An inspiring weekend of natural building and being

With Sage Stonemen and friends

November 11 — 12, 2023

@ Topa Institute | Ojai, CA

Earthen Arts Retreat is a unique weekend experience in beautiful Ojai, California that focuses on deepening our relationship with our natural world and sense of self. Through hands-on natural building workshops, morning movement, and live performances, we offer a creative container of wonder and curiosity, allowing us to remember how it feels to be human together.



Two-Day Natural Building Workshop with Sage Stoneman

We are honored to host Artist-in-Residence Sage Stoneman, one of our country’s leading natural builders, as he leads a two-day natural building workshop that will provide you with:

  • A comprehensive introduction to building with clay, sand, straw, wood, stone, and water in different ratios for different outcomes. Understanding how these materials behave to best inform your design decisions.
  • New insights into human shelter and a deep understanding of the important role natural building can play in these unpredictable climatic times.
  • An understanding of how a building’s foundation, frame, roof, and walls fit together in design and construction.
  • Ecological mindset: how to approach design/construction through the lens of land stewardship. Our human developments can serve as offerings, rather than detriments, to our natural environment!
  • Connection with nature, conscious movement, and shared purpose with your family or new friends… soil bacteria (mycobacterium vaccae) has been shown to improve mental health.


Saturday, November 11

10 AM — Arrival – Check In + Set Up Camp

11 AM Orientation + Opening Circle + Intention Setting

“What is natural building?” Q&A / Lecture @ Council house/Kiva

12 PM Hands-on intro to mixing Cob @ Build site

1 PM Lunch @ Dining Area

2 PM Mixing Cob/ Cobrobics @ Build Site

3 PM Sculpting Cob @ Build Site

5:30 PM Clean up!

6 PM Council + Opening Circle + Intention Setting @ Council house/Kiva

7:30 PM Dinner @ Dining Area

After Dinner Kiva fire + Live Music

Sunday, November 12

8 AM Breakfast

9 AM Movement + Meditation

10 AM Nature Walk with Camille Dieterle

11 AM Q&A / Lecture  @ Council house/Kiva

12 PM Mixing/Sculpting Cob @ Council house/Kiva

2 PM Lunch

3 PM Clay Plaster @ Build Site

5 PM Clean up!

5:30 PM Dinner + Libations

6 PM Golden hour into night concert @ Amphitheater

7 PM Special Sunday Evening Live Performance

Featuring: Surprise Special Guest will be announced shortly!

Special Sunday Night Performance

Surprise Special Guest


2-Day Retreat + Campsite: $280 — $400

  • Full 2-day retreat activities
  • 1 overnight campsite
  • Access to hot showers
  • 4 organic meals (lunch and dinner)
  • Natural building workshop
  • Nature walks
  • Morning Yoga
  • Fireside Council in the kivas
  • Live music performances




Our reciprocity ticket reflects the real-time costs of putting on this workshop while making sure our staff, caterers, and teachers get paid living wages. If you are able to pay at the abundance level or more, you are helping to sponsor folks at the solidarity & free levels, helping to make this event as diverse and accessible as possible. Thank you in advance.

2-Day Retreat (no campsite): $250

  • Full 2-day retreat activities
  • 4 organic meals (brunch and dinner)
  • Natural building workshop
  • Nature walks
  • Morning Yoga
  • Fireside Council in the kivas
  • Live music performances

Sunday Evening Performance Only: $40

  • Doors open at 6:30 pm
  • Special live music performance

Children 6+ Years Old: $40

  • Children under 6 years FREE

More ways to get involved

In addition to the above ticket levels, we have two spots available for part-time work traders who can pay $111 and complete 12 volunteer hours (could be before, during or after workshop). Complete this form to inquire about these tickets. 

We also have two completely free tickets for those who identify as BIPOC, single parents, and/or low-income. Complete this form to apply for a full scholarship.

Meet our Facilitators

Sage Stoneman

Nature building workshop

Camille Dieterle

Nature WALK