EcoNest Natural Building Workshops and Timber Framing Workshops

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EcoNest Six-Week Apprenticeship: BootCamp

Overview

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Cost: $3000

Hearing the Moose Call
By Robert Laporte
My Apprenticeship in Timber Framing

It's September, 1981 and I’m standing in awe, staring at an amazing cathedral in Northern Ontario. “Where did you learn how to timber frame like this?” I ask Paul McNabb, accomplished Canadian log builder.

True to his humble nature, Paul responds: “I read Tedd Benson's book.”

“That’s it?” I ask, incredulous.

“Yes,” he responds. I’m in shock. His workmanship is impeccable.

But my real shock was returning home to discover that I had that book, Building the Timber Frame Home by Tedd Benson, and that it had been gathering dust on my shelf for years! I finished reading it by the end of the day.

Reading Tedd’s spiritual journey into wood working struck a deep chord in me and I heard an irresistible invitation, like a strident moose call. I had to meet this man.

I had enjoyed cutting and carving and meticulously turning massive trees into beautiful log homes for years but now I realized that I had only scratched the surface. There was so much more waiting to be discovered. I was on fire!

Within the week, I had left my humble home in Northern Ontario and travelled to New England. Little did I know what was in store.

I found Tedd on Block Island, deep in “the ninth inning,” of the building process, that magic zone that arrives after hundreds of hours of careful preparation and construction. Timbers that have been assembled and erected magically become a magnificent structure, one that can stand proud for centuries.

Tedd welcomed me with open arms and partnered me with lead timber framer Dennis Marcom. I began to learn the joiner’s dance and no words can do justice to the beauty I became part of. I was literally transported to another world. This was my initiation, my Boot Camp.  I knew that I had found my family, a brotherhood of craftsmen.

These many years and timber frame building projects later, I remain forever grateful to Tedd and the boys in the beamery for that apprenticeship, for gifting me with the perfect start, a quantum leap forward, and a timeless foundation for the Boot Camps I offer to my own students.

2021 Course Description

This six-week accelerated skill builder will begin before the EcoNest Intensive, include all of the EcoNest Intensive workshops and Seminar, and continue after. Students will develop and hone building skills from foundation to roof framing, completing the shell of an EcoNest under the direct guidance of Robert Laporte and his staff. The course is structured for those wishing to immerse themselves in natural building, expanding both skill and knowledge base. A copy of our book, "The EcoNest Home," will be provided to boot camp students.  This boot camp will be physically and mentally challenging and is not designed for casual learning!

What students will learn:

  • Ecological foundations
  • Timber-frame
  • Conventional woodworking skills
  • EcoNest method mass wall construction including clay straw
  • Window and door fabrication and installation
  • Integration of plumbing and healthy electrical installation
  • Roof carpentry
  • The Principles of Building Biology, Building for Optimum Health

Application Requirements:

Enrollment limited to 3 Students.

The cost for the EcoNest Apprenticeship BootCamp is $3000.

 

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