With Rob and Jaki Roy of the Earthwood Building School – New York, USA
Hosted by Can Comú, a new permaculture demonstration site in the coastal mountains north of Barcelona, Spain
Join us for a 5-day workshop where we will build a beautiful cordwood structure with two of the most-respected natural builders in North America, Rob & Jaki Roy. The structure will be a sauna, a fitting choice as Rob is the author of the classic book The Sauna. This type of structure could also be a guesthouse, office, or similar.
The first two days of this workshop will be the framing of a small “4-poster” sauna using commonly available mechanical fasteners as described in Rob’s Timber Framing for the Rest of Us book. This is not “traditional” timber framing with finely crafted wooden joints. Rather, this is the way that most farmers, owner-builders and contractors actually do it.
The last three days of the workshop will consist of infilling the timber frame panels with cordwood masonry, that style of building in which walls are built of short logs – called “log-ends” –are laid transversely in the wall, much as a rank of firewood (“cordwood”) is stacked. The wall derives exceptional thermal characteristics – good for a sauna or a home – because of the insulated space between the inner and outer mortar joints. You will learn how to select and place the log-ends with efficiency and good esthetic balance. Jaki, our expert pointer, will teach you how to smoothen and tighten the mortar for appearance and good structure, leaving the log-ends about a quarter-inch proud of the mortar matrix. You will get plenty of hand-on training from Rob and Jaki, and, by the last day, will be able to lay up a strong and attractive wall with some degree of speed and efficiency.
There will be illustrated classroom sessions for both the timber framing and cordwood masonry components, which will cover the technical details of the work –structure, best woods, how long to dry log-ends, etc. – as well as show examples of cordwood masonry from around the world.
Rob and Jaki Roy have owned and operated Earthwood Building School in West Chazy, New York, since 1981. Rob has written more than 15 books on cordwood masonry and other natural building topics. The couple have taught cordwood masonry all over North America and around the world. Their website, with lots of picture pages and their complete book list, is: www.cordwoodmasonry.com
Can Comú is a holistic educational project where collective learning leads us towards regenerating the landscape and rebuilding the relationships between ourselves and the environment around us. We founded Can Comú on the principles and ethics of permaculture, and the inspiration provided by active education (“educación viva” in Spanish).
Project founders Alfred Decker and Daniella Querol are permaculturalists who work as facilitators in courses as well as collaborate with the local associations of our coastal mountain zone. In 2016 we purchased our property in a natural park in Catalunya called Montnegre i el Corredor. Located two hours north of Barcelona by public transport, the property is surrounded by a cork and holm oak forest, has about 20 fruit and nut trees, several terraces for developing a food forest, and good soil that has never been treated with chemicals. Our goal is to create a highly self-sufficient “closed loop” system: the vast majority of our food, water and energy will be produced/captured on site, and our “wastes” (which in permaculture we treat as resources) will be recycled/reused here as well.
Participants arrive by dinnertime on the night of June 16th. From the 17th to the 21st, there will be five full days of coursework, with a party on the last night, which is summer solstice. On the 22nd there will be breakfast and an optional trip to a gorgeous beach in Catalunya’s famous Costa Brava (“wild coast”).
Rob & Jaki have been generous with the fees they are charging to facilitate this course. We can offer two prices for course participants, and these funds will go towards covering the facilitators’ fees, all organic food, and the cost of some extra water we will need to buy from our community water system.
€380 for people who want to eat organic vegan meals
€430 for people who want to eat organic omnivorous meals that will include some fish, meat, and dairy
Camping is included in the price, but for those who wish to stay in a room instead of camping at our place, we can recommend a beautiful Catalan farmhouse that is an eco-tourism host, Can Pica, which is 40 minutes walk or a 10 minute drive from Can Comú.
On the first day we will take up a collection for whoever wants to buy alcohol, and go into town and get it. On the last night’s summer solstice party, we will provide local wines.