Natural Building Collective

Workshops 2015

At a Mudgirls building workshop, participants pay only for their meals and barter their labour for the learning experience. Unless otherwise specified, workshops are open to all genders. 

Note that each workshop has a different co-ordintator. Please email your application to the address at the bottom of the description of the workshop you want to take. Please specify to them which workshop you want to attend (include title and dates). Thank-you!

Plastering and Natural Painting Workshop & Playhouse Building

Salt Spring Island July 27th-31st

The Lee Road Compound and the Mudgirls invite you to come and learn the art of earthen plastering and natural paints. During this workshop you will be mixing and applying a base coat plaster to slip straw walls. The construction of these wall systems and others, will be a major part of the instructional aspects of this workshop. We will be re-natural painting an existing cob house and using a finer finish clay plaster for the inside. We will mix pigments, have fun, and get dirty! We will also be constructing a small mixed medium kids play house. The types building systems incorporated will be wattle and daub, cob and we may even stack some bales and learn some general carpentry.

Cost: $200

food, camping and child care included.

All genders welcome.

fill out an application and send it to mollsmurphy@

        Mixed Natural Building Workshop on Denman Island

    August 17th-23st

Come contribute to finishing 2 small earthen and hybrid homes nestled in the forest on commonly owned land on Denman Island BC. Get hands on learning applying earthen plasters to the walls and starting a cob greenhouse, with daily instructional covering the basics of natural building from foundations to rocket stoves, and see a variety of natural, earthen and hybrid homes.

 Cost is $275 for 7 days

Meals, Camping and Childcare included.

All genders welcome.

Please fill out an application and email it to islandwildrose@

Application forms are linked to in the upper right of the website.

Finishing the Earth Ship, workshop series

The Mudgirls have been hired to work on finishing an earthship started by our client 15 yrs ago, and built into a south-facing slope south of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. The framework, rammed tire walls and underground grey water infrastructure is in place. Concrete has been used with the tires, but now the rest will be finished with natural materials. What exactly we do during each workshop is still to be determined, but it will include cobbing, earthen plastering, maybe some slip-straw packing, etc, plus general instructionals in natural building.

$125 for each 3 day workshop. Sign up for one or all of them.

July 4,5,6

July 18,19,20

August 8,9,10

September 5,6,7

Meals, camping and childcare included.

All genders welcome.

Send your application to islandwildrose@

Small Home Workshop on Salt Spring Island

June 23rd-25th 2015


In this three day workshop you will get a handle on the basics of small home design. There will be hands on mixing of light clay straw(slip straw) and stuffing it into wall cavities. Along with this we will be building a earthen oven, from its foundation to its completion! This will include the mixing and application of good, clean, old fashioned mud. Come join us on a beautiful piece of land on salt spring island for a few days.

Cost: $125

food, camping and child care included.

This workshop has filled its capacity for participants with children.  We apologize for this but we can only ensure quality care with a limited amount of wee ones.

All genders welcome.

fill out an application and send it to mollsmurphy@

Note that each workshop has a different co-ordintator. Please email your application to the address at the bottom of the description of the workshop you want to take. Please specify to them which workshop you want to attend (include title and dates). Thank-you!

69 responses

  1. sheryl fremlin

    I want to take a workshop with you ladies when you have your schedule figured out. Thanks in advance for sending me the info. Your buildings inspire me!

    February 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    • Auguste

      The workshop schedule is now posted!

      May 18, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      • Sonja Doyle

        Do you have workshops scheduled for 2015?


        October 5, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      • not yet, sorry.

        December 6, 2014 at 4:44 pm

  2. Nicole

    me too :)

    February 13, 2012 at 6:11 am

  3. Eva Brigitte Sonne

    I would like to take a workshop, but I am in Germany, so do you know anyone here who has experience about building a house. Maybe you like to come to Germany…..and we have a workshop here
    Thank you very much, lots of love

    February 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm

  4. Amy A

    Yes!! Would love to know when/where workshops may be happening…


    February 17, 2012 at 3:48 am

  5. Ann Hazlett

    I am planning on moving to Campbell River this spring and would love to attend some of your workshops. I have a very detailed book on how to build using cob, cordwood and strawbale but as I am the type of person who does their best learning with a combination of reading and hands on, your workshops would be perfect. I love your designs and hope to learn a lot from you in the near future.

    February 18, 2012 at 3:38 am

    • Auguste

      You are in company with us if you enjoy hands-on learning. The Denman Island workshop is about 82 km from Campbell River. Get you application in while there is still room!

      May 18, 2014 at 9:12 pm


        July 19, 2014 at 11:38 pm

      • as of yet we dont. i have a feeling that we wont be… but you never know. :)

        July 20, 2014 at 5:00 am

  6. Ramona

    I live on Salt Spring and can’t wait to hear about a workshop in my area!!! I really really want to learn how to build like this!

    February 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    • Hey check it out above, upcoming workparty on Salt Spring!

      March 5, 2012 at 4:09 am

  7. Joana Reinhardt

    I would like to take a workshop with u but
    I’m in Portugal . If ever came to this side of
    The world, please let me know :) .


    February 24, 2012 at 5:56 am

  8. estelle gacond

    Hi!, jst wanted to know if I have understood where you work: in Canada ? And if Iam to come over there could I stay any length of time shared with you ? And how long Canada will accept me as a visitor ? Thank you to answer my questions. I ask all these because I would very much enjoy build and be creative the way you are and think I would learn a lot!Thank U and your work is wonderfull :-))))) Estelle

    March 1, 2012 at 9:52 am

    • Yes, we are in British Columbia, Canada. Your other questions are more difficult to awnser however! I have no idea, It depends where you are coming from I imagine. Thanks :)

      March 5, 2012 at 4:07 am

    • Auguste

      The Mudgirls host many international people at workshops for the duration of the workshop. For any visitor and education visa you would want to be current by reading Canadian regulations website and apply for any visa needed before we can accept your application. Currently it states this …

      Six months or less of study

      A study permit is not needed if you want to take short-term courses or programs of study of six months or less. You may enrol in short-term programs at any learning institution, regardless of whether or not it is designated.

      If, however, you would like to get a study permit for studies of six months or less, you must attend a designated learning institution.

      If you are from a non-visa-exempt country, you must have a valid visitor visa.

      May 18, 2014 at 9:35 pm

  9. S

    Do you conduct any workshops in USA (close to ohio)?

    March 9, 2012 at 6:57 am

    • We don’t have any plans to at this time :(

      March 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm


    March 12, 2012 at 5:58 am

  11. Brenda Clark

    any chance you may be coming to the Okanagan ???

    May 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm

  12. ~sarah

    do you do any sort of internships/longer work/study programs? I have been deeply interested in your organization for some time and would love to work with and learn with you at some time.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:32 am

  13. Manon

    This is WONDERFUL ! Congrats for your job guys ! I love it, and i love mud too !!! I am French , and my husband Australian we are actually starting our project to build our own cosy home ! SO maybe one day we’ll be in touch !? who knows?!
    Keep Havin FUN !

    October 16, 2012 at 9:12 am

  14. Monika

    I found a book about tiny homes at a bookstore in Victoria, BC, and there is a section devoted Mud Girls! I’ve been interested in learning how to build using these methods and look forward to hearing about future workshops. Please let me know when and where, and I will try to be there!

    Are internships or work studies possible?

    December 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm

  15. Barbara Deitz

    When are workshops starting? I am really interested :)

    Barb Deitz,
    Rochester, NY

    January 11, 2013 at 10:18 pm

  16. Your work and ideals are inspiring. I would love to become part of your collective. I currently study non-violent communication, but would love the opportunity to practice with others. Please send 2013 workshop infomation asap. Thank you.

    January 12, 2013 at 8:42 pm

  17. Emily McIntosh

    hello! I was just wondering when we’d be able to apply for 2013 workshops…thanks!

    February 3, 2013 at 1:22 am

  18. Lewis

    I am interested in attending a workshop. Thanks!

    February 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm

  19. Hi, I would love to become part of your network and build homes and communities with you! Keep me posted for the 2013 workshops Thank you!

    February 19, 2013 at 5:40 am

  20. Hi, I live in Chilliwack and would love to be part of one of your upcoming workshops, keep me posted! Thank you in advance, we love what you are doing!

    February 22, 2013 at 4:21 pm

  21. Julia

    Hi! I’m interested in attending a workshop!

    February 26, 2013 at 3:56 am

  22. Ellie Mills

    Hi! I’m based in Edinburgh Scotland and am hoping to come to a workshop in 2013; need to plan ahead as I’d be travelling with my little mudmaker aged nearly 3! I’d be really grateful if you could email me when you have details of more workshops! Thankyou!

    March 26, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    • Hi!
      Workshops are posted as soon as they are confirmed. Please follow our site or check back often.

      April 15, 2013 at 10:15 pm

  23. Yahoooou!!!! See y’all in June!

    April 8, 2013 at 1:15 pm

  24. christi

    Hi, I would like to talk to someone about your workshop choices. Is there someone I could call?

    May 10, 2013 at 11:59 pm

  25. Em McIntosh

    hello ladies! I just looked through all your posted workshop choices for 2013 and was wondering if there would be any more for later in the year, say september?

    May 14, 2013 at 12:04 am

  26. April

    Would love to join in! I’m coming from Port Townsend so wonder if there’s a bus to take from Victoria so I don’t have to bring my car? Will check it out but would appreciate any suggestions.

    July 28, 2013 at 3:29 pm

  27. Drew Kryzanowski

    I would be eager to hear more about your upcoming 2014 courses.

    Thanks, Drew

    December 23, 2013 at 5:07 pm

  28. Colby

    i live on denman island and intend to build a cob home in 2015, i would love to attend a workshop in 2014

    December 25, 2013 at 9:50 am

    • MudGirl AR

      workshops coming to Denman Island in July 2014! check them out!

      April 28, 2014 at 6:26 pm

  29. Michelle Tedesco

    Hello, I used to live in Bowser and have since sold my 5 acres. I live in AB now. I have heard of you a few years ago and I have recently seen your work in a mag called Tiny homes. I would love to know when you have workshops. I am a single female farmer with a female roommate. I have always been basically organic and natural. I wonder if you come to AB or to the interior of BC. I have Been Looking into building some cabins so that I can get some like minded people living here on my land. It is a large piece of land but it is impossible to do everything yourself. I have cows and pigs and horses and dogs. Usually I have a garden and have had chickens in the past. I have been learning about solar and composting toilets etc.

    December 30, 2013 at 1:29 am

  30. pretty please post your 2014 schedule… I would LOVE to take a workshop!!!

    January 24, 2014 at 9:38 pm

  31. Janet Alcantara

    Have you a mailing list to notify of upcoming workshops?

    February 2, 2014 at 10:18 pm

  32. Tamara Fournier

    Sisters speak for me too :) I’m from Quebec and would like to learn and see how it would be possible to apply this here..

    February 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm

  33. Joanna Jurdi

    I’m also interested in your workshops and would like to know more details.

    February 9, 2014 at 7:07 pm

  34. denise

    Please let me know where and when your workshops take place. I am in Ontario.

    March 25, 2014 at 1:33 am

  35. hey folks! We finally have some workshops up on here now. please join us this summer. Fun will be had.

    April 22, 2014 at 4:55 am

    • Tammy Duc

      Hi there!   I’m Tamara from Montreal and i’m very interrested in learning/working with you. I see that a working week is 4 work/learning days.. Is there still places? If so..   I will be available but need a little info to organise myself.. What to bring, what I can buy on my arrival, living accomodations, services that are avable (net, washer, fridge..) and that will give me and idea for the how long I can stay part :)   Waiting for your reply for now.   Tamara :)

      April 24, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      • i think all workshops are five days long. there are still places. it will be camping. there is internet in some places… there are stores, but all your meals will be provided. once you choose which workshop you are attending we can better tell you what amenities there are.

        April 25, 2014 at 3:20 pm

  36. What would I need to bring in terms of camping gear? Thank you :)

    April 26, 2014 at 7:19 am

    • a tent, sleeping bag and mat.

      April 27, 2014 at 12:17 am

  37. Olivia (Liv)

    Hi, are there going to be any workshops in August? Thanks!:)

    May 9, 2014 at 7:27 am

  38. so far we only have what is posted here!

    May 9, 2014 at 4:26 pm

  39. Anna Fennell

    Day help?
    Hi – I live in Victoria but work full time, so I’m unable to get a week off work. Is it possible to come over and help for a day as a volunteer? Would there be a cost involved? I’d love to get my hands in the mud!

    May 26, 2014 at 7:50 pm

  40. Any spots left for 2 weeks in May (tiny house build)? Hoping we can work out attending. Thank you.

    May 28, 2014 at 1:47 am

  41. Chrissy Volk

    Hey, I am interested in taking the Denman Island cob building corse. Do you cover electrical as well?
    I think what you are doing is great. We live on Gabriola, and are looking at building with Cob.

    June 28, 2014 at 4:27 am

  42. Laura

    I would love to do a workshop with you, do you have any in August or September? Thank you

    August 1, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    • Keep checking the website. There may be one in mid September. I’ll update this site as soon as I know it’s a for sure.

      August 3, 2014 at 4:06 am

  43. Wow, most excellent stuff mudgirls!

    August 9, 2014 at 6:22 pm

  44. Crystal Cazloe

    Hello, I’m very interested in Mudgirls and think you may be a good fit for me. I have some questions I would like to ask, but was unable to find an email address for a more private chat. If you could send me one to that would be great.
    Cheers, Crystal Cazloe

    August 13, 2014 at 10:09 pm

  45. Rafael Toledo

    I would like to attend a workshop next year. Can you please send me more imformation. Thank you kindly.

    October 17, 2014 at 8:22 am

  46. Magdalene

    Hello ladies, any dates yet for 2015?

    October 20, 2014 at 2:28 am

  47. very good, i like this information, thanks!

    October 24, 2014 at 5:27 pm

  48. Laurelee

    I’d like to get your 2015 schedule. Also would I be able to park my tiny T@B trailer?

    November 26, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    • it will be posted in the spring 2015. bringing your trailer would depend on the site in question. often it is A-Okay.

      December 6, 2014 at 4:43 pm

  49. j ryan

    I live in the comox valley, and am thinking about hiring someone to build an outbuilding on my property. Would like to know some facts about which of cob or stackwood is more labour intensive, which is least expensive for material, etc. Are there any figures on cost per lineal ft of wall? Thanks:)

    December 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    • hi there,

      we don’t have any prices for linear foot because it really depends on how many people are building it and the scope of the design. if you can get the right wood for cordwood for free I think it would be a teensy bit cheaper than cob. but cob is really cheap too. plastering around cord wood takes time and is meticulous. so in that way it takes longer. but having less cob over all would require less mixing and could be faster…. see what I mean, its all pretty variable. I think you should choose your wall type by preference for aesthetics .

      December 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      • j ryan

        Yes, I see what you mean! I’ll do a little more contemplating on some of the details, Thanks for the info:)

        December 8, 2014 at 4:34 am

  50. Linsay Ogden

    I have been following your cooperative for a few years now. We would love to join a work shop this year since my daughter Ame is 8. I think it’s a great age that she would really love the experience. We want to build our own cob home in wine country, Oliver BC. Please email when the 2015 schedule is out.
    LO cheers

    January 10, 2015 at 5:46 am

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