Christina Keegan writes “I highly recommend this natural building internship opportunity to anyone. I did the Winternship last year (2012) and am so grateful for the experience. It’s only one month, very affordable, and you get to live with and learn from one of the best natural builders around. In addition, the activities are chosen based on the interests and learning goals of the participants, and Deanne makes sure to create an egalitarian environment in which everyone learns from and supports each other. Photos: 12 – WOOFing at the Strawbale Studio (Update: Christina is now starting to work as a teacher in natural building)
Nana Ferdnance 2015 Wintern from VA I am really grateful for the experience at Strawbale Studio and I can’t thank you enough for your hospitality and your wisdom and learning from you about natural building. It really has changed my life and I have a lot to think about now and lot of plans to look forward to. I will always reflect on and remember the moments we shared together learning and growing. Nana received credit from her school Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, for attending the internship.
Brett Lehner 2015 Winter from CT “Reflecting on the internship, I look back very fondly on my experiences, and am very grateful that I had the opportunity to take part. I can’t imagine that I had ever second-guessed going in terms of any ‘practical’ considerations beforehand. The whole experience connected with me on a very personal level and I feel as though it helped me continue to grow and define myself in terms of the person that I wish to become. Thank you for facilitating this for myself and the other interns as well. ”
Trevor – 2015 Wintern from CT: : I enjoyed reading the blog about our Winternship. It’s wonderful that you’re keeping the good word reverberating on the interweb. I still tell people about my trip when they ask what’s new. A bit of each and everyone’s good nature is with me!
Shahaiya, Worktrader 2014 (Response after taking a Rocket Stove Class) Deanne’s approach is very empowering. I went from knowing absolutely nothing to see all the parts come together in action! It was organic learning, with an agenda, yet when we had questions it moved the shape of the course. We are all learning together with her guidance. I appreciate that the class included knowledge from the participants.
Jimez Whitehead, (beekeeper & soapmaker from Detroit) Your program changed my life so much. I was so motivated after leaving the Studio ! My sister wants to volunteer, so you will see us this summer. I go over my notes from you all the time and will be doing earth plaster over my walls and use milk paint for color. This year I am starting on retrofitting and other projects. I want to build a cob shed, cob chicken coop, bee house, retrofit the house with strawbales. (Jimez attended the 2014 Winternship)
Peyton Ginakes 9-2012. “I can’t thank you enough for having me at the studio. I’ve been raving about the wonderful time I had there and all that I learned.”
Oliver Hoadley (architect student) and Mariek Rouse (from France) 2012. “Being at the Strawbale Studio seems like it is outside of time. I have learned so much that it seems like I have been here for a long time, even though it has been just a few weeks.”
David Stella: 2013 “I’ve writing all about my wonderful experience I had learning from you on an internship application and it’s really taken me back there. Lately, if I’ve had trouble getting focused I just look at Strawbale Studio pictures which are very inspiring!”
Kate Hensley 2011. “Being at the Strawbale Studio is on my list of major accomplishments, surviving a brutal winter in Michigan (by my Kentucky hillbilly standards brutal!) in a pretty strict sustainable environment, is not something everyone gets to experience.”
Jenny Reed ~ 2015 Wintern writes: “I really, really enjoyed this internship- and I realized how much more of a lifestyle change it had on me upon returning. I was happy with all the workshops and what I learned- all valuable skills, and even if I don’t use them soon, I feel really satisfied that I KNOW them- especially the somewhat random skills, like sharpening and fixing tools, looking at trees differently, the worm compost, etc. I think these “little things” are the sort you can think about and say, “oh yeah, I’ll learn that eventually” but realistically it is always nice to have a teacher, and you were absolutely excellent with everything you taught and encouraged!”
Her full letter is wonderful:
Glad to hear all is well with you! I am still in midst of transition- but feeling well about it. I’ve been planning a garden with my Dad and it’s been really fun! Also baking bread, and continuing to make squash soup..like at Strawbale Studio.
I really, really enjoyed this internship- and I realized how much more of a lifestyle change it had on me upon returning.
I was happy with all the workshops and what I learned- all valuable skills, and even if I don’t use them soon, I feel really satisfied that I KNOW them- especially the somewhat random skills, like sharpening and fixing tools, looking at trees differently, the worm compost, etc. I think these “little things” are the sort you can think about and say, “oh yeah, I’ll learn that eventually” but realistically it is always nice to have a teacher, and you were absolutely excellent with everything you taught and encouraged!
I was very drawn to the cob construction and earth plastering, and I am wanting to continue with that ASAP! Look for an update about that in the near future…
I also realized by learning a lot that I was completely unfamiliar with, I feel more comfortable trying out some new things! What’s the worst that could happen, really? I’m excited to start building some raised beds soon..and I feel confident that I can create them beautifully, even without power tools if I want!
I am so thankful that you are willingly to open your home and life up for an entire month to share with strangers. It is a great experience to live so closely with a community. It’s a real gift.
That being said, I do feel I am more introverted, and by the end I felt rather drained from having little time to myself. Honestly I don’t think this was an actual problem for anyone else, though. It is interesting for me to think about how I want to be part of a community and potentially live in a community setting again, and how I can achieve this while appreciating the fact that I greatly, seriously enjoy alone time.
I’ve been reading A LOT since I’ve gotten back, and I think this internship reminded me just how much I really love learning, and that I can learn just as much outside of school. I’ve also been working on a few art projects inspired by this experience, a sure sign that it’s impacted me in a lifelong sort of way.
Once again, thank you SO SO SO much! I really hope to see you again in the future, maybe I can make my way up to Columbus this summer and see what you guys are working on.
Intern communications – what they have been doing since being at the Strawbale Studio.