Instructor Bios

Erica Ann Bush, LEED AP, is an award-winning architectural designer and natural builder. Her practice specializes in passive solar design and breathable wall systems. Her projects integrate all scales of design concepts, ranging from Permaculture land-use strategies through the human-scale of furniture and interior finishes. After receiving her Architecture degree from Cornell University and practicing at a Green Architecture firm in Eugene, Oregon, she traveled the world gathering experience in many forms of earthen construction, apprenticing with the best experts she could find on each respective construction technique.  She brings a unique perspective to green building, offering low-tech solutions to big issues. Her dedication to local resources and extensive use of salvaged components distinguishes her material palette. Current artistic endeavors are focused on stained glass and large scale public sculpture. She currently teaches Natural Building Technique and Earth Plaster up and down the West Coast. View her portfolio at

Sukita Crimmel discovered natural building at the end of her college days at the University of Oregon.  She became fascinated by the way simple materials can create such beauty, and with such ease.  After school she started getting into the physical world of building and was fortunate enough to get a job assisting a builder, Robert Bolman, in building a cutting edge green triplex in Eugene, Oregon.  On a cold December day of 2000 Sukita assisted Rob in mixing and pouring the 1200 square foot earthen floor.  She was hooked.  In 2002 Sukita moved to Portland to start From These Hands, LLC, a natural building construction company.

Earthen floors became a focus in 2007.  Sukita found out all she could.  Over the years she learned from experience many ways to succeed and fail with earthen floors.  She streamlined the process, in the preparation of the site, and the materials as well as installing and finishing these amazing floors.  It is now her pleasure to share this knowledge in a manual, through workshops, consultations, and by offering the premixed earthen floor, Claylin. From ancient knowledge we have modern earthen floors.

Learn more about Sukita’s work with From These Hands at as well as Claylin, the pre-mixed earthen floor, at

Kiko Denzer has been building with earth since 1994, and recently fell in love with yurts. Last year he worked with Bill Coperthwaite on a two-tier frame yurt; this year he is testing some ideas about combining sticks and mud to optimize efficiency, strength, comfort, and ease of construction. At home, he shares a large garden and small, self-built living quarters with his wife and two boys. He also builds ovens and mass heaters, teaches, writes, and publishes books through Hand Print Press(.com). Aside from making compost, he is interested in restoring the arts to their traditional and proper role as the means by which we maintain a working harmony between people, land, and culture.  See more from Kiko at HandPrintPress.

Eva Rose Edleson is a natural builder, cook, gardener, and craftswoman.  As a builder with over 10 years of experience, she specializes in earthen wall systems as well as in natural plasters and paints.  Eva has built with cob, adobe, straw-clay, wattle and daub, pallets and more!  She has trained and worked with many of the most-respected natural builders in North America, as well as Argentina.  She has combined her own research and experiences into a successful natural building practice.  See some of Eva’s building projects as well as wood-fired ovens and masonry heaters at

Max Edleson is a professional artist/builder who has worked and taught in the United States, Argentina, and Indonesia. He is dedicated to using naturally and locally available materials to create spiritually- uplifting and energy-efficient elements of homes and public spaces.  Over the last 10 years, Max has designed and built multiple cob, adobe and strawbale buildings. He is a professional tile layer, mosaic artist, ceramicist and a mason of devices made for fire which include masonry heaters, baking ovens, various heating and cooking stoves, fireplaces and kilns. He is also a skilled round-pole timber framer.  You can learn more about him at

Bernhard Masterson is a consummate natural builder who fuses a deep commitment to sustainable systems and a rich sense of aesthetics to create unique structures. Trained as a sculptor and educator Bernhard has focused on natural building since 2002. He integrates straw-bale, cob, slip-straw and other techniques to build cottages, studios, rocket mass heaters, earth ovens and Rumford fireplaces. Bernhard is a positive and insightful teacher who derives deep satisfaction from empowering others to pursue their visions.  More about Bernhard at

Bill Sturm is the owner and designer of Oregon Timberworks.  He has been building and designing for nearly twenty years.  After studying architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, he decided to move to the Northwest and put his hands to work.  He began by building high-end homes until an old friend requested his skills and he was introduced to his future passion: timber framing.  To see some of Bill’s work visit