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Report on Traditional Building Skills 2012

35 people attended the Traditional Building Skills Programme in Romania this year, coming from India, Germany, France, the UK and the USA. Working alongside Master Craftsman Henry Rumbold and John Munro of the Traditional Building Company, each participant took part in a busy programme of lectures, visits to UNESCO world heritage sites and physical repair work to medieval churches and cottages.

Henry Rumbold, the main tutor of the programme, says “The reason why these courses are unique are that they give the students the opportunity to work on some of the most prodigious buildings in Europe. From day one of the course students use their hands encouraging their minds to always focus on the simplest way forward to achieve their goals.”

Architects, craft apprentices and even a biological anthropologist took part in the programme, which as always is open to people of all abilities. According to Allison McSherry “Upon entering the course I only had a very basic surface knowledge of stone masonry and the proper techniques used in heritage. Going through the process of surveying and repairing an actual wall with the guidance and insight of our knowledgeable tutors has taught me more in two weeks than an entire semester in the classroom could have. I can guarantee I will never forget how to properly mix and beat lime mortar.”

Another participant, Jyoti Soni, is even planning to launch a similar programme run by INTBAU India to promote the use of traditional skills and local materials in the design and build of new urban developments. Jyoti describes the programmes “as an opportunity which has so far been one of the best experiences and short courses of my life. The programme also gave me a boost for my own little local projects to do more research and use appropriate building materials and techniques and be responsible towards my duties as an Architect.”

Registrations for the 2013 Traditional Building Skills programmes will open later this month. INTBAU and its partners will offer 6 weeks of training on-site in Transylvania to students of all levels. Syllabus includes: introduction to traditional tools & materials, geometry & proportions, lime work, stone masonry and structural repairs. Please contact Aura Woodward for further details.

Participants on the 2012 Traditional Building Skills Programme in Meschendorf, Romania.