SESSION 1 : Sustainable Building Workshop

July 21st - 28th, 2017

Led by Melissa Sclafani and Amy Joy Hosterman, this week-long Sustainable Building Workshop will provide a focused approach to collaborative design and building. Staying true to the Visitor Center Artist Camp’s mission, together we will be finalizing a design and building a customized structure with the functionality of the VCAC community at heart. We will be using reclaimed and reused materials as well as lumber supplied by Seeger's Sawmill. The workshop will include daily tutorials and builds as well as evening lectures and round table discussions about alternative architecture including rammed earth, tiny houses and earth-ship design, construction and living.

During the workshop, participants will:

  • Review and revise a basic building design to fit our intended purpose and available materials
  • Learn how to use materials at hand
  • Source sustainable material
  • Properly and safely use power tools including drills, impact drivers, chop saw, and circular saw
  • Work collaboratively and co-creatively
  • Learn from local master builder Mel Seeger
  • Gain knowledge and insight into alternative architecture and sustainable living

Previous building and power tool experience is helpful but not required. After completion of this workshop participants will have not only built a permanent custom structure but will have gained confidence, skills and knowledge that can be used for all types of building projects!

Participants are responsible for their own basic safety gear (safety glasses, dust masks, work gloves, work boots, etc.)


Participants will have the opportunity to tour Mel Seeger's Matchwood Sawmill and farm, see the barns and yurts he has built, and watch a demo of Mel milling logs on the sawmill he made from a Mac truck!


This is an opportunity to learn from a DIY master. Mel has worked in the logging industry and run sawmills his entire life. He builds barns, saunas, yurts and boats of his own designs; the VCAC studio barn is one of his. He also makes various types of heaters, furnaces, ovens, and stoves and has been experimenting with creating insulating bricks from local clay and sawdust from his mill. He's a master of hand craft but is also tech savvy, using CAD and CNC to create utilitarian designs and visual art. Additionally, he farms and plays traditional Norwegian music with his wife.


See Costs here and See Logistics for details