Walls of Earth: Natural Building

2023 Canelo Workshop

Walls of Earth:
Natural Building

"Buildings, too are children of Earth and Sun."
— Frank Lloyd Wright


  • Thursday, October 19, 2023
  • Tuesday, October 24, 2023
  • 06:00 PM
  • 05:00 PM


  • Canelo Project , ARIZONA


  • $ 1100 inc. all meals

Walls of Earth Workshop

Come and learn a range of natural-building techniques with us. This is a great introduction to earthen-wall building with tons of hand-on experience. It is perfect for beginners or people with some experience wanting to expand their skills. 

We plan to use natural building techniques to build a new passive solar greenhouse and pizza oven. Please note these structures may not be fully completed in this workshop.

It will cover a broad understanding of the world of natural building, giving you the confidence to start something on your own, be it a small backyard project or basic earthen walls for your house.

We will be covering a range of different techniques for earthen wall building including:

  • Adobe and straw-clay bricks
  • Cob
  • Wattle-and-daub walls
  • Rammed earth
We will also be touching on:
  • Stone foundations
  • Earthen finishes

We will take a close look at these materials and how you might source them in your local area. A large element of this workshop will include processing and refining materials to give you an understanding of the mixes. It will be very hands-on so be ready to get muddy!

Sign up for our mailing list to get notified when registrations open.

  • Dates: This course begins with orientation and dinner Thursday evening and ends Tuesday 5pm, with a dinner and breakfast following morning provided. 
  • Meals: all meals are included in the workshop price.
  • Accommodations: Camping and bunkroom beds are available and included in the workshop price. We have a few private rooms available for an extra cost.

Read more on our General Workshop Info.

Workshop Syllabus

Instructors: Benito and Arjuna Steen

Brothers, Benito and Arjuna (Oso) were born and raised in southeastern Arizona where their parents teach natural building. They come 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, they both gravitated early on as teenagers towards the trades and arts such as: plastering, blacksmithing and woodworking.  

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

Arjuna (Oso) is a master carpenter and woodworker. He has built several strawbale houses with natural plasters. He enjoys bringing innovative solutions to the all creative work he does.

See an of overview of earthen wall techniques