A view of the straw bale walls with clay slip applied during this two week workshop to create the shell of this simple straw bale house in Penasco, New Mexico. As we have previously mentioned in our gallery section, this project was not an Earthen Touch Natural Builders contracted project, but one where Norbert and Carolyn both worked on before they began to work together full time.

This house was well designed given the budget and time constraints, by the late architect Alfred vonBachmayer, who Carolyn assisted during her time with non-profit, The World Hands Project who partnered with the now defunct, Ecoversity in Santa Fe for this particular workshop.

This image shows the early stages of the project, the straw bale walls having been raised and the beginnings of the clerestory area being framed up. The walls have clearly been clay slipped with mud, and filled in with cob in preparation for the scratch, first brown coat of earthen plaster to be applied. Given the large size of this house, 1500 sq. ft. and the complexity of the design and the small workshop group attending, all of the participants did a great job of getting the home to a good level of completion.

Norbert was brought in as part of a team of helpers to provide construction skills for both during and after the workshop dates. Carolyn only attended the workshop for a short time, rather, she provided the budget and administration support for the project before and after the workshop dates.