Sheltermaking is all about living, sharing and, most of all, consciousness!

Sheltermaking is all about living, sharing and, most of all, consciousness!


Phew … this sustainable living is not easy stuff! The challenge is a good one however. I have just completed an interesting spell sans electricity!

Thanks to the kindness of neighbours and strangers the laptop and phone have been kept charged up and even my own batteries have had a boost or two to help me along.

It is easy to see why people do not wish to forego the ‘luxury’ the wired up life … much less gets done when working almost entirely by hand and you end up quite tired too! Hence, an advertising packed Sheltermaker!

So, why do it? Because it yields up such immense insight into life – and the peace and quiet is compelling.

As you can see from what follows I’m not luxuriating in the bliss of doing nothing but deep in hard yakka*!

Come along to some of these gigs and catch the dream yourself!
*Yakka – Aussie for hard work!

LAC hand-built windcharger

LAC hand-built windcharger


€1500 ONO

Irish made 1kw, 5 phase wind turbine with 2.5m diameter rotor designed by the legendary Hugh Piggott who has been building, flying and teaching about wind power for 25 years.
This turbine provides 24v DC output and is ideal as the basis of a small scale renewable energy system operating either off-grid or as a supplementary energy source.
The turbine has been developed for especially tough conditions and is easily serviceable. The generator rotor discs are steel with magnets set in fibreglass which rotate with the blades. The stator disc containing the windings is stationary and is set in fibreglass.
The tail boom, alternator bracket, fixtures and fittings are all made from stainless steel.
The 3 wooden blades are Austrian boat building larch. The tail is of the furling kind which means in very high winds the tail will ‘furl’ the turbine out of the wind and so decrease its speed.
Also included are a RIPEnergy SWING 300VA sinewave inverter; a 12m mast – in 2 sections [incl. gin pole]; new stabilising cables plus armour cable.

This turbine has been recently refurbished and is available for viewing near Drumsna, Co. Leitrim.

Contact Peter on 086 1022400 or eMail sheltermaker at to arrange a viewing. Reason for selling: I travel overseas quite bit and the turbine set-up is not ideal for that type of lifestyle.

LAC Studio3


The initial Playhouse gig took place on May 24th in the LAC Studio. It was a cracker!
An entirely new way of looking at and experiencing Living Architecture – that dynamic combination of life and architecture that makes your heart beat faster and open up myriad options as to how one can live more fully and meaningfully through direct engagement with the space+time which is at the heart of sheltermaking.

The next Playhouse events will take place on Saturdays June 7th and 28th.

FEES: €75; Unwaged €65; 2 people booking together €120

LAC Studio1
Do you recall playing ‘House’ when you were a child?
Remember how dreamlike it all was?

We at the Architecture Playhouse invite you to revisit that appealing place, to explore a fresh approach to architecture and to reinvigorate your dreaming.

Whether you are planning on constructing your dream home, long to start designing the perfect place for your self, whether you lay awake dreaming of how to avoid a mortgage … or if you simply want to reshape your current dwelling to the needs of your life, join us and enter the magic realm where dream and reality dance the dance of life – together.

To participate use this Contact Form or text 086 10 22 400

Erecting EconoSpace frame

Erecting EconoSpace frame


Alanna Moore and her giant cabbage

Alanna Moore and her giant cabbage

Deeply connecting to the land that sustained them, the Aboriginal people of Australia developed long song cycles that wove around the landscape and were sung by each land owner in turn. No-one knew the full story, but everyone was aware of the connectivity that the song bestowed on the land and its autonomous clans of land owners.

In modern days the beautiful songs of Aboriginal songwriter Kev Carmody elicit those same connections. ‘This Land is Mine’, is a classic where we hear that also ‘this land owns me’. (See his concert DVD ‘Cannot Buy my Soul’.)

Meanwhile in Africa the indigenous peoples have songs for every occasion, from sweeping the floor to songs for ceremonial occasions. Work becomes joyful when they sing together with traditional lyrics and common values as a wonderful glue for community wellbeing.

Likewise we can connect to the land and each other through songs. Not commercial or traditional songs of love and angst, and loss and mourning. We need to craft songs that inspire positivity and joy!

To craft songs and chants of one’s own and sing them as a blessing to the land, life and the community is the way to go!

A few years ago in Ireland I wrote a musical about ancient Irish harvest traditions and it was performed twice at a Fringe Festival. It was a great buzz to be involved with! I would love to find people interested to also learn and perform this ‘street opera’. Please make contact if you are!

You can also explore singing to the land at one of my Fairy Walks in Ireland this summer. You just need an open heart and good walking shoes!

The next date set is for Sunday June 29th, 2.30 – 5pm in south Co Leitrim. Enquiries – info at

Wednesday June 11th till Sunday June 15th

At: The Gyreum Ecolodge, Co. Sligo

Come for a day, 2 days, the whole time!
Get into the buzz of sheltermaking.
More than just building – it’s living!


Attend all 5 days €175; Attend 4 days €140; Attend 3 days €110; Attend 2 days €80; Attend 1 day €45


To participate use this Contact Form or text 086 10 22 400

Volunteers working on the LAC Studio

Volunteers working on the LAC Studio

SOME OF THE TOPICS TO BE COVERED IN THE WORKSHOP … covering the entire range of design/construction issues involved in creating your very own low-cost, low-impact natural shelter!

Overview of EconoSpaceMaking
Intro to peter-post jig, peter-posts, floor beams, etc.
Erection of frame incl. roof structure
Making+installing windows, doors and vents
How to install roofing
Clay-straw making
Clay plastering
Natural paint making + application
Harvesting+storing rainwater
Installing a simple solar water heating system
Making a compost toilet
Basic 12v electrical system design/installation

Workshop participants can also avail of a Special Offer of €40 [RRP €75] for The EconoSpaceMaking Course. This amazing resource will allow you to design and construct your own low-cost, low-impact EconoSpace on a shoestring budget!

Dunderry 2


JUNE Sat21

EcoBuilding On A Shoestring

JUNE Sun22




The art of clay plaster, render and paints by James Henderson

‘ … an extremely well written and easily understood practical manual’
Peter Hickson President, Earth Building Association of Australia

‘James Henderson has produced a little gem of a book that will, I am sure, be eagerly sought after by anyone who wants to know about clay and its uses in renders and plasters.’
Rob Hadden in Owner Builder magazine

Peter MudhouseI learned my clay skills from James Henderson and I was fortunate that Python Press asked me to edit his Earth Render manuscript!

A fine book it is too, even if I say so myself! I refer to it all the time.

Beautifully illustrated in full colour – awaken yourself to the joys of clay!





Do you ever dream of building your own natural home, growing some of your own food or imagine a life outside the fast lane?
Well here’s your chance to dip your toe in the water and to experience that kind of life.
Participate in some of these HandsOn Sheltermaking Workshops and you’ll not only get a flavour of this sort of life, but, like most people you’ll probably be amazed and inspired and learn a range of useful skills to boot!

All Workshops are configured to suit you!


EconoSpace Art Studio interior

EconoSpace Art Studio interior

Whatever takes your fancy – basic woodwork; peter-post making; making and using lightearth/clay-straw for walling and plastering; making and using natural paints and finishes; EconoSpace design+construction; veggie growing; compost making; communing with nature … wherever your dream takes you, you’ll find it all here at the beautiful hand-build LAC Studio near Drumsna, Co. Leitrim.


€50 per day/€200 per week per person. Fees include personal instruction, Notes and lunch.
Discounts available for 2 persons booking and attending together; for adults attending with young persons 12-17 yrs and for young adults 18-21 yrs. Free overnight accommodation options!
Participants will also have the option of following the Online Sheltermaker Course at a generous discount.

Peter Cowman gets hands-on with lightearth

Peter Cowman gets hands-on with lightearth

Living Architecture Centre

Living Architecture Centre


The Living Architecture Centre is committed to alternative economics, so if you are cash-strapped there is the possibility of trade and barter. Currently I need: A 21 speed ladies bicycle; plumbing supplies [pipes; fittings; water storage tanks; etc.]; a car sharing arrangement in Leitrim; assistance with metalworking – building some rocket stoves; graphic design services; publicity agent services; IT assistance; serviceable, secondhand, deep cycle batteries.

Contact the LAC with proposals.




– What you can create in your own back garden without needing planning permission.

Common Ground, Beverly Bags Studio

Church Terrace, Bray, Co Wicklow.
FRIDAY JULY 18th 7.30pm

Did you know that you can construct buildings up to 25 square meters floor area in your own back garden without planning permission!
Here are some suggestions for what you might build:

Art Studio
Guest Accommodation
Storage Room
Meditation Space
Home Office
Bath House
Garden Building
Computer Room
Site Office
Writers Retreat
Love Shack
Craft Room

AUGUST 9-10TH 2014 (Arrival/ Camping from 8th) Click here for more info
Brookfield Farm, Coolbawn, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary

Entry Price: €40/ €20 concession

The All Ireland Permaculture Gathering is an all Island Gathering of permaculture interested people from Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is about bringing people and ideas together who share a common interest in sustainable and ethical methods to building a better world.