to dry and then plastered with a clay plaster…

The same light clay straw walls receiving a coat of earthen plaster.


Tom and Satomi Landers’ beautiful earthen walls in Kingston, NM.


Boody Springer applying a thin plaster coat over an oiled earthen floor. We oil every layer of applied plaster to produce a deeply sealed earthen floor.


Tiles can be inlaid into an adobe floor in areas that may be prone to moisture.

Kaki's Kithen finished results red swirl earthen floor

Detail of the finished adobe floor in Kaki’s Kitchen, Moab Utah.


Doni installing the second floor loft in the Honey House.


The Hairy Honey House experiment! We laid dead sod onto the roof.


Bridgette Johns applying wild clay plasters to the exterior of a clapboard house in Pinos Altos, NM.




A wonderful example of a free standing hybrid wall: concrete ubanite, earthbags, adobe block and cob.


The Eco-House on the grounds of the US Botanical Center in Washington DC.


The Eco-House was a collaborative effort sponsored by Builders Without Borders to demonstrate strawbale construction.


The interior of the Sand Island Boat Launch Ranger Station in Bluff Utah is built with earthbags covered with wild harvested clay plasters.


Detail of a hybrid wall built with a medley of adobe brick, strawbale, cob and stone at the Black Range Lodge, NM.


A highly polished earthen floor inspires doggie porn!