Mudgirls Manifesto: Handbuilt Homes, Handcrafted Lives

Mudgirls Manifesto: Handbuilt Homes, Handcrafted Lives

By: The Mudgirls Natural Building Collective (author)Paperback

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Building a Revolution, one handful at a time. In the face of widespread burnout and a world gone crazy, how do we find things to say "yes" to, rather than a resounding "no"? On North America's West Coast, there's a group of rebel women who ten years ago chose to break free from a rigged economic and social system. They didn't take to the streets to lobby banks and governments to change their ways - they didn't have time for that. They had babies to feed and house. They reckoned that if nobody else was going to change the rules to support basic human needs and respect the biosphere, then we are all free to make our own rules. They chose action. They decided to teach themselves how to build houses using the most abundant material on earth - mud. They'd learn by building, gathering skills and allies. They'd have fun, sharing whatever they learned with whoever wanted to come along for the ride. The Mudgirls revolution was born. Part story of rebel women, grassroots self-governance, and community-building, part incendiary political and economic tract, and part practical guide to building natural homes for real people. Mudgirls Manifesto is about respecting the earth, each other, and crafting meaningful lives. A powerful, positive antidote to troubled times.

About Author

The Mudgirls is an all-women's natural building collective that formed in 2007 in coastal British Columbia. Founded on the principle of self-empowerment, they champion the use of natural, local, and salvaged materials, human-scaled DIY solutions, inclusiveness, support for mothers, care for children, and fun. They build things and offer workshops that empower people to take back the right to provide themselves with shelter. The Mudgirls have collaborated with over 50 clients and more than 600 workshop participants from all over the world, forging alliances and honing the skills to build homes. Find out more at


Acknowledgments Introduction PART I: A HISTORY WRITTEN IN MUD Chapter 1: Our Ways of Building Guiding Principle: We mostly work with unprocessed natural and recycled materials to create and decorate beautiful and healthy structures that are earth friendly. Guiding Principle: We believe this work is so important that we cannot wait until we are all experts. No matter the level of experience, we value each individual for their contribution and abilities and believe strongly in skill-building on the worksite. We Went for It: Creating the World We Wanted to Live In The Measuring Tape: Skill-Building as a Priority. A Non-intimidating Approach to Building Fast, Cheap and Out of Control: Permits = Limits Messages from Mud: It's Not About How Much You Know, But How Much You Believe in What You're Doing Case Studies: Ray and Soozie's Place; Measure Twice, Think Three Times, Cut Once, Because Chainsaws Are Forever Chapter 2: Women's Work Guiding Principle: We are a women's collective and seek to empower ourselves with employment and the skills to build homes. No Boys Allowed: Why We Chose (and Still Choose) An All-woman Crew We Play With Dollies: Work Smarter Not Harder Our Heroines: Other Women that Are Rockin' the Natural Building World and Shattering the Status Quo: Athena Steen, Liz Johndrow, and Becky Bee We Love Dudes: And Dudes Love Us Case Studies: Chris's Contribution; Set the Men Free; No, Really, She's Doing It; Contribution from Todd Turik (One Man Among Many Women) Chapter 3: Rethinking Work Guiding Principle: We are a collective that is human friendly: we recreate our concepts of work to prioritize respect and care for our hearts, our bodies, and our children while we work together. We create a work environment that nurtures us. Large and in Charge: The Empowerment Inherent in Working for Oneself It's Our Worksite, and We'll Cry If We Want To: Allowing Space for Emotions, Needs, and Limitations on the Worksite Bigger Isn't Always Better: Dealing with the Expectations of of Conventional "Efficiency" Versus the Efficiencies Long-term Learning, Safety, Skill-sharing, and Community-building Baby, I Like It Raw: Maintaining the Connection with Raw Materials and Raw Power Case Studies: Ode to the Old: Hand Tools and Handy Elders Soul Food: Nurturing Our Bodies Recipies: Smoked Tofu Potato Salad; Bethany's Rice Pudding; Coconut Curried Lentils; Energy Balls Chapter 4: Caring for the Children Guiding Principle: All our events are child and parentfriendly with quality childcare always provided. Our Kids Are Your Kids: A Better Model for the Greater Good Take Your Child to Work Day, Every Day: Why Mandatory, Built-in Childcare Makes Sense, and Why It's Not Always Perfect The Children of the Revolution: Children as Active Members of the Community Case Studies: How the Inner Child Schooled the Adult Attitude: Youth Facilitation as a Non-parent; That One Time I Almost Lost My Kids and My Mind, and the Silly Play That Saved Us All; Life After Motherhood; Participant/Mother Contribution Chapter 5: Rethinking "Business" Guiding Principle: We seek to do our business in a non-capitalist spirit. We keep the cost of natural building affordable by keeping our wages low, offering our workshops for barter, building for low-income people as much as we can. Menage a Trois: The Breakdown of Our Workshop Structure How Much Is Too Much?: The Quest to Practice Sustainable Idealism Who Needs Money When There's Mud Everywhere?: A Low Income Plus Resourcefulness Equals Creative Power Client-friends and Friend-clients: Keeping a Healthy Building Relationship Without Contracts Case Studies: Molly's House; Trade Ya a Small House for a Website? Chapter 6: Who's the Boss? Guiding Principle: We are structured non-hierarchically. Each member is equally valued and has equal say in decision-making. Guiding Principle: We use the teachings of Compassionate Communication to create a peaceful, mutually respectful, and revolutionarily harmonious group process. The Internal Workings of The Mudgirls: How We Make Decisions Don't Tell Me What to Do Mycorrhiza: A Symbiosis Inspired by Nature Keeps the Collective Rollin' Case Studies: The Voice of Dissent, and How We Hate to Love It; A Model of Our (Ideal) Steps to Resolve Conflict Chapter 7: Building a Revolution Guiding Principle: We work together to create this collective as we go, nurturing the creative and inventive and courageously open to the process of transformation. Build It and They Will Come: The Search for Other Ways of Living Don't Muddy the Waters: Trying to Live by Example Case Studies: Our Collective's Babies: Mudmob in Australia and The Good Earth Builders PART II: THANKS TIPS! (PRACTICAL BUILDING MATTERS) Chapter 8: Materials and Tools Clay Sourcing Tips How to Test Your Clay Sand, Sand, and Sand Fiber Lumber Mud Tools Woodworking Tools What Trowel to Use and Why Chapter 9: Recipes Clay Paint Recipes That Work Paint #1 Paint #2 Pigment Adhesion Coats Lime Water, Lime Wash Starch Paste (Wheat Paste) Plasters Manure Plaster Clay Plaster Lime Plaster Chapter 10: Tips to Success (We Screwed Up and Learned Stuff) Dry Stack Rock Foundation Tips Dry Stack Rock Foundations for Straw Bale Walls How to Fix Cracks Why Cob Walls Fall Wall Systems Pros and Cons Build Your House in Ten Steps! Endnotes Index About the Author A Note about the Publisher

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780865718777
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 192
  • ID: 9780865718777
  • weight: 405
  • ISBN10: 0865718776

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