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Timber Frame Workshop
@ South Slope Farm, Berea, Kentucky

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Ever wonder what it’s like to build a timber frame structure from the ground up? Join The Year of Mud this summer for a 7 day Timber Frame Workshop at South Slope Farm, our homestead in the beautiful Appalachian foothills outside Berea, Kentucky.

Our workshops are highly personalized and life-enriching experiences that you will cherish. Using timeless techniques and traditional hand tools, students will learn how to lay out, join, and raise a beautiful timber frame structure. Learn valuable new carpentry skills working as a team in a gorgeous mountain setting, and discover what it takes to build a long-lived timber structure — without depending on nails or screws.

The Year of Mud: Timber Frame Workshop 2017Timber Frame Workshop Info. at a Glance:

  • Date: August 12-19, 2017 Check back for 2018 dates!
  • Location: South Slope Farm, 15 min. outside Berea, Kentucky (map)
  • Cost and Discounts:
    $750 Early Bird Discount (register 30+ days in advance – $150 off savings!)
    $900 Regular Registration (register less than 30 days in advance)
  • All-inclusive: Workshop includes camping accommodations, and 3 delicious home-cooked meals a day
  • Homesteading Experience: Get a glimpse into homestead & off-grid living with tours of various homesteads and natural building projects in our area
  • Instructed by Ziggy Liloia, natural builder with 10 years of experience, and Cynthia Main: timber framer, cooper, fine woodworker, and accomplished craftsperson
  • Families with children are welcome! Please contact Ziggy for more details

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Gain New Building Skills (And So Much More)

the year of mud timber framingThis Timber Frame Workshop presents a great opportunity for folks with limited carpentry or timber framing experience to increase their exposure and proficiency with hand tools and to create beautiful timber structures, using the same techniques our ancestors have employed for generations to build sturdy barns and long-lived homes. You don’t need any previous experience to the share in the joys of timber framing with us.

Students will spend 7 days learning the historic craft of timber frame construction using mortise and tenon joinery. This is definitely a hands-on affair, with all instruction occurring on the worksite itself.

Some (but not all) of the things you should expect to experience include:

  • How to acquire timbers and select material
  • Layout using the square rule method
  • Safe hand tool use for cutting joinery, including a range of tools (hand saws, chisel and mallet, hand plane, axe, boring machine, etc.)
  • Fitting and assembling a timber frame
  • Frame raising methods
  • Hand tool restoration & sharpening (including restoring old tools so they work like new again)Kentucky Timber Frame Workshop
  • How timber framing relates to other natural materials, including straw bale and clay construction

Other course highlights will include:

  • South Slope Farm land walk
  • Tour of an off-grid straw bale home
  • Field trips to see other natural building projects in the community
  • Natural building presentation with examples of our work including timber framing, straw bale, and cob building
  • Immersive exploration of what it means to live resiliently, and of course — daily home-cooked organic food. What could be better?

Discover Your Tribe Today

south slope farm foodTime and time again, participants have commented on how powerful and uplifting the community-building aspect of our workshops are — the feeling of connection within the workshop itself, and getting to experience our local community as well. Here’s a testimonial from Diane M., who attended our 2015 Straw Bale Workshop:

I have learned so much during the straw bale workshop. Not only did I learn about how to build a straw bale home but I was also exposed to a different culture that I’m falling in love with every time I encounter like-minded individuals. It’s one thing to go to a workshop but when the facilitators and hosts invite you into their world and make you feel like a family it takes the dynamics of a learning experience to a whole new level. 

Consider this an invitation… to discover your tribe, your community of like-minded individuals. Our Natural Building Workshops are about much more than building houses — we want to build strong relationships, too. Do you want to join us?

p.s. Our workshops are family friendly. Please contact us about rates for children if you’d like to bring your family along!

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How to Register for the Course

Please reserve your spot by completing our simple workshop registration form. Remember, spaces are limited! Don’t forget to apply early to earn your registration discount. Further payment and preparation details will be provided once we review your registration. Thanks for joining!

Contact Ziggy with any questions you might have.

About the Workshop Schedule

Students must arrive the afternoon prior to the official workshop start date. For example, students must arrive on August 11th for the August 12-19 workshop. We’ll start with a leisurely dinner and introductions. The workshop will end the morning after the official posted date, with the departure of students on August 20th. Please factor this in to your travel plans!

Travel directions will be provided once students complete their registration.

Food and Dining

Dinner Time

Unlike other similar natural building workshops, we provide all meals during our workshops. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be lovingly prepared with fresh, local, and organic ingredients. The meals will largely consist of hearty organic vegetarian dishes. You will not go hungry with us! (In fact, you might have a hard time leaving the table after each meal.) We will do our best to accommodate dietary restrictions and food allergies. Make sure to indicate any restrictions/allergies in your application.

It’s recommended that participants bring snacks and specialty items only if they wish (think tea, coffee, any food you can’t live without) to supplement the otherwise complete meal service.

Lodging and Accommodations During Your Stay

All accommodations are included in the cost of the workshop. Here is what you can expect during your stay:

  • Ample camping space close to indoor facilities
  • Access to composting toilets
  • Indoor & outdoor shower facilities

Please note: cell phone reception is very poor on the land, and landline telephone use will be made available for essential communication. There is internet access on the property, but we ask that individuals try to use it only for necessities.

Travel directions and a packing list will be provided to workshop participants after we receive your registration.

About the Workshop Location

South Slope Homestead

The 2017 Timber Frame Workshop is located 15 minutes outside of Berea, Kentucky (map) at South Slope Farm, our homestead in the gorgeous Clear Creek valley. Located on 28 acres of hillside pasture and woods, our land sits in the middle of a thriving tight-knit community, with many folks dedicated to art, music, community building, activism, permaculture, and personal/cultural transformation. We’re pleased to be surrounded by all manner of motivated folks who want to live meaningful, heartfelt lives.

Berea is a small town in central Kentucky, home to a thriving population of craftspeople, artists, woodworkers, musicians, social activists, and homesteaders. Berea has a longstanding tradition of diversity, social justice, environmental responsibility, and community service. The historic Berea College is the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, and its influence on the town remains to this day.

Testimonials From Previous Workshops

timber-frame-worshop-2014-a“I loved learning things I never knew before, working with other folks, accomplishing things together that we could not do alone, [and] seeing something big come together before our eyes. Ziggy and April were wonderful organizers and hosts. Lots of thought and preparation!” – Margaret W., Timber Frame Workshop 2013 participant

“The workshop was awesome. Thank you all for coordinating such an interesting timber-frame party. I learned a lot while enjoying myself at the same time. The three of you (Ziggy, April, Jacob) work really well as a unit in order to make a workshop like this one seem seamless. I know that lots of thoughtful planning had to have gone into it beforehand… The pictures are very telling of the event: serious and fun—a nice mix.” — Jesse W., Timber Frame Workshop 2014 participant

“I am so grateful to those of you in the community who genuinely are on fire to effect positive change for our nation, in its immediacy; and the planet, in the realm beyond the daily carrying of water and chopping wood.” – Shand K., Timber Frame Workshop 2012 participant

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