On the theme of Food, Water, Shelter + Life


BREAKING NEWS! August 26th 2015

Response thus far to making the proposed Sheltermaker Festival a reality has been slow. This, I think, is a reflection of the uncertain times we are experiencing. Now that I am ‘officially’ a pensioner and semi-retired I have decided to devote my energies to The Open Door/Inspirational Homes movement here in Leitrim and to contribute my ideas to that. My friend and fellow traveler, Sharon Ponsford, has kindly donated an EconoSpace frame to the Festival and I propose to erect and display this at next year’s Open Door/Inspirational Homes event. Your participation in this would be very welcome.


It is imagined that from Monday-Friday participants will engage in the construction of an EconoSpace as well as learning about design, ‘invisible’ architecture, alternative energy, waste recycling and so on.

There will also be action happening in the evenings – films; discussions; etc.

On Saturday & Sunday the Festival will be open to the public with a Programme of Talks, Workshops, Presentations & Discussions.

It will be all about doing and being, weaving the various ‘threads’ which connect shelter to the world-at-large into a ‘happening’ which facilitates people in experiencing and sharing their aliveness.

The basic idea will be to engage people in a positive way to the process of sheltermaking and with those aspects of life which connect to it, encouraging awareness, engagement, consciousness, co-operation, creativity, exploration, insight and, of course, fun.

Shelter Circle

Because shelter connects to almost everything affecting our lives, a Festival which consciously brings all these things together will be a reflection of life … ideally the life we aspire to live.


I’ve organised festivals and events and know some of the pitfalls and downsides. To avoid these and to forestall any possibility of burnout, I propose a co-operative approach which will allow people to get involved and do their thing under an umbrella which I am offering to hold. This will consist of holding the focus, co-ordinating and responding to proposals, drawing up a festival timetable and, organising [with help!] an online centralised booking facility.


I see this as a kind of rehearsal for living the future which can only be done sanely if we work co-operatively. If we cannot achieve this while the-world-as-we-know-it is still intact what chance do we have to achieve the sustainable future I hear some many people speaking of?

Peter Mudhouse

Already people are signing up to participate:

Australian geomancer and writer Alanna Moore…. most useful when it comes to choosing a site for your sheltermaking!

Andy Smith from Longford will give a demonstration and talk about healthy organic local foods and get involved with song, stories, meditation and fun and generally assist with things!

Michael Phelan from Dublin will do some storytelling and generally assist with making things happen.

Gerard Greene from Dublin will work his magic with the making and application of natural paints.

Gary Dalton from Waterford has offered to being his mobile clay oven!

Jo Greene, also from Dublin, will assist with food preparation.

Peter Schneider, from Sligo. One of Ireland’s foremost alternative energy experts

Feile Butler, alternative architect and teacher, also from Sligo

Do you want to get involved in making this happen?
Do you have something unique that you would like to present?

To participate, in one way or another, cut and paste the headings below into the message box of this Contact Form using the words Festival in the subject line, keeping your answers short and to the point. You will receive a personal reply. Volunteers will be able to participate in events for FREE!


What is your interest in The Sheltermaker Festival:



Add your proposed event using the Contact Form above.
Think in terms of events that last, at most, a morning or an afternoon.
Eco-Building On A Shoestring featuring the amazing peter-post and EconoSpace
Alternative Energy Systems – keeping off The Grid!
Permaculture – how to grow healthy food
Food Stocks – how store your harvest
Dowsing – an essential skill to allow you choose the perfect site!
Natural Paintmaking – creating healthy and environmentally friendly finishes for inside and out
Fire Cooking – how to make and use simple Rocket Stoves which use small sticks and branches
Invisible Architecture – exploring how the insides of buildings are like the insides of ourselves!
Wattle & Daubing – the simplest and most fun way to make a wall!
Clay Play – abundant, natural, healthy, versatile, cheap … is clay the ideal building material?
Composting – recycling waste naturally
Rainwater Harvesting & Storage – avoid those water charges!
Geomancy – the ancient art of selecting the perfect site for you and your life
How-to Haggle & Barter – exploring the New Economics
Bike Maintenance & Trailer Making – how to get around in a post-Peak Oil World
Consciousness Raising – why any of this matters!
Straight Talking – learning non-violent communication
Song & Dance – celebrating the joy of life
Meditation – the ultimate sustainable way to spend your time
Storytelling – Who are we? Where are we going? How do we plan to get there?
Film Screenings – a feast of Sheltermaking from around The Planet
Archaeology – exploring the roots of the Irish dwelling
Ritual Making – how to do it, why to do it and … doing it!
Plus lots more – add your 10c worth below!