Natural Plasters & Earthen Floors – New Zealand

2023 NEW ZEALAND Workshop

Natural Plasters
and Earthen Floors

With Benito Steen


  • Wednesday, February 15, 2023
  • Saturday, February 18, 2023
  • 06:00 PM
  • 05:30 PM


  • Kerikeri , NEW ZEALAND


  • $ 600 with all meals and camping
Natural Plasters & Earthen Floors
with Benito Steen

A 3-day workshop teaching Natural Plasters and Finishes including clay finishes, water-resistant Tadelakt and Earthen Floors.

This workshop will cover a large range of natural wall and floor finishes including: 

  • Earth floor finishes and subfloors
  • Theory and the intricate workings of clay & lime
  • Application and leveling techniques
  • Simple clay & lime basecoats
  • Smoothed clay finishes
  • Tadelakt – a water-resistant lime plaster from Morrocco 

This will be an intimate class with limited participants. It will be a unique, one-off opportunity to learn from Benito Steen in New Zealand.

The cost of workshop at $600 includes all meals and camping on-site.
If you want to opt out of the meals and camping, the workshop fee is $500.

This is an off-site workshop while Benito visits in New Zealand. It will be based at our friends, Barney & Lauren’s building site, where they are in the process of building their natural home, 15 min from Kerikeri. The workshop will include practicing and plastering on their walls. Their family with 4 children are living onsite and will be joining throughout the workshop.

Camping is available on-site, with outdoor bathroom facilities.
Three homemade meals will be provided per day, including coffee and tea. Please bring own plate and silverware. BYO personal beverages and snacks.
Please let us know if you have any allergies or dietary restrictions. Or if you do want to not be included in the meals/stay.

Trowels and other plastering tools will not be provided. Please bring your own tools. Recommended tools and where to buy them are listed here (what we’ve found to be sold widely in NZ):

Other non-essential tools to bring are:

  • Tadelakt stone for polishing (if you have one – we will try have some ready for the workshop)
  • Plaster scoop or small spade
  • Spray bottle or wide paintbrush for wetting plaster
  • Sponges for cleanup

You can also buy some of these tools at Trowel Trades, which has the most selection.

The workshop will officially begin morning of Thursday 16 February but we encourage participants to arrive the evening before on 15 February, when we will provide dinner and orientation. It finishes evening of Saturday 18 February. All are welcome to stay Saturday night.

To register, email

Benito is a builder and artist, who strives to find the connection between space and beauty, shelter and nature, the hand and materials.

Born and raised in southeastern Arizona where his parents teach natural building, Benito comes from a long lineage of artists and makers and grew up surrounded by people from around the world coming in with new skills and crafts every day.

Homeschooled, he gravitated early on as teenager towards the trades and arts such as: plastering, blacksmithing and woodworking.  

He has taught natural building throughout Latin American and Southeast Asia. Always learning and experimenting he mixes old techniques with the new, to create beautifully sustainable and healthy houses.

View Some of the methods taught in this workshop: