Natural homes built by inspirational women ...

 

"It can happen as easily within an ordinary person's mind as in a builder's mind. Everyone, builder or not, can do this for themselves", Christopher Alexander.

 

 
 
 

These nine homes have all been built by women. They are built using lime, hemp, straw bales, stone, clay, logs, thatch and cob. Below you can read about each of these women and follow links to their websites, facebook pages and stall in the Natural Homes Market Place.

You will find some of the following buttons above each of their pictures:

Link to a website

Link to a Facebook page

 
 
 
     
 
     
 
 
     

France

 
   


This is one of the many tiny hemp and lime bubble shelters designed and built by Evelyne Adam of Kerterre. After making a simple geodesic type timber frame, hemp or straw is coated in a lime and sand mixture and moulded onto the frame leaving plenty of scope for artistic creativity. A small team can build a bubble shelter in about two weeks.

 
 
 
     
 
     
 
 
   

USA

 
   


This beautiful Straw Bale Studio is in Oxford, MI, USA. It's a place to learn about natural building skills and sustainable living. The straw bale home is thatched with phragmite reed, has earthen plasters with natural paints and uses solar electricity.

The home was built by Deanne with Fran Lee, Carolyn Koch and many volunteers.

   
     
 
     
 
 
   

Wales

 
   


Rachel lived off-grid in a shed in her woodland in Wales, carrying water from a local spring, using candlelight, a gas stove and a compost loo. She loved it, but the shed was small, so she built a straw bale extension onto it with the help of some friends. From this humble beginning she has built what has become an iconic home winning the 2009 Grand Designs eco-house award.

 
 
 
         
 
     
 
 
   
 

Poland

 
   

Joanna grows lavender on her small farmstead called Lawendowe Pole in northern Poland. She makes creams, essential oils, scented bags, syrups and beautiful crafts like felted clothes and bags. Her home, a green spruce log house, originally came from Beskid Niski in the mountains of southern Poland where it was built in 1927. Sadly many of these mountain homes are unloved but this one was rebuilt in the autumn of 1999 in Nowe Kawkowo.

She has recently rescued a second log home and created a lavender museum and natural living crafts centre.

 
 
 
         
 
     
 
 
 
 

England

 
   


This beautiful and inspirational space was built by Barbara Jones using straw bales, local timbers, oak shingles, clay and lime plasters and sheepís wool insulation. Hundreds of people lent a hand in its construction and hundreds more visited the building site on organised events to learn about natural building. Barbara is the author of Building with Straw Bales (right)

   
     
 
     
 
 
     

Italy

 
   


Thea Alvin is an artist, sculptor and dry stone mason based in Morrisville, Vermont, USA. When Thea isn't teaching she builds and repairs impressive stone buildings like this dry stone Trulli in Italy. Refining her skills all the time Thea can't resist transforming stones into sculptures. Her energy and enthusiasm for her profession has made her a key figure in the natural building community both in the USA and Italy where she teaches.

Thea is teaching dry stone workshops in Italy this August 2015.

 
 
 
     
 
       
 
 
   

England

 
   


Cob artisan Jill Smallcombe has been working with Jackie Abey for over ten years as Abey Smallcombe. They sculpt with cob, earthen plasters and other natural materials. They have carried out a number of large and small scale commissions for, amongst others, the Eden Project. This is their work in the gardens of the National Trustís medieval cob cottage in Broadclyst, Devon, England.

   
     
 
       
 
 
     

Portugal

 
   


The traditional homes where Veronica lives are built with rammed earth. It the earthen tradition she decided to build her own space after stumbling across cob via Sundog School of Natural Building and then Natural Homes. She got a copy of 'The Hand Sculpted House' and just started digging! The space inside is just under 20 m2 (215 sq.ft.) with the addition of a composting loo.

   
     
 
     
 
 
       

USA

 
   


This is Sasha's first natural home built after her apprenticeship at Cob cottage Company. She built it mostly by herself, with some help here and there from friends. It took about a spring, summer and fall (autumn) to build.

The original cabin was 120 sq feet (11m2) built of cob. She  eventually built an addition that was a hybrid of light straw clay, wattle and daub and cob. That brought to total area to about 250 sq ft (23m2). The foundation is stone and the roof metal for rain water collection.