Clay Plaster and Sculpture Training

As part of OUR ECOVILLAGE’s year long Awakening the Dragon project whether you are a well seasoned natural builder, a tradesperson greening your skill set, or an artist builder this year we have something for everyone to learn from the master designers, builders, and artists during our H’ART ATTACKS!

Playing Full-in – H’Art Attack Part 1
Sculpture, Plaster and Beauty Workshop

June 9 to June 11 from 9am-5pm
Cost: $220 plus taxes*

*Food and Accomodation Upgrades Available

As part of OUR’s Awakening the Dragon project, traditional Pueblo clay artist builder, Athena Steen, will teach you to mix and apply a variety of plasters – for sculpting and finishing your natural design projects and bringing your visions to life. She is joined by Mistresses of Mud and Magic, Elke Cole and Shylene Schlackl.

Find out how you can make improvements to the indoor quality and look of your home with simple, natural, low cost, & local ingredients.

This is a unique and intimate opportunity to spend time detailing and designing 

In this course you will learn:

  • What’s in a clay plaster? And how will I use a wide variety of finishing plasters and paints to create radical acts of beauty?
  • Why should I choose clay over other materials?
  • Where do I find the ingredients?
  • and more!

You will see finished examples of clay plasters and paints in the buildings at OUR Ecovillage and participate in lectures as well as have some hands-on work. For full skill-building consider taking the full “Sculpting and Plastering with Clay” course.

Lead instructors Athena Steen,  Elke Cole, and Shylene Schlackl, to present choices, answer questions and inspire your imagination.

This course is for all levels. Beginners as well as more experienced builders welcome.

Register Now

Playing Full-out H’Art Attack Part 2
Natural Building Colloquium + Full on H’Art Attack of Building Stations; working with Master (Mistress!!) Artist Builders and Designers

June 12 from 7pm-9pm and June 13-17 from 9am-5pm
Cost: $575 plus taxes*

*Food and Accomodation Upgrades Available

Learn about color options and recipes and get plenty of practice on buildings and with other fun projects.

Every day we integrate conversation with short lectures, giving participants plenty of time to take notes and ask questions. You will be part of transforming a cob house into a beautiful space with natural color and light.

In this course you will learn:

  • to develop your recipe
  • how to apply clay plaster with different trowels
  • how to sculpt and design with clay and create 3-D walls
  • create a beautiful finish with good performance and beauty.

We ask that participants bring their own stainless or blue steel trowel. You can find a good selection here (with enough notice you can order your trowel through us. Please email Elke.)

Lead instructors Athena Steen,  Elke Cole, and Shylene Schlackl, will be combining their skills and expertise in natural building and will be there to teach, answer your questions, and help you gain confidence and experience to create your  own projects.

This course is for all levels. Beginners and more experienced builders welcome

Register Now

Athena Steen is well known for her mastery in natural plasters and creating beauty with clay.She is founding director of Canelo Project in Arizona.

Her teaching has taken her to Europe and Mexico, as well as the US and Canada.

At OUR Ecovillage Athena has taught workshops for the past 3 seasons finishing the exterior and interior of the Zero Mile Eatery with her signature 3 dimensional design.

Elke Cole is a Natural House Designer, builder and educator. At OUR ECOVILLAGE on Vancouver Island, Canada, she coordinates the natural building activities and programs. Elke has her consultation and design business Houses That Love You Back.

Elke’s work takes her around the globe with projects in Africa, India, and Costa Rica. Her designs are based in Permaculture and value relationships between owners, builders and the natural environment presented at the site.

Shylene Schleckl is a lifetime resident of Vancouver Island, mother of two, wife, community-engaged artist, environmentalist and long-time OUR villager, designing ways to co-build village is actually what her life’s work is all about.

Shylene believes it simply takes the village. It takes the village to be a whole and well-balanced human during all stages of life (not just in childhood). She sees community art as a vehicle for social change. 


After being in Athena’s plastering workshop I received a more in-depth understanding and appreciation for the natural materials we were utilizing. There was lots of hands on instruction and techniques for different plastering applications. Even with the size of our class, Athena made sure to attend to each of us on an individual level, and help us to achieve our goals. She’ll yell but she loves you. Ryan,  participant 2017

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