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MIl-Tree’s Sanctuary Project brought community together to create a beautiful Earthbag structure at the Joshua Tree Lake RV and Campground. The structure was built using the tools of war— barbed wire and sandbags, in a process referred to as Earthbag construction. The base building materials are covered with plaster, and for Sanctuary, the plaster is inlaid with ceramic tiles. A metalwork sculpture within the structure functions as a center piece and serve as a podium area for speakers. This collaborative public art project is a gift to the community, and is intended to be used as a public gathering space for veterans, active duty and civilians. Possible uses for Sanctuary include speak-outs, meetings, celebrations, readings, marriages, meditation, lectures and more.

The Sanctuary Project was a collaborative public art project funded in part by the California Arts Council’s Veterans Initiative in the Arts grant. Mil-Tree’s partners in this project included Arts Connection: San Bernardino’s Arts Council, Joshua Tree Music Festival, Joshua Tree Lake RV and Campground, and Copper Mountain College.

Ceramic workshops

This workshop included rolling clay out into slabs, cutting into shaped tiles, then adding and impressing designs into the tiles. After firing them once, the tiles were glazed and re-fired.

Earthbag Construction Workshops

This workshop included working on building the structure of Sanctuary using a process known as Earthbag/Superadobe. It consisted of using local soil and small rocks, long tube sandbags and barbed wire; the tools of war.

Once the structure was in place, more workshops included plastering the structure, adding the tiles and painting the structure, and finally setting the metal sculpture in it’s designated place within the diameter of the structure.

Metal Workshops

This workshop, lead by Metal Artist Bobby Furst, included selecting metal objects from Furst’s extensive metal collection, prepping those objects and designing creative forms, welding and attaching them to the frame, which was then assembled at the site.

Ceremony and Celebration

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