Multiple Dates

Making Adobe – Half-Day Intensive

This four hour class is a condensed introduction to adobe brick and construction taught in a single pleasant afternoon.

Who is it for?
This introduction is suitable for DIYers, natural building enthusiasts, adobe homeowners, aspiring builders, and the adobe curious.


4 hours

Instruction Type:
This is an in-person, 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 8 individuals. Children under the age of 14 unfortunately cannot be accommodated except by prior arrangement. In the unlikely event of inclement weather, instruction will occur indoors.

Course Topics:

  • Soil Selection and Testing
  • Making Adobe Bricks
  • Water Resistance and Stabilization
  • Adobe Forms
  • Brick Laying Techniques
  • Gravel garden wall foundations

Course Objectives:

  • Discuss safety in earthen construction.
  • Gain an understanding of how earth has been used as a building material worldwide and in CA.
  • Learn how to locate and identify suitable soil samples (clay and aggregates) for use in adobe construction.
  • Gain a basic understanding of clay minerals and aggregates and their role in the adobe mix.
  • Learn the proportions of a good adobe mix for your area and how to amend/blend your soil if a suitable mix is not naturally present.
  • Learn how to mix mud in a wheelbarrow.
  • Learn how to make adobe blocks.
  • Obtain an overview of the basic adobe block drying sequence.
  • Obtain an overview of different methods of field testing your adobe bricks for strength.
  • Learn about the use of stabilizers for improved water resistance, including asphalt emulsion, portland cement, and lime
  • Learn techniques for laying adobe bricks to form a wall
  • Learn techniques for properly applying mortar and tooling joints

Evaluation Methods:
20 question written exam

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us


Ben Loescher

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

Course Information:

Sun, June 25, 2023
Sun, Sept 10, 2o23
Workload: 12noon – 4pm each day
Fee: $110

Register Here


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.


There are lots of private vacation rentals available around Pioneertown, at various price points. Check out and for more information. The Wooden Indian Ranch, Little House, and Little Red Cabin are all within a block of Adobeisnotsoftware.


The cost for the class is $110/person. Please inquire for discounts for groups of more than four.
Register Here

Fine Print

Construction is inherently dangerous, and participants are expected to be partners in ensuring their own safety. You may be asked to sign an acknowledgement of this in advance of class participation.

Classes may not be held in the event of insufficient registrations to cover operating costs – adobeisnotsoftware reserves the right to cancel undersubscribed classes and events with at least 7 days prior notice.

In the unlikely event of inclement weather, classes may be rescheduled or canceled.

For individuals who find they may not be able to participate in a class or event for which they are registered, adobeisnotsoftware will offer a full refund if notified at least one week in advance. Cancellations within 7 days of the event are non-refundable.


Pioneertown, CA


(760) 278-1134



Precise directions will be sent to participants prior to the class.