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Natural building – Wattle and Daub Workshop

October 3, 2020 - October 5, 2020

Natural Building Workshop

About the workshop

For thousands of years, ever since humans decided to build a shelter in which to live, wattle and daub has been used to construct the walls of people’s homes throughout the world. Indeed, in Australia some of our earliest structures still standing are made from wattle and daub.

Wattle refers to thin stems or branches woven around slats or stakes that make a panel. The plant material is locally acquired for this process. Daub is a mixture of ingredients used to bind, reinforce and seal the wattle and form a render. It can consist of clay, lime, limestone dust, animal manures, mud, sand, straw, hair, hay and other fibrous material.

Whilst Wattle and Daub has been an important building method for over 6,000 years it is becoming popular again as a sustainable natural building choice. Versatile, sustainable, healthy and fun, made from local and natural materials, Wattle and Daub is a simple technique with endless options for artistic expression to combine in your house, and for other projects around your house such as fences, tool sheds or animal dwellings.

No prior experience needed for the workshop, it’s suitable for builders, artists, homeowners and anyone who wishes to explore the world of natural building and acquire another tool


Workshop Project, experiences and outcomes

This workshop combines theory with practical hands-on sessions over three days. During those days we will be building a small wattle and daub structure.  You will be taken through the process from sourcing the materials from the land to construction and completion so you will be able to replicate the process yourself. You will learn:

  • What natural and ecological building is, its terminology, concepts and principles.
  • Fundamentals of passive solar design.
  • Choosing appropriate natural building technique suitable to place and situation.
  • What Wattle and Daub is, its history and traditional techniques.
  • Identifying suitable materials from your site
  • Wattling techniques
  • Basic framing and building
  • Soil testing, how to make render and different rendering techniques.

There will also be opportunities to see and discuss other on-site natural buildings such as a straw-bale building, bamboo and an earthbag domes.

About the Trainer  

Eyal ShafrirEyal Shafrir, a builder originally from Israel, has been practicing different methods of building for the past 10 years, mostly as a carpenter. He has a certificate in carpentry specializing in timber frame construction but he has sought further knowledge from  professionals and experts, joined various projects and conducted his own academic and practical research into various techniques, their histories and origins. He has worked on site and in workshops, doing projects from renovations to construction, managing and designing full projects in modern and traditional techniques from conventional and natural materials.

When first entering the world of natural construction he had the privilege of working one of Israel’s leading experts in the field. They worked closely for two years in the Arava desert, located in the south of Israel, where they built several houses using a wide range of techniques.

For the past six years he has been working as an independent contractor and designer. With every project he has been invited to design, he has enjoyed employing diverse traditional techniques, with a constant emphasis on using local and natural materials.  Straw, rammed earth, straw-clay, cob, mudbricks, wattle and daub, clay and lime plasters are used, combined with conventional techniques, depending on the project and available materials. Projects often involve the owners and the community by a volunteer system, making for diverse crews. Most recently he has worked as a project manager, converting a standard house into an eco-structure using the Larsen Truss system with a straw-clay infill.

In the past three years Eyal has been focused on educating and sharing information about natural building, by sharing information on-line, consulting for individuals and running courses and workshops. 

The workshop will engage Eyal’s diverse set of skills and show you how to undertake a method of construction highly appropriate to Australian circumstances.  He will share his knowledge with you in a unique experience.

Onsite accommodation:

Workshop participants receive PSI rates for on-site accommodation. Rates include breakfast and dinner. See camping; twin share or private double accommodation options here.

A glimpse of some of Eyal’s building projects…


October 3, 2020
October 5, 2020
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Bandusia Country Retreat
1056 Upper Macdonald Rd
Upper MacDonald (St Albans), NSW Australia
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(02) 4568 2036