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A living laboratory for a sustainable human future.

Village Arts Building Takes Shape and You Can Help Too!

by Arjuna da Silva, Earthaven Founder and natural building enthusiast
An exciting development on Another Way this year has been the slow but steady progress on the Village Arts Building (VAB). Located right before the entrance to Useful Plants Nursery and the Third Creek Crossing, the VAB is the brainchild of Earthaven co-founder Paul Caron, known around Asheville as The Furniture Magician. Expanding his fully equipped woodshop to incorporate a working wood-products cooperative and an art and craft studio co-op on his leasehold has been Paul’s dream since before Earthaven was established.

 Stacking foundation stones for the Village Arts Building.

Projects involving natural building become the hub of learning opportunities for amateurs and professionals alike. The Village Arts Building is now providing long-term interns and short-term students with a variety of opportunities to build naturally and take those lessons on with them. This year’s Natural Building School internship program, which includes folks from California, Alabama, New York and jolly old England, has to date included directional tree-felling, round peeled pole timber framing, basic rubble foundation work and dry-stack stone wall building.

Natural Building School Interns, Paul Caron (right), and friends.

Next up as the stone wall sets is a Natural Building Camp, a 6-day adventure in building with cob and compressed earth blocks that adds to the progress at the VAB. Combining the pre-made blocks with cob will allow more progress than cob alone, and will give participants an opportunity to seriously consider the pros and cons for privately and professionally building masonry walls.

Additional opportunities in natural building this year include workshops in other earth-and-straw wall techniques, cordwood and earthen plasters. Visit for updated information and registration assistance.

The Natural Building Camp begins on Tuesday, August 24th. Registrations are being accepted for the entire 6-day camp and for the weekend only. Cost is $100 per day or $425 for all six. You can also check in with Arjuna by phone for more information at 828 669-0114.

Arjuna da Silva is an Earthaven founder, Culture’s Edge president, and former Airspinner. She is coordinating the Natural Building School  workshops at Earthaven this summer.


Cob, earthen, furniture magician, interns, Paul Caron, timber framing, Village Arts Building, workshop

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