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Wolfson Earth Finishes http://wolfsonearth.com utilizing natural building materials for a healthy and beautiful environment Wed, 14 May 2014 19:35:58 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.6.3 en Earthen Oven Workshop May 24 & 25, 2014 http://wolfsonearth.com/2014/05/earthen-oven-workshop-may-24-25-2014/ http://wolfsonearth.com/2014/05/earthen-oven-workshop-may-24-25-2014/#comments Wed, 14 May 2014 18:50:50 +0000 anna http://wolfsonearth.com/?p=629 Wood-fired Earthen Oven Construction w/Anna Wolfson

May 24 - 25, 2014 hands-on workshop
What happens when we lend our human hands and wisdoms to the elements?  Separating and combining elemental materials of earth water and air and fire in measured order we will create a most utile and beautiful tool – a wood-fired earthenoven - which will not only cook the most delicious of breads, pizzas, and veggies, but will serve as an interactive centerpiece of happy gatherings for years to come.
In this workshop, we will build an earthen oven from foundation up, discussing site specific and material specific considerations and techniques along the way.  Learning experientially, participants will develop their intuitive understanding of the qualities of the natural building material, “cob”, a mixture of clay, sand, and straw, which can be utilized in a variety of earthen projects from ovens to wall construction and finishing.  Mindful of the dimensions and conditions crucial to a clean burning oven, we will insulate and lay the fire-brick floor, sculpt the fire-cavity, create the massive and insulating cob enclosure layers, and discuss how to fire and care for an earthen ovenover time.
Students will receive handouts detailing construction drawings and key material characteristics.
Date: Saturday & Sunday, May 24-25, 2014
Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Course Fee: 150$; max 20 participants
Location:  The Rural Homestead, Orangeville, IL (map with registration)
Onsite camping is available, and all participants are welcomed to join in a potluck dinner Saturday night on site.
to reserve your space: nettlesting@yahoo.com or 520-445-4742
Artistry In Clay and Lime http://wolfsonearth.com/2014/05/artistry-in-clay-and-lime/ http://wolfsonearth.com/2014/05/artistry-in-clay-and-lime/#comments Wed, 14 May 2014 18:27:54 +0000 anna http://wolfsonearth.com/?p=624 Artistry in Clay And Lime

August, 2014

Saturdays, 1 - 4pm

Registration: 100$

Take Natural Finishes to the next level!   Learn to create sculptural dynamism with cob and plaster combinations.  Learn to inlay stones, tiles, reeds, etc.  Become familiar with application techniques like Skip Troweling, Hard troweling, Sponge finishing, and more.

Registration will also get you 25% off all Materials and Everything you’ll need to apply Clay and Lime Plasters and Paints in your own projects!

Register by Emailing your Name, Phone Number and Contact information to


We Cant Wait to share with you!

Introduction to Clay Plasters, Lime Plasters, and Clay and Lime Paints http://wolfsonearth.com/2014/05/introduction-to-clay-plasters-lime-plasters-and-clay-and-lime-paints/ http://wolfsonearth.com/2014/05/introduction-to-clay-plasters-lime-plasters-and-clay-and-lime-paints/#comments Wed, 14 May 2014 18:24:32 +0000 anna http://wolfsonearth.com/?p=622 Introduction to Clay Plasters, Lime Plasters,

and Clay and Lime Paints

August 2014

Saturdays, Noon - 3pm

Registration: 50$

This is an introductory level class, where learning the basic recipes and application principals are introduced. Learn how to Prep walls, Mix plasters and paints, Utilize trowels and brushes and sponges to apply natural finishes in your home!  Make additions like mica, straw, and pigments to personalize your mixes and execute your vision.

Tadelakt Lime Finishing Workshop with Ryan Chivers http://wolfsonearth.com/2014/05/tadelakt-lime-finishing-workshop-with-ryan-chivers/ http://wolfsonearth.com/2014/05/tadelakt-lime-finishing-workshop-with-ryan-chivers/#comments Wed, 14 May 2014 16:33:10 +0000 anna http://wolfsonearth.com/?p=626 TADELAKT BASINS


September, 2014.  Exact Dates TDB

Learn Tadelakt, the specialty lime finishing technique that creates water-tight surfaces, used in Bathhouses, Showers, Basins, Benches, Interior and Exterior walls.  In this class we will be treating small items with the Tadelakt finish that can be transported home- bowls, basins, tiles, table tops, etc.  Guest Instructor Ryan Chivers, of Colorado, has a deep understanding and mastery of this ancient technique, and has so much to share!  Get excited while reviewing his work at http://www.artesanoplaster.com .  Dates of Classes are yet TBD.  Please check back in for updated schedule, and please write us to voice your interest in registration for the time being!

Pre-Register by Emailing your Name, Phone Number and Contact information to


We Cant Wait to share with you!

Allyu Spa http://wolfsonearth.com/2009/07/allyu-spa/ http://wolfsonearth.com/2009/07/allyu-spa/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2009 19:29:59 +0000 anna http://www.wolfsonearth.dreamhosters.com/wordpress/?p=82 Ochre Oxide Mica Plaster

Wolfson Earthen artisans created and installed numerous wall finishes and sculpted meditation benches at Allyu Spa, Chicago.

Allyu Spa is dedicated to providing clients a healthy and healing environment. The meditation room is made up of four massive adobe benches in the shape of the Chicana, a sacred symbol for the owners of this space, with a rich Peruvian cultural significance.  Inlays of straw were worked into the benches in the repeated form of the Chicana.  Each treatment room has our signature Burlapp© application, lovingly hand pieced and painted.  The main rooms, hallways, and entrances are covered in our natually pigmented mica plasters.

Explore the Allyu Spa photo gallery by selecting any of the following images to see them enlarged.  The photographs were taken by the fabulous local photography master, John Faier; please find more of his works at www.johnfaier.com.

Clay http://wolfsonearth.com/2009/01/clay/ http://wolfsonearth.com/2009/01/clay/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2009 21:29:33 +0000 anna http://wolfsonearth.com/?p=505 Why do we love clay?

We are enamored with clay’s unsurpassed simple sophistication.  We favor clay based materials because unprocessed clay keeps a space alive as it ‘breathes’.  Raw clay contributes to a healthy indoor atmosphere.  Raw clay has outstanding vapor-diffusion capacities, absorbs odors, does not collect static and dander, has an extremely low embodied energy, and is locally available in abundance.

Warm in winter and cool in summer, clay based plasters also provide acoustic insulation, sculptural dynamism, and the potential of mixed-media walls.

Textures and depths created with clay plasters offer an unsually warm elegance that transform spaces into unique places.  We are enamored with clay’s unsurpassed simple sophistication.

Wolfson Earthen Foundress http://wolfsonearth.com/2009/01/anna-wolfson/ http://wolfsonearth.com/2009/01/anna-wolfson/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2009 20:58:33 +0000 anna http://wolfsonearth.com/?p=491 Humans are deeply influenced by their environment.  Making a conscious choice to dwell in a healthy creative space empowers people to flourish.  For these reasons, Anna began Wolfson Earthen Finishes, a small contacting company that integrates lively natural materials into the built environment, in 2006.

Her reverence for nature combined with her joy for artistic expression led her to explore innovative ways of integrating organic elements into urban interiors to create a harmonious environment.  Anna collaborates with unprocessed natural materials in the creation of vibrant artwork and architectural elements.  She utilizes natural fibers, clays, aggregates, pigments and dyes to create warmth, beauty and a healthy atmosphere.

As one of a few Natural builders in the Chicago area, Wolfson teaches seminars on Natural Building, hosts Natural Building Meetups, technical workshops, and contributes her skills as a contractor and artist on residential and commercial projects.

Anna also builds wood-fired earthen bread ovens, all natural garden architecture, and straw bale/ adobe playhouses, gazebos, and auxiliary buildings for private and public use.

]]> http://wolfsonearth.com/2009/01/anna-wolfson/feed/ Dream a Workshop http://wolfsonearth.com/2009/01/dream-a-workshop/ http://wolfsonearth.com/2009/01/dream-a-workshop/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2009 19:46:48 +0000 anna http://wolfsonearth.com/?p=480

What do you want to learn?  Where?  When?  Alongside whom?  Your family, co-workers, friends, students, neighbors?  Let’s talk.  We would love to further your experiences in Natural Art and Construction.

Would you like to get your girlfriends together and sit in a vat of clay?  Would you like to build a house?  Just a bird house?  Hows about a back yard meditation or yoga sanctuary?  Gazebo with seats heated from the cob oven sculpted into graceful forms… no dream is too outlandish, small, or large for us to entertain.  Please, get your drawing book out, pour a glass of wine or tea, and get thinking!  Then call!

If your are planning a Natural Building project of your own, and would like W.E. Artisans to lead a workshop for any portion of it, we would love to help.  Straw baling, cob mixing, finishing interior or exterior coats on your walls, are all examples of workshops we can lead.  We can lead the design charette with your family, organization, or friends at the onset of your project as well.

Please Contact Us with your idea and your visions of a workshop, and the dialogue shall begin.

If you’re interested in attending a public workshop of ours to gain more experience in Natural Building, please sign up for our RSS Feed on the Contact Us page.

Solar Design Earthen Ceiling http://wolfsonearth.com/2009/01/solar-design-earthen-ceiling/ http://wolfsonearth.com/2009/01/solar-design-earthen-ceiling/#comments Sun, 11 Jan 2009 00:26:45 +0000 anna http://wolfsonearth.com/?p=421 Chicago’s own Howard Alan, accomplished solar architect, re-configured the roof of his home to create a studio workshop with three banks of clerestory windows that allow the southern light to flow over curved earthen plaster surfaces in the ceiling and walls. 

Straw Bale Hermitage http://wolfsonearth.com/2008/12/straw-bale-hermitage/ http://wolfsonearth.com/2008/12/straw-bale-hermitage/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2008 06:47:13 +0000 anna http://wolfsonearth.com/?p=254

Members of The Moon Tree Lodge built this straw bale hermitage with the help of many hands… It is located in northwestern Indiana on the idyllic and truly beautiful property of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Ministry Center.

Spearheaded by Sister Mary Baird’s vision of an earthen hermitage where one can retreat into true silence and connect fully with nature, the proud members of the Moon Tree Lodge framed, strawbaled, and cobbed this rustic haven of solace.  To learn more about the Moon Tree Lodge group, please explore their website www.moontreecommunity.org.

The thatch roof was installed by William Cahill, one of America’s most skilled accomplished Irish thatchers. To see more of his work, please visit his website.

Wolfson Earthen artisans shaped and finished the interior walls and installed the earthen floor.

The Earthen Floor is gently warmed with radiant heat.