Information for: Consumers | Builders | Students

Interior & Exterior Earthen Finishes Class
March 27-29, 2015

Earthen plasters are a great way to finish just about any wall substrate in the home. They create a soft, natural and breathable final plaster layer which regulates humidity, smells and sound in the room. adobeisnotsoftware is pleased to have Kurt Gardella return to California for three days of intensive instruction in interior and exterior earthen finish practices. Attendees will leave the class with knowledge of how to specify, mix and apply earthen plasters and clay paints – the class is suitable for both building professionals and do-it-your-selfers.

Topics Include:

  • Finish selection for conventional and earthen buildings
  • Soil and Material Selection, Sourcing and Testing
  • Use of earthen materials to improve the thermal performance of existing buildings (adobe brick, cob and light-straw-clay infill for frame walls)
  • Vapor Permeability, Water Resistance and Stabilization
  • Tools and Application Techniques
  • Application around Doors, Windows and Other Openings
  • Pigments, and Finishing
  • Detailing
  • Conventional and Traditional Plaster Reinforcing Techniques
  • Code considerations
Instruction Type:
This is a hands-on class. Attendees will have the opportunity to get dirty and use tools and equipment typical of adobe construction. Due to the course format, enrollment will be limited to 14 individuals.  In the unlikely event of inclement weather, instruction will occur indoors.  Children under the age of 14 unfortunately cannot be accommodated.

Kurt Gardella teaches adobe construction at Santa Fe Community College, is Director of Education for Adobe in Action, and is certified as an earth-building specialist by the German Dachverband Lehm.

Ben Loescher is a licensed architect, founder of adobeisnotsoftware and principal of Loescher Meachem Architects.

The class will be conducted in Pioneertown, California, about 12 miles outside of Joshua Tree National Park and some 40 miles from Palm Springs. Joshua Tree and the surrounding area have a wealth of great hiking, climbing, lodging and food options, including Pioneertown's world famous Pappy and Harriet's just down the street. This is a great opportunity to combine education and recreation!

The cost for the three day workshop is $190/person before March 1st, $225/person thereafter.  Please inquire for discounts for multiple attendees. Coffee and nibbles will be provided at the beginning of the day; lunch is included. 
Click here to register >
Please do not hesitate to contact Ben by email at mud[at] or by phone at (760) 278-1134.