Deanne Bednar's Strawbale Studio Is Natural Home Dream


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Categories: Building Methods

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The second stop on our roadtrip to Vermont is to see a woman named Deanne, a natural builder, and the illustrator for several cob-related books such as The Hand-Sculpted House and The Cobber's Companion. Her land is home to the Strawbale Studio, a natural building school in rural Michigan. We've been eagerly anticipating our visit for one primary reason: there are several thatched roofs on the property.
Driving down a rural dirt road in eastern Michigan, with crimson and fuchsia leaves contrasting overhead against a brilliant blue sky, we're smiling broadly, thinking of our land, and wondering how colorful it will be. As we pull into Deanne's driveway, we excitedly talk about the fact that we'll see our own woodland drive in just a few days!

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After exploring on our own for a few minutes, Deanne greets us warmly and leads us around the property, showing us the many projects she has in the works. It's exciting to see her solar panels, her earthen oven, and several of the smaller structures on her land, including a fantastical spiral-shaped cob outhouse with a thatched roof, and a tiny timberframe/strawbale/thatched roof house that's about half the size of ours.

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