Space still available in September Natural Plasters workshop

Hi again-

I just want to let you know that there are still openings in the 2-week Natural Plasters workshop at Wanosh Forest Gardens in Willits, CA. In order to make the workshop more accessible to people who are not able to commit for the 2 full weeks, we have divided it into two one-week segments. You can sign up for either week, or for both.

Week 1 – September 18-23, 2023

Taught primarily by Athena Steen and myself

Topics: wall preparation; straw-clay base plaster; clay and lime finish plasters; Sgraffito (layered plaster carving); proper selection and use of trowels; choosing appropriate finishes for any situation; clay soil harvesting and analysis; plaster recipe development and testing; building design for plaster durability.

Week 2 – September 24-29, 2023

Taught by Viva Hansen and Blair Phillips

Topics: straw-clay base plaster; clay and lime finish plasters; clay and natural paints; lime fresco (pigmented lime mural); relief sculpture; retrofits, maintenance and remodels; earthen floor installation.

If anyone doesn’t know Athena Steen, you should! She is one of the most accomplished and celebrated pioneers of the natural building revival. (See her website at I have had the privelege of teaching with her several times in recent years. Not only is she an amazing artist and a remarkable person to spend time with, she is also the most skilled plastering instructor I have ever seen. She has a remarkable ability to give personalized technical instruction to every student in a class, coaching each one on how to improve their trowel handling and application technique. It’s impressive to watch her turn a group of novices into a skilled plastering team in just a few days.

Register at You can get a 5% price break by using the code Michael5 during checkout. Hope to see you there!

Michael G. Smith