Fine finishes: Clay plaster and sculpture

How much plaster do you want to learn?

Athena Steen returns to teach 3 courses from introductory to artistic. Choose from a weekend to 2 weeks in July.

colorful plasterwork

Weekend Introduction to clay plaster and paints

July 14 &15, 9 am-5 pm

with Athena Steen and Elke Cole
  • What’s in a clay plaster?
  • Why should I choose clay over other materials?
  • Where do I find ingredients?
These and more questions will be addressed in this two day introduction. You will see finished examples of clay plasters and paints in the buildings at OUR Ecovillage and may even work on some samples. Our main focus with this introduction is to bring expert information in a setting of interaction. Instructor Athena Steen is joined by Elke Cole to present choices, answer questions and inspire your imagination. For hands- on practice and more detailed instruction consider staying for the week! cob bench gets plastered

Fine finishes with natural clay plaster    July 14- 19

with Athena Steen

and Elke Cole

Guided by Athena Steen you will continue the learning form the weekend with hands- on work on a building.

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

Learn about Color options, ingredients, recipes and get plenty of practice on the walls of our Turtle house and other fun projects.

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

By the end of this course you will be able to

  • develop your recipe
  • apply clay plaster with different trowels
  • create a beautiful  finish with good performance and beauty.

We ask that participants bring their own stainless steel trowel. You can find a good selection here.

Instructors Athena Steen and Elke Cole  bring many years of building experience to share.

Want more?

This course is followed by a sculptural clay plaster workshop for those who wish to take their walls to a 3-dimensional experience.

3-dimensional plaster work and clay sculpture July 22-27

with Athena Steen Venture into the world of sculpting clay: give walls and other architectural elements another dimension. Athena Steen will guide you in your development of technique and possibilities.
  • Learn recipes and techniques of application.
  • Try new and old tools.
  • Design and develop your language of form.
Our days in this workshop will contain some theory and exercises, and plenty of opportunity to ask questions. The main goal is hands-on : get the feel for the material, experiment, find texture and shapes. Most of this work will be done on real buildings and some may be practice pieces on varying surfaces.

Before you go any further..

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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 one of Canada’s first cob builders. She brings rich experience of building and teaching on 4 continents. As architectural designer and natural builder she has played a key role in the development of O.U.R. Ecovillage. Find out more about Elke on her website.

Elke co-manages the ‘Closing the loop on healthy and affordable housing project’ and is the leader of OUR ecological building team. Contact her at


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

More Questions?

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Call us during our business hours, Monday to Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm PST at 1-250-743-3067

Check out the ecological building program with introduction to ecological design design and building with Just Biofiber hemp blocks in August.