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Event Details
Create your ripple in our earth, learn how to sculpt and build a home from the earth. Take part in building an extension on our whimsical cob cottage on a beautiful property in the foothills of The Otway Ranges, Victoria, Australia.

Our family has been on the land for six generations, more than one hundred years. The healing of our land started with Michelle’s grandfather, who recognized that the land had been unnecessarily cleared and began planting native trees and shrubs in the 1960’s and 70’s. So the healing began. The next 2 generations followed in his footsteps, embarking upon a journey with Mother Nature. We have planted more than 50,000 trees and shrubs over the last 30 years.

Over the last 6 years Michelle and Nick have worked on and lived in their magical little hand-sculpted cob cottage. Birthing both their children into the cottage and preparing to birth their third. They are in need of more space and wish to share their empowering knowledge of being able to build your own home from the earth. We invite you to join us in the next phase of our journey with Mother Nature.


Cob is a structural composite of earth, water, straw, clay and sand, hand sculpted into buildings while still pliable. There are no forms as in rammed earth, no bricks as in adobe, no additives and no chemicals. Building with cob is a sensory and aesthetic experience much like sculpting with clay.


∆ Each day will consist of hands on practical work and theory classes.

∆ We’ll cover the basics of building with cob:

>>• Design & siting

>>• Wall building

>>• Window installation

>>• Sculpting

>>• Arches

>>• Shelving

>>• Cob Furniture

>>• Incorporating strawbale walls

>>• Stone foundations

>>• Garden walls

∆ We will also cover other natural building techniques such as:

>>• Natural paints

>>• Earthen renders

>>• Earth floors

>>• Timber harvesting

>>• Earth roofs

>>• Cob bale

>>• Stone masonry

>>• Basic carpentry

>>• Light earth

∆ Tours of:

>>• Local earthen homes

>>• Yan Yan Gurt West Regenerative Farm

∆ We will also work with the earth cycles and learn about how they are woven in, around a through us. We will be gathering in circle. An opportunity to share, to connect, to be heard and to listen. To listen to ourselves, to listen to each other and to listen to the land.

∆ You'll leave feeling nourished, connected and empowered.


The cottage we will be working on is an off-grid, solar-passive designed space constructed form load-bearing cob on dry-stone, stacked foundations with strawbales in the south walls. The roof is built from local round-wood timber with an earthen roof on top. Majority of the materials are sourced directly from the property or locally. Features of the cob cottage include an open fireplace, a loft, a wood-fired combustion stove, a grey-water reed bed system, solar power and a composting toilet.


>>• KATE from MUDMOB •<<

I was introduced to natural building through a wonderful collective of women called Mudgirls in BC Canada. It changed my life and I instantly fell in love with mud. Since learning with them I have spent the last 13 years running workshops, working for owner builders and various professional natural builders across AUS and NZ. I have a Cert. 4 in natural building through TAFE in NZ and I have also built my family home in that time. I love to teach through community building and share my knowledge and love of natural building with others.

>>• DIRTY EARL •<<

Amazing natural builder extraordinaire, full description coming soon...


We live in the little cob cottage we’ll be working on. We stared building it in 2014, our first introduction to the natural building world and have never looked back. Since then we have learnt much in the process of building and living in our own earthen space, working with materials such as cob, strawbale, round-wood timber, stone, earth bag and mud brick. We enjoy teaching and sharing this empowering knowledge. Nick is also a landscape gardener, specialising in native gardens. He loves to work with stone and timber. Michelle grew up on the property and is an artist who loves to work with earthen paints, plasters and cob sculpting. We build large-scale sculptures from natural materials at festivals and love creating spaces that remind us of our deep connection to Mother Earth.


We want to support families to be able to be a part of this workshop and learn this valuable knowledge. There will be a full-time childcare facilitator caring for the children whist we build. The children will get the chance to partake in the building at certain points and will otherwise spend their time climbing trees, frolicking in the garden, reading stories and doing nature crafts. This is provided at no extra charge, however children’s food will need to be paid for according to age. Children under the age of 18mnths will need to be supervised by parents/guardians.

∆ FOOD ∆

We're super passionate about health and want to make this experience as nourishing and wholesome as possible. We will provide 3 nourishing meals a day plus snacks. All food will be organic and/or locally sourced wherever possible.All diets will be catered for, please send through your requirements when booking your ticket.


The Otway Ranges, Victoria, Australia.

You will receive the exact address on booking.

∆ WHEN ∆

>>• Start Date •<<

Monday March 8th 2021

>>•End Date •<<

Saturday March 20th 2021

∆ Please arrive on Sunday the 7th to get tents set up and settled in for an early start on Monday. Sunday March 14th will be a rest day (catered for). Heading home on Sunday 21st

∆ In the meantime, a great book to read up on cob is ‘The Hand Sculpted House, A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage’: Authors: Ianto Evans, Michael G. Smith and Linda Smiley

This is the book that originally inspired us to start working with cob.

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 14 days before the event, Withdrawals within 14 days of the workshop may forfeit part of the fee, due to event running costs. If the workshop is cancelled for any reason including due to covid-19, you will receive a full refund (excluding the booking fee)

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Deans Marsh

Deans Marsh VIC 3235, Australia

Organiser Information

Michelle Stewart
Earthen Ripples

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