We are skilled facilitators and instructors for all of the services listed below. We are available for events, hands on teaching and being part of curriculum in natural building and sustainable living programs. Check our upcoming events to see what we are scheduled to participate in.
I had the great pleasure of meeting and learning from Liz Johndrow of Earthen Endeavors as a participant at the Kleiwerks International NBX 2011. She is hands down one of the best teachers I’ve encountered and this extends far beyond the world of natural building. She thoughtfully shapes every encounter into an occasion to grow and to take on a new experience and knowledge. She provides the support necessary to dive into the unknown and learn from there. She sees the experience of her students from the inside, not so much performing what she knows as setting up the conditions for her students to discover what they can figure out on their own. This is good teaching at its best. Anyone who wants to learn about how simple materials such as mud, sand, and straw can create beauty and function would be lucky to work with her. But more than that, I think anyone who wants to learn how to teach others to build with those materials would do well to spend some time as her student, observing and reflecting on her style of teaching.”
-Erica Levin, Film Graduate at UC Berkeley
We are skilled with natural plaster application, everything from plastering strawbale walls and other earthen infill wall systems to clay and lime veneer plasters on existing drywall. We are available for consultation, working alongside clients who want to learn and experience the process, and facilitation of plaster workshops in private and public spaces.
We are available for consult and install. If you would like to explore the possibility of this sensual and pleasing floor system in your space, we can install or guide you through all the necessary steps for a successful earthen floor installation.
Liz Johndrow works with Sarah Highland of Highland Artisan, who has been designing and building timber frames for over a decade. We are available for workshop facilitation, owner-builder coaching and timber frame construction. We especially enjoy the rewards of teaching others and the building of community that can come with cutting frame collaboratively and raising it with the help of your friends and family. You can find Sarah for design consultation on your project at highlandartisan.com or contact either of us for exploring the possibility of a workshop.
“My experience at a timber framing workshop led by Sarah Highland and Liz Johndrow was nothing short of transformative. Sarah and Liz’s gentle and supportive coaching and their calm and quiet work site made room for a lot of deep learning. I was able to progress at my own pace and gain the confidence I needed to get to work on my own project back home. I look forward to working with them again.”
— Georgie Donais, 2010 workshop participant at The Peaceweavers in Bath, NY
Natural building as a sustainable way of building
We enjoy the exploration of finding what resources are available in the landscape around you, from harvesting raw materials, resourcing greener and more sustainable options, to salvaging and reusing old materials. We enjoy artful creations within this way of building and we are available for consultation, presentation and collaboration to help inspire you towards creating a more thoughtful and less manufactured material way of building. So let’s work together to achieve a more environmentally sustainable, healthy and creative way of building!
What is natural building to us?
Natural building is a powerful tool for social change. It uses inexpensive, local and abundant materials; it empowers people of all ages and experience levels to participate and co create through the use of simple and easy to learn techniques; it creates spaces that lend to a deeper and more accessible connection to one’s natural surroundings as well as being healthy, beautiful and comfortable; it creates opportunities to build and strengthen community by placing a premium on human labor and community spirit, whether the project be a community bread oven or a family’s new home; and it allows for an endless exchange of ideas, innovations, and creativity through seeing, touching, smelling and shaping age-old materials such as wood, clay, sand, stone, and straw.
Many of us want the sense of accomplishment and connection to our homes that comes with helping to build them, even if we don’t feel we have the skills to do it; many communities are looking to create a more local and interdependent economy. Natural building is perfect for bringing together many hearts and hands for a shared vision. We can help facilitate this process.
At Earthen Endeavors, our vision is to use natural building as a bridge to creating beautiful and functional spaces while embodying a more meaningful connection with the natural world, one another and our built environment. We facilitate a process that inspires simplicity of lifestyle and a seamless connection to our natural surroundings while fostering the desire to continue this work beyond your life to the lives of others. We believe this vision creates a more just, joyful and sustainable way of being on the planet.
Working with low impact and resource-efficient materials that are non-toxic and healthful, durable and recyclable, we integrate beauty and function into our living spaces – all through a process that inspires creativity, joy and greater human connection. We work with earthen plasters, earthen floor systems, and timber-framing and enjoy the exploration of natural building as a localized, sustainable way of building using the resources we have at hand.
“Liz knows every facet of Natural Building inside and out – but more importantly she is a patient and clear teacher and a wonderful person. It was a real treat to get to work with her, and to know that I have her as a friend and a resource in all my future building projects”. – Dave Meyer NBX participant