Tag Archives: Art Retreats

Italy with Maverick Mosaics

3 May

The Divine, The Diva, and The David: Italy with Maverick Mosaics
September 25 – October 4, 2015
$3,595 per Person, Double Occupancy

Experience the splendor and magic of Italy with Maverick Mosaics as we open doors for you to learn, create and laugh. Get ready to enjoy a rich and memorable week of mosaics, history, culture, great food, and hands-on art projects. From the Vatican to Niki de Saint Phalle’s Tarot Garden to the treasures of Florentine Art this will be an amazing one of a kind adventure.

Art Retreats ItalyOur trip will focus on mosaic art in the cities of Rome, Florence and the Tuscan region. Upon your arrival in Rome you will visit famous “must sees” including the Coliseum and Roman Square, but surely the highlight will be our private visit to the Vatican and its Mosaic Studio where mosaic artisans restore, create and fabricate mosaics for installation worldwide. We spend 3 days exploring Rome, visiting cathedrals, Basilica’s and archeological sites. A private classical Italian cooking class will top off our time in Rome and replace the calories you burned walking the city!

From Rome our private coach takes us through the Tuscan countryside to our first stop, the exotic sculpture garden of Niki de Saint Phalle. The Tarot Garden is comprised of several large-scale mosaic sculptures, and something you have to see to believe. While in this rural area you will have a unique “cowboy” lunch experience at a local family farm followed by a stop at the Saturnia Hot Springs. We travel on to explore the medieval towns of Siena and San Gimigano. You will visit the famous alabaster studio of Volterra where in this magical atmosphere we will watch artisans work with this luminescent and unique stone. It’s always a treat to visit mosaic artists, and the studio of Albo Mazzetti will open their doors to us. Albo has been creating masterworks for countless installations throughout the world for over 30 years and his Tuscan studio will be a memorable experience.

Art Retreats ItalyIn Florence we visit some must-sees including the Uffizi Gallery and Galleria dell’ Accademia, both outstanding collections of Renaissance masterpieces. And of course there will be time with “David” and time to take in the Florence Duomo Complex, which includes the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Santa Reparata Excavation, the Florence Baptistery and the Museum of the Opera del Duomo.

Another studio visit, and an unforgettable experience, is a hands-on workshop at the artistic studio of the Masters Iacopo and Bruno Lastrucci guaranteed to satisfy lovers of mosaic and stone. We will learn about “Florentine commesso”, a particular kind of mosaic, developed in the 16th century in Florence. Pietra dura (literally, “hard stone”) and semi-precious stones are used in these designs. Only in Florence do the few great masters continue to produce works of art using the technique. Special tools are used and the craftsmanship is beyond compare.

Time will be included for you to leisurely discover the cafes and shops along Florence’s famous Ponte Vecchio.

Our Florence accommodations will be at Villa il Poggiale, a manor house just outside the city. After a long day of learning and exploring you can relax with a dip in the villa’s pool or savor a drink in the garden. We will have a gourmet meal prepared for us at the villa and dine like kings and queens in Italian splendor during our stay.

This trip is designed for adults and space is limited to ensure an intimate and personal experience.

Many of the adventures and excursions on Maverick trips are UNIQUE, one-of-a-kind opportunities with some components not available to the public. We offer hassle free travel, English speaking escorts and university educated guides, wonderful accommodations, and street-level cultural engagement anchored in the world of art and architecture. We plan on making keepsake art-work along the way in workshops lead by local artisans.

Maverick’s inaugural Art Camp trip to France in June 2013 and our recently completed adult adventure to Spain were amazing, thanks in large part to the expertise and planning of our travel and logistics partner A La Carte Travel. A La Carte Travel is this nation’s leader in exclusively providing educational institutions with affordable access to learning opportunities abroad, and Maverick Mosaics qualifies as an educational institution. Hassle free travel is paramount, ground transportation and transfers are included, no waiting in lines for scheduled tours and we have English speaking escorts and guides traveling with us. A La Carte Travel promotes the values of understanding the world we live in through experiencing and learning about different cultures. With over 18 years of experience organizing educational tours, A La Carte Travel is the perfect partner with Maverick Mosaics for this unique travel and learning adventure.

Click here for a detailed itinerary and to register. A La Carte Travel – Italy.

Cost is $3,595 per person. Price includes lodging, all admission fees, ground transportation, (workshops, cooking class, olive oil and wine tastings), full-time English-speaking escort, daily breakfast, special meals as described on detailed itinerary. Price also includes a special gourmet meal at the Tuscan Villa and a closing farewell dinner in Rome. Price does not include airfare and is based on double occupancy.

For anyone traveling from Washington, DC (Dulles Airport) we are researching group airfares that will be below market rate. If you are in the DC area, or wish to depart as a part of the DC group contact us.

Learn more about Bonnie here.

Learn more about Maverick Mosaics here.

Exploring France with Bonnie Fitzgerald and Maverick Mosaics

1 Feb

France: Back to the Future & Forward to the Past
with Bonnie Fitzgerald and Maverick Mosaics.
June 27 – July 6, 2015
$2,995 Double Occupancy
A 4 day add-on option available to explore Paris more deeply

Get ready to enjoy a rich and memorable week of history, culture, art through the ages, great food, hands-on art projects, and yes a little technology, as we explore humankind’s cultural past and a glimpse into our future.

Art RetreatsOur trip will focus on art and cultural achievements through the ages. You will visit the Perigord region of France (southwest) and go “forward to the past” as we experience some of the oldest know artistic expressions on earth, the famous Caves of Lascaux (Paleolithic-Stoneage). Continuing forward into the past we visit the Medieval fortified town of Carcassonne. Going “back to the future” we visit the contemporary art museum of Toulouse-Lautrec, the celebrated market of Sarlat and much more. There will be wine tastings, special meals and private and exclusive entry to archeological sites as we experience moments in art and culture spanning 17,000 years! Our trip begins and ends with time in Paris where we will lunch at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, visit museums and get a taste of the “City of Light.”

Art Retreats FranceFrom Paris we train to Toulouse and via our private coach travel to Carcassonne, the second most visited site in all of France after the Eiffel Tower. The site of Carcassonne has been occupied since Neolithic times and retained as a medieval fortified town well into the 16th century. It is an architectural marvel and has been restored to its medieval splendor. You will visit the towns of Albi and Sarlat, both known for their architecture and market shopping. We’ll have a wine tasting at a family owned vineyard and farm, visit art galleries, cathedrals, castles and several museums.

Cave Art FranceThe caves of Lascaux have been referred to as the prehistoric equivalent of the Sistine Chapel. Our visit to Lascaux includes private access and tour of the Fac Similé of Lascaux IV. Additionally, you will enjoy a day in Castle Merle, a prehistoric site renowned for 10 authentic prehistoric rock shelters dating back 35,000 years, and these cave dwellings include original sculptures from the period.

Art Retreats FranceOptional workshops are offered along the way for all participants, both kids and adults, including painting in caves (after learning to mix paint pigments), carving a limestone sculpture (after having your artists tools made in front of you!), and a visit with a local mosaic artist to create your own unique broken pieces souvenir. There will be opportunities to try on a suit of armor, sip coffee in a village while soaking in the local color, and wander through the grape vines of a family owned vineyard. At the end of our adventure we train back to Paris for one last night together and a special Bon Voyage dinner.

This trip is open to a multi-generation audience, adults and children ages 10+ with parents or guardian. Maverick Mosaics provides chaperone service for children 15+ who wish to travel without an adult. Contact us for more details.

Art Retreats FranceWhat does multi-generation mean? At Maverick Mosaics we believe strongly in the benefits of teaching the young as well as the young at heart. Young people bring an energy and unbiased view to our world.  What kinds of children will be on the trip? At this writing we cannot say, but on our previous trip we had children along who were filled with curiosity, humor and good manners. Some were in high school, others were college students and another had just received her masters degree. A parent must accompany children under 15. If you wish to travel with like-minded people, and the subjects and locations we are exploring on this trip interest you, then this adventure is designed for you.

An optional 4 day add-on in Paris and surrounding sites will be available. Contact us if this interests you. We will decide what additional sites to visit with input from participants.

Art Retreats FranceMany of the adventures on Maverick trips are UNIQUE, one-of-a-kind opportunities with many components not available to the public. We offer hassle free travel, English speaking escorts and university educated guides, wonderful accommodations, and street-level cultural engagement based in the world of art and architecture. We plan on making souvenir art-work along the way in workshops lead by local artisans, and enjoy professionally led wine tastings and fine food sampling.

Cost is $2,995 per person. Price includes lodging, all admission fees, ground transportation, daily breakfast, 3 lunches, closing farewell dinner and Escort fees. Price does not include airfare and is based on double occupancy.

For anyone traveling from Washington, DC (Dulles Airport) we are currently holding an airline reservation round trip to/from Paris $1,170 per person. More details here. Learn more about Maverick Mosaics here.

Make Your Own Workshop: Mexico with Carol Shelkin

27 Sep

TWO DATES:

Make Your Own Mosaic Workshop with Carol Shelkin
Puerta Vallarta, Mexico
November 30 – December 6, 2014
 (a couple of spots left)
$1521 Double Occupancy

OR

February 15 – 21, 2015
$1521 Double Occupancy

Work in Mosaic Realism, Tempered Glass  or Your Choose Your Own Project
Two NEW week-long workshops to choose from — second week added by popular demand!

Join Carol Shelkin for seven days and six nights at Hacienda Mosaico, a private, luxurious hacienda in Puerto Vallarta just 15 minutes from the airport by private cab. You’ll be enchanted with the most wonderful breakfast and hearty lunch served poolside amid tropical gardens. Enjoy a replay of summer days in winter, without the humidity. We’ll enjoy daytime meals prepared by our personal chef, then venture out for dinners together.  Ample studio time will be provided, and massages are available on site. This is my fifth year going to this ARTful Retreat and I wouldn’t want you to miss it!

Workshop:
Carol Shelkin Mosaics
Mosaic is unique to every student, and the goal in this workshop is to direct and assist each student to develop, find their own style, and create a beautiful work of art. You’ll learn to develop an eye for mosaic and create a line drawing in realism, work with Tempered Glass, or choose another personal mosaic to work on. There will be comprehensive PowerPoint presentations and students will begin work on a mosaic of their choosing. You may bring your own photographic-model or choose from those provided. Please contact the instructor for instructions. If you choose to work in Tempered Glass, you’ll complete a mosaic using the overlaying, collage techniques with metallic papers, tissue, foils, glitter, beads and more, creating abstract art with these recycled materials. Bring your photos, personal invitations, and/or mementos to be embedded forever in art.  No experience necessary.

Optional Day Trips:
Our group will have the option to travel in comfort by large, air-conditioned van for a visit to Sayulita, a quaint Pacific Coast town north of the city to visit Mexican markets and shops. We’ll have dinner at a beach restaurant, visit art galleries, and shop on the El Malecon in downtown Puerto Vallarta. And of course the beach is just a ten minute walk from the hacienda.

Lodgings:
Carol Shelkin Mosaics
From Host Sam Leonard: “Hacienda Mosaico is a completely walled, private property with an outdoor eating area around a gorgeous pool.  Everywhere you look, from the painted rugs and furniture to the mosaic steps, benches and tables and adornment hanging from the trees, you’ll be enthralled with creativity.

We have a lush, tropical location and a real ARTretreat experience in this space. It’s a great place to teach, learn and create, and a very accessible destination that offers international flavor and style. Can you imagine healthy meals being served poolside in a private, tropical setting? We have breakfast and lunch suited to your dietary needs.

Unlike a hotel, Hacienda Mosaico is a private retreat and art center filled with mosaic art. Our electricity is the same as the US, so your hair dryers, battery chargers, etc. will all work here without converters. Water in Puerto Vallarta has been awarded a certification of purity for over fourteen years, one of only two cities in Mexico that can boast such accomplishment. However bottled water is available at the Hacienda.”

Summary:
Retreat Price:
$1,521. 00 (based on double occupancy).
Single Supplement available at a higher fee.

Lodging: 6 nights & 7 days ( Arrive Sunday – depart Saturday )
Mosaic Art Instruction: 5 days
Unlimited Open Studio: 24/7.

Carol Shelkin MosaicsMeals Included by the hacienda’s Personal Chef: Sunday evening welcome reception, 5 full breakfasts & 5 lunches served poolside in a tropical setting, and a Saturday departure brunch. Optional dinner together at local restaurants and cafes. Optional Tours of the Botanical Gardens and Sayulita and a Wednesday night Gallery crawl on the El Malecon by the beach.

Students are responsible for bringing their own tools and supplies. Materials list & instructions on packing will be sent after registration.

Free Time:
Two optional excursions will be available, including dinner at the beach, gallery crawl/or sightseeing and Mexican market in Sayulita.

Carol Shelkin Mosaics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Register:
Please contact Sam at info@haciendamosaico.com.

For More Information about the Instructor:
Website: www.carolshelkinmosaics.com

For Questions: Email carol.shelkin@yahoo.com

Chat with me anytime on FACEBOOK: Carol Shelkin Mosaics

 

Fine Print:
Trip insurance is strongly advised. This “plain language” tutorial will explain travel insurance so you can easily find the right plan: Travel Insurance 101: How to Protect Your Vacation.

Mixed Media Mosaics in Mexico with Heather Vollans

26 Aug

Mixed Media Mosaics in Mexico with Heather Vollans
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
April 12 – 18, 2015
$1500

Class Description

Mosaic Workshop MexicoThis mosaic class is all about working with unconventional materials and textures.  We’ll think “non-traditionally”  about what materials work for mosaic, and then produce a mixed media artwork using perhaps aluminum, copper, plastics, linoleum, wood, tire rubber, or beach detritus as well as the more usual mosaic materials such as tile/ceramic/glass.

Early in the week we’ll explore the streets of Puerto Vallarta — including hardware stores, markets and miscellaneous shops scouring for texture. Bring from home anything you would also like to include in your mosaic – metals, jewellery, plastics etc.  This class will particularly appeal to those who have a passion for unusual texture and love to collect.   You may choose to grout or leave your work ungrouted (or use a combination of both).   Acrylic paints can also be used to finish frames or incorporate into your mixed media work. Textured thinset is also an option.

Mosaic Workshop MexicoInstruction will include where to salvage for unusual objects, what to look for, what to avoid!!, and how to use those textures for creative designs.  Learn to see ordinary materials as possibilities for textural interest …copper pipe is not just for plumbing and linoleum is not just for floors!  We’ll talk about how to combine as few as 1-2 materials and, using a variety of cutting and design techniques, produce an effective mosaic.  Cutting instruction, adhesives, and tesserae will be discussed.  Class will also include techniques for cutting traditional mosaic materials for adding dimension, line, graduation of colour, etc.  Recipes for colouring thinset and grout will be included and take-home notes provided.  Wooden substrate will be provided, with extra bases available for additional work.  This course is suitable for those new to mosaic as well as those with some experience who want to explore “non-traditional” methods and materials.

Mosaic Workshop MexicoThere will also be extensive discussion about mosaic for outdoors – for climates colder than Mexico!  What adhesives work, what materials to use, substrates that work, and much more.

So start thinking about some ordinary things you could use for your mosaic — textural plastics, metals — whatever.  Be inspired by the art surrounding the beautiful tropical paradise of Sam’s Hacienda Mosaico, and create your own art with like-minded friends who love to salvage and re-purpose materials.  Enjoy incredible food, camaraderie and relaxed atmosphere at Hacienda Mosaico and go home inspired to do even more art!

Student List of Tools and Materials required for the class will be provided at registration.
Instructor to Supply:  Substrates, acrylic paints, rags, trowels, thinset/grout and powdered pigments.

 

$1500 Cost Includes

  • 5 Days Instruction
  • 6 Nights Accommodation at Hacienda Mosaico,  Based on Double Occupancy
  • Breakfast and Lunch Included on Workshop Days
  • Substrates, Acrylic Paints, Rags, Trowels, Thinset, Grout, Pigments

Mosaic Workshop MexicoNot Included:

  • Airfare or Airport Transfers
  • Travel Insurance (Strongly Recommended)
  • Dinners
  • Scavenged Materials from Mexico
  • Tools and Materials (list provided at registration)

 

About Hacienda Mosaico

Check out the sumptuous surroundings here.

 

Mosaic Workshop MexicoAbout Heather

Heather Vollans is an Australian mosaic artist working in Southern Ontario, Canada.  A background in construction led to Heather’s exploration of ordinary materials salvaged from job sites and how to use them in artwork. She now mostly works with unconventional mosaic materials to create mixed media artworks, with much of her work created for exteriors in Northern climates.  Her professional work includes public art, community projects, private commissions and exhibitions.  Teaching experience includes colleges, in schools and at local galleries. Read more about Heather here. Contact Heather here.

Mosaic Kaleidoscope: Exploring Color, Inspiration and Creativity with Laurel True

16 Jul

Mosaic Kaleidoscope: Exploring Color, Inspiration and Creativity
with Laurel True
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
November 9 – 15, 2014
$1850

Mosaic Workshop MexicoIn this five-day workshop artist Laurel True will guide students through an inspirational week of creative exploration as they create a colorful, kaleidoscopic, radial mosaic that reflects their personal style and inspiration.  A kaleidoscope in its traditional form creates a symmetrical pattern of color and radiance through the placement and reflection of mirror and glass. Students will repurpose this concept under the guidance of True, as they design and create a 18” round kaleidoscopic mosaic using their choice of colored and stained glass, mirror, fused glass elements and more. True will demonstrate the use of various tools to achieve desired cuts and shapes, and offer tips for precision setting techniques for grouted and non-grouted mosaics. Various exercises will encourage students to stretch their creative potential and run with their inspirations as they explore color, materials and texture.  This unique workshop will focus both on mosaic creation and identifying and bringing into form our creative desires, opening participants to a more cosmic approach to art-making.

Mosaic Workshop MexicoThe final day of the workshop will include the group-creation of a Global Mosaic Project with participation by workshop participants and Hacienda Mosaico staff. The class will create a small mosaic kaleidoscope mural to be installed at Hacienda Mosaico, thus giving students a chance to experience personal and collective mosaic-making, as well as mosaic creation on both intimate and larger scales.

Optional Excursions Include:

Trip to Syulita, a celebratory dinner on the beach, a gallery stroll, and fabulous dinners out in Puerto Vallarta.

All levels. No art or mosaic experience necessary.

Cost: $1,850

Mosaic Workshop MexicoCost Includes:

  • 6 nights lodging at Hacienda Mosaico (based on double occupancy)
    Breakfast and Lunch Daily
  • 5 Days Mosaic Instruction
  • Participation in Global Mosaic Project

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Dinners
  • Personal Expenses

Mosaic Workshop MexicoLearn More:

Learn more about Laurel here. Learn more about Hacienda Mosaico here.

For Information and Registration:

Contact Sam: info@haciendamosaico.com

Mexico with Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art

14 Jul

Mosaic Retreat with Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art
Todos Santos, Mexico
December 7 – 13, 2014
$1699

 

Mosaic Workshop Mexico

If you missed this fabulously spirited retreat last winter, please join us December 7 – 13, 2014. Join Tami Macala in Todos Santos, Mexico  for a lot of sea, a lot of sand, and a riot of color.

Mosaic Workshop MexicoImagine creating art with spectacular ocean views to inspire you, beautiful gardens and pools to relax you, and a personal chef to prepare gourmet meals to sustain you. This is just the beginning of the Todos Santos mosaic art retreat.

You’ll spend one full week creating mosaic art in one of the most creative and peaceful settings on the Baja Peninsula, the pueblo magico of Todos Santos. The accommodations for this retreat will be at the beautiful boutique hotel, Los Colibris Casitas. Los Colibris has 4 wonderfully inviting casitas, each with comfortable beds, great bathrooms and private patios from which you can enjoy the amazing scenery and ocean views. The infinity pool and hot tub are great for star gazing and observing the humpback and grey whales that are often visitors at this time of year.

Mosaic Workshop MexicoDuring this mosaic art retreat each participant will work on a flat 3D shape, using your own found objects, sentimental pieces, millefiori, mirror and stained glass. We’ll learn how to work with tinted mortar/thinset and grout. Participants will also learn how to embed the colorful pieces into the mortar to create a color gradation while not using grout. Grout will be used on the edges of the piece, and we’ll learn to tint that as well. Once mastered, this process is easy to reproduce at home.

Mosaic Workshop MexicoTodos Santos is an artist colony on the Tropic of Cancer, just one hour north of Cabo San Lucas, but an entire world away. Nestled next to 70 miles of pristine, undeveloped beach, Todos Santos is famous for the remarkable quality of its light, which drew the first American artists from Taos in the 1980s. Since then artists of all stripes and nationalities have populated the town, which is a charming reflection of their passions with wonderful restaurants, art galleries, and shops. The people of Todos Santos are warm and welcoming, and love sharing the pleasures of their hometown with visitors. The beaches of nearby Pescadero and Cerritos are added bonuses.This retreat SOLD OUT in March, and attendance for this session will be a maximum of 8.
Cost:  $1,699.00, Based on Double Occupancy

Price Includes:

  • Airport Transfer on Arrival and Departure (within time frames)
  • 6 Nights Lodging at Los Colibris
  • Sunday Evening Welcome Reception
  • 5 Full Breakfasts & 5 Lunches Poolside by Local Chef Iker
  • Refreshing Agua Fresca throughout the Work Day
  • Evening Transportation into Town
  • Partial Materials for Mosaic Piece
  • Instruction: 5 Days from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.  More work time will be available if desired.

Price Does Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Dinners
  • Optional Excursions
  • Travel Insurance

Mosaic Workshop MexicoYou’ll have plenty of free time to explore Todos Santos and its surrounding areas. Popular activities include hiking, beach walks, whale watching, gallery strolls, shopping. Optional excursions can be booked through Todos Santos Eco Adventures. Massage and yoga are offered at Los Colibris (Los Colibris’ yoga deck sits at the highest point of the property on the tropic of cancer, and has one of the most amazing views of the Pacific). Room selections will be made in order of full payments received.
Websites to check out:

Los Colibris Hotel

Todos Santos Eco Adventures

Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art

Mosaic Workshop Mexico

To Register or for More Information:

Contact Tami by email, or call 805.703.4291.
Fine Print:

  • Deposit of $850 (1/2) may be made through PayPal (2.5% more will be added to the total using PayPal) or check.
  • Material, tool list & instructions on packing will be sent after registration.
  • Payment in full must be completed by September 1, 2014.
  • Cancellation and refund policy:  All cancellations are subject to a 20% handling fee. For reservations canceled less than 90 days before the workshop, 50% is refundable. If canceled less than 60 days before the workshop, 25% is refundable. If canceled less than 45 days before the workshop, fee is non-refundable.  Should the retreat be canceled for any reason the entire amount paid will be refunded within fourteen days after the retreat’s cancellation. Instructors have no obligation regarding any additional costs or fees related to the issuance and/or cancellation of airline tickets or other travel reservations. Instructors and Los Colibris accept no liability for any airline cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a non-refundable ticket or for canceled flights.  Travel Insurance is recommended.  All workshop participants should consider purchasing Trip Cancellation, Emergency Medical Evacuation, Baggage, Accident and Medical insurance from a reputable insurance company. More about travel insurance here.

Mosaic Workshop MexicoAbout Tami:

I’m a professional mosaic artist and teacher. I have been creating art all my life, and mosaic art for almost 20 years. In 2009 I started the Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art based on my love for mosaics and a desire to share my passion with other creative people. I’ve vacationed in Todos Santos several times in the past two years and have stayed at Los Colibris each trip.  I love the rustic and quaint feeling of Todos Santos, and Los Colibris is the perfect location for the accommodations and creating a wonderful environment for this mosaic retreat.

Wine, Chocolate and Mosaics in Provence with Laurel True and Valerie Nicoladze

12 May

Wine, Chocolate and Mosaics
with Laurel True and Valerie Nicoladze
Provence, France
August 31- September 6, 2014
Cost: $2700

Provence Wine and Chocolate Tour

Immerse yourself in this specifically curated trip and tour that will inspire your senses, taste buds and your creativity. Enjoy the late summer light and earthy pigments of Provence, farm to table food, wine tasting, exploration of local markets and exhibits, and time to create at Esprit Mosaique Studio in the heart of the wine-growing regions of southern France.

French wine and chocolate are the perfect accompaniments to creative exploration, and this trip is a creative and gustatory journey into the heart of Provence. Spend a week with like-minded seekers interested in insider-track travel and experiencing the hidden gems of the region, guided by locals showing you their home.

This retreat combines world class wineries and purveyors of fine chocolates, medieval villages, Provencal markets and private gardens with art. We’ll spend relaxing mornings or afternoons in the studio with espresso or wine, and all things chocolate. Each participant will work according to their experience level.

Laurel Provence Wine Chocolate 3

All materials will be provided, as well as one-on-one guidance from bilingual teaching artists with a combined 35 years experience, Laurel and Valerie. Students will enjoy a guided exploration of materials and color through the creation of small mosaic projects to take home. No experience with art or mosaics is required for this workshop!

This is a wonderful opportunity spend time in community with others passionate about experiential travel and creative expression. Participants will leave Provence feeling like family, having shared food, wine, stories and community creation. We’ve intentionally included plenty of time for socializing, celebration and time to enjoy the moment.

The tour will include  the spectacular medieval architecture of Gigondas in the Dauphine Region, the breathtaking views at the ancient aqueducts of Pont du Gard, and the Provincial market of Uzez and to Carrieres des Ocres, where we’ll immerse ourselves in the breathtaking earth pigments of these former ocher quarries and shop for natural pigments to use in the studio during a lesson specially focused on the use of earth pigments and mosaic. Also included are visits to world-famous Chateauneuf de Pape and Tavel Wineries for special educational wine tastings and a special private tasting. We’ll end our time together with a final afternoon meal eating local, Provencal food in the middle of a vineyard.

Laurel Provence Wine Chocolate 2

Details:

Cost: $2700
Location: Esprit Mosaique, Villeneuve de Avignon, Provence

Includes:
Mosaic workshop instruction
Accommodations for 8 nights (based on double occupancy, we can help coordinate)
Breakfast and lunches
Tuesday night family BBQ
Thursday night couscous dinner
Transportation from train station or Avignon airport and to and from workshop
All touristic visits to markets and exhibits
All wine tastings

Cost Does Not Include:
Flight, dinners (except Tuesday and Thursday) and personal expenses.

To Register: Please e-mail Valerie Nicoladze at espritmosaique@free.fr. For more information, contact Valerie or email Laurel.

Laurel Provence Wine Chocolate 7

Group Leaders:

Valerie’s 40 years living and creating in Provence give her a unique insider view that she is offering exclusively to participants of this first-time offered tour. She has created a welcoming and colorful studio, Esprit Mosaique
Studio, where participants will spend time exploring color, texture and the inspirations of Provence.

Laurel (on left) is a world traveler, teacher and professional mosaic artist with 25 years experience, who brings her unique style of exploring the world through art and culture to participants. She is co-founder of the Institute of
Mosaic Art in California, Principle at True Mosaics Studio and Founding Director of The Global Mosaic Project.

Itinerary:
Sunday, August 31
Participants arrive and get settled in Hotel de Atelier
Studio Orientation and Intros at Esprit Mosaique Studio.
Evening: Free (get over your jet lag and gear up for a great week ahead!)
Monday, September 1
Morning: Mosaic Session at Esprit Mosaique Studio
Lunch at Restaurant La Strada
Afternoon: Studio Instruction and Work Time; Evening: Welcome Dinner in Avignon
Tuesday, September 2
Morning: Carrieres des Ocres: Color Study of Natural Pigments in the Landscape
Lunch at Roussillion Restaurant
Afternoon: Visit Village for Natural Pigments at Local Market; Evening: Free
Wednesday, September 3
Morning: Mosaic Session, Lesson in Use of Natural Pigments with Mosaic
Lunch at Restaurant La Strada
Afternoon: Atelier Wine and Chocolate Tasting; Evening: Wine tasting at Taval Winery
Thursday, September 4
Morning: Wine Tasting Tour, Visit to Chateauneuf du Pape
Lunch at Cave Chateauneuf du Pape
Afternoon: Visit to Gigondas Beaumes de Venise;  Evening: Free
Friday, September 5
Morning: Visit to Uzes and UNESCO World Heritage Site Pont du Gard
Lunch at Restaurant Pont du Gard
Afternoon: Last Studio Session and Wrap Up;  Evening: Wine and Cheese Garden Party at Valerie’s
Saturday, September 6
Morning: Visit to Village de Provence for Last Minute Shopping
Lunch: To conclude our week together we will enjoy an incredible late lunch in the middle of a
vineyard, enjoying the outdoors and each other with champagne, chocolate, French cheese,
charcuterie and more. Goodbyes and departure!

Navigating Airfares: Knowing When to Buy

24 Mar

Low Airfare YipsWhen I first started doing my own research and finding my own best fares, it was a pretty peachy thrill. I felt so in control. The world was my oyster, and I could grab a ticket to explore it with a few taps of my fingers. Possibilities were spilling open, and yet … in retrospect, the decisions were pretty simple. Online sites were few (expedia), flights were many, and pricing made some sense. Now, well … things have changed.

I still love dreaming up a getaway and making it happen, but I confess that my finger trembles a bit more while hovering over the Confirm button. Am I saving a bundle or blowing one? Should I wait to book tomorrow, or was last week my last best chance?

I was happy for a little hand holding by Airfare Watchdog this week in the form of their 2014 guide to booking Low. Check it out, and plan something lovely.

Mosaic Artists Take Over Touchstone Retreat Center!

12 Jan

Mosaic WorkshopsTouchstone, a craft and retreat center in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania, has invited a full slate of mosaic artists to teach in 2014.

Instructor: Rachel Sager
May 16–19

Building Stories in Stone: Contemporary Mosaic in a Geologic Medium (Intensive)
All Levels | $300 Plus Selected Housing/Meal Plan
Extended Weekend Workshop

Instructor: Rachel Sager
August 10 – 16, 2014

Building Stories in Stone: Contemporary Mosaic in a Geologic Medium (Immersive)
Instructor: Rachel Sager
All Levels | $500 + Selected Lodging/Meal Plan
Weeklong Workshop

Rachel Sager WorkshopAre you ready for adventures in the creeks, hills, and valleys of Touchstone’s woodland campus? Join award-winning and internationally exhibited mosaic artist, teacher, and speaker, Rachel Sager, in her journey into the magic of sourcing local Southwestern Pennsylvania stone and transforming it into elegant tesserae, the building blocks of mosaic. This extended weekend intensive will cover building a sturdy substrate, mixing and applying high-quality thin-set mortar, cutting with hammer and hardie, the classic tool of the Italian mosaic maestros, and learning the nuances of andamento, the flow and pathways of mosaic. The field trip part of the workshop will include Rachel’s singular process of hunting and gathering for her material. This will be a challenging but also contemplative workshop, and students will learn valuable cutting skills along with mosaic philosophy. You will leave with a 12 x 12-inch mosaic, but more important, you will take home specific knowledge of an ancient medium translated into a contemporary format.

Rachel’s bio and class schedule can be found here for the May Intensive, and here for the August Immersive. Learn more about Rachel’s work here. Lodging/Meal Plans here.

May 23–26
Realistic Flower Mosaics
Instructor: Yulia Hanansen
All Levels | $300 + Selected Lodging/Meal Plan
Extended Weekend Workshop

Yulia Hanansen WorkshopLearn to translate images of flowers into realistic and powerful mosaic statements in this extended weekend workshop. To create flower mosaic, students may work in a traditional mosaic layout or master an exciting and visually effective “brush-stroke” technique that Yulia uses for her own flower portraits. Materials and techniques are discussed in-depth with demonstrations given in groups and individually. Stained glass is used as a primary material for this project with instructions provided on how to cut, shape, and lay out the pieces. Students also explore color and composition in mosaic arts. The workshop concludes with instructions on grouting and a group discussion on the made pieces.

Yulia’s bio and workshop schedule can be found here. Learn more about her work here. Lodging/Meal Plans here.

May 30–June 2
Exterior Mosaics
Instructor: Bonnie Fitzgerald
All Levels | $300 + Selected Lodging/Meal Plan
Extended Weekend Workshop

Bonnie Fitzgerald WorkshopThis workshop covers everything you need to know about creating professional permanent mosaics to withstand moisture and freeze-thaw cycles in exterior environments. Workshop lectures will include important information about selecting appropriate materials, substrates, and fixatives that will endure weather year round. We begin Friday evening with a picture presentation and lecture covering technical considerations and design principles. We will spend a portion of the workshop experimenting with both stained glass and ceramic tiles suitable for exterior use. You will make 2 small experimental/prototype pieces, one in glass and the other in ceramic. These exercises are a valuable experience in cutting and designing. We will then embark on our larger project on Saturday.

Bonnie’s bio and workshop schedule can be found here. Learn more about her work here. Lodging/Meal Plans here.

July 27–August 2
Strata Chroma: Mosaic High (Relief) and Deep (Color)
Kelley Knickerbocker & Erin Pankratz-Smith
All Levels | $500/+ Selected Lodging/Meal Plan
Weeklong Workshop

Erin Pankratz Smith WorkshopThis workshop is geared to interest and challenge students of all levels of mosaic experience.

You will first learn to build and rig your own durable, lightweight 2D mosaic substrates, incorporating pigmented cement in an adventurous exploration of color merging, layering, and texture. Next you will learn to recognize/create/exploit ideal joins of angle, height, size, and shape of a wide variety of black materials – both natural and manmade – for various visual effects, and then experiment with setting each into colorful cement mortars. Finally, using the strata format as a compositional framework, students will incorporate all they’ve learned into the construction of a small mosaic on their handmade substrates.

Their first collaborative artwork, I’m Pervious, built-in 2013, combined Kelley’s achromatic leanings and stratified-high-relief-materials approach with Erin’s saturated color aesthetic and birthed the idea for their ”Strata Chroma” workshop. 2014’s ”Strata Chroma” workshop marks the beginning of their collaboration as educators.

Kelley and Erin’s bios as well as a schedule for the workshop can be found here. Learn more about Kelley’s work here and Erin’s work here. Lodging/Meal Plans here.

Instructor: Carol Shelkin
September 5–7, 2014

Tempered Glass Mosaics
All Levels | $200 + Selected Lodging/Meal Plan
Weekend Workshop

Carol Shelkin WorkshopLearn how to create glittering mosaic art mixing collage with mosaic techniques using “Tempered Glass.” Tempered glass – also known as “Crash Glass” and “Safety Glass” is used to create mosaic art and architectural installations. A presentation showing examples of some of the finest works in Tempered Glass will be shown. You will learn to develop a jewel-like surface for both interior and exterior installations; and you will complete a mosaic using an overlaying technique with metallic papers, tissue, foils, glitter, photos, wordage, and more. You are encouraged to bring a variety of small paper images, photos, embellishments, and/or text to include in your mosaic. This is the perfect medium to permanently incorporate printed imagery!

Carol’s bio and workshop schedule can be found here. Learn more about her work at here. Lodging/Meal Plans here.

Instructor: Cynthia Fisher
September 19 – 21, 2014

Glass Mosaics
Cynthia Fisher WorkshopAll Levels: $200 + Selected Lodging/Meal Plan
Weekend Workshop

Mosaics are a medium one can readily learn at a workshop, and then continue with at home with minimal investment in tools and materials. You will learn about (1) the rich history of mosaics materials, (2) tools and substrates, (3) a variety of methods of mosaic assembly with the major focus on the indirect method, and (4) color and the mosaic palette and how tile shape creates visual texture. Lecture time will be kept to a minimum, and there will be an emphasis on one-on-one guidance, maximizing individual interests.

Cynthia is eager to share her considerable knowledge and experience working in the medium of glass mosaics, from artistic considerations unique to mosaic to architectural installations. Cynthia’s bio and workshop schedule can be found here. Learn more about her work here. Lodging/Meal Plans here.

Mosaic Workshop in Provence with Laurel True and Valerie Nicoladze

21 Feb

Lavender in ProvenceMosaic Workshop in Provence
with Laurel True and Valerie Nicoladze
June 23 – 29, 2013

$1900

Immerse yourself in an educational trip and tour that will leave you inspired and creatively invigorated for the rest of the year! Enjoy the lavender in bloom, farm to table food, wine tasting, exploration of local markets and exhibits, and time to create in an inspiring studio environment.

Laurel True WorkshopJoin professional mosaic artists and educators Laurel True and Valerie Nicoladze at Valerie’s Esprit Mosaique Studio in Avignon, France to explore and celebrate color and creativity through mosaics. Laurel and Valerie have teamed up to offer a totally cool, specifically curated and inspiring trip that will combine hands-on studio time, incredible insider sightseeing and experiential learning.

Esprit Mosaique Studio is full of joyful color and provides a welcoming place to learn, create and spend time in community with other mosaic enthusiasts. This is a wonderful opportunity for cross-cultural exchange with French mosaic artists — participants will leave Provence feeling like family.

Provence Workshop

Each instructor will offer lessons focusing on various techniques including fresco cement as a background treatment, demonstration of the uses of stacked and layered substrates, precision cutting techniques for glass and ceramic, creation of individual mosaics elements to be installed on a public wall in the Village of Avignon and guided exploration of materials and color through the creation of a piece that participants can take home.

Laurel True WorkshopStudents will have the opportunity to work on mesh, film and cementicious substrates.* Students who would like to focus on only one technique or project during the week are welcome to do this instead, at their own pace, with one-on-one guidance from instructors.

In addition to enjoying time in the studio, participants will have the chance to eat delicious meals together, tour nearby Provencal markets including St. Remy and Les Baux de Provence, visit the breathtaking and indescribable exhibition at Les Carrieres des Lumieres, as well as enjoy educational wine tastings and a Provincial backyard BBQ at the home of Valerie and her family.

Laurel True Workshop

COST: $1900

Includes: Mosaic Workshop Instruction, Accommodations Sunday, June 23 – Friday, June 29, breakfast and lunches, Thursday night special dinner, transportation from train station or Avignon airport and to and from workshop, and all touristic visits to markets, exhibits and wine tastings.

Does Not Include: Flight, Dinners (except Thursday) or Personal Expenses.

Both instructors are bi-lingual and workshop and activities will be in English and French.

This workshop has only 10 spots, so sign up early!

ACCOMMODATIONS:
Hotel de Atelier is a charming hotel in the lively village of Villeneuve Las Avignon, five minutes from the town of Avignon. Read more here.

ITINERARY:

Laurel True ProvenceSunday, June 23
Participants arrive and get settled in Hotel de Atelier

Monday, June 24
Morning: Arrive at Esprit Mosaique Studio, introductions and first project
Lunch at Restaurant La Strada
Afternoon: Studio instruction and work time
Evening: Free

Tuesday, June 25
Morning: Studio work time and instruction
Lunch: Restaurant La Strada
Afternoon: Studio time
Evening: Wine tasting at Cave de Tavel

Wednesday, June 26
Morning: Visit Provencal market in village of St Rémy de Provence and to ancient Gallo-Roman mosaic site
Lunch: In Les Baux de Provence
Afternoon: Visit art exhibit at Carrières des Lumières
Evening: Free

Laurel True ProvenceThursday, June 27
Morning: Studio work time and instruction
Lunch: Restaurant La Strada
Afternoon: Studio work time and instruction
Evening: Winery visit and wine tasting at Chateau Neuf du Pape, then a slow food, Provencal family bbq at Valerie’s beautiful home.

Friday, June 28
Morning: Visit the quaint medieval village of Uzes and Ancient Roman site of Le Pont du Gard
Lunch: on the riverside
Afternoon: Studio work time
Evening: Visit town of Avignon

Saturday, June 29
Morning/Lunch: To conclude our week together we’ll take a gorgeous walk in a nearby lavender field and enjoy a Provencal picnic. 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Afternoon: Goodbyes and departure!

Mosaics in France“Valerie hosted me at her beautiful home and studio in Provence last Spring and we decided to put together this workshop experience so that mosaic artists could come and enjoy the atmosphere of this amazing area and the warmth and hospitality of Valerie and her family and community. I came back from that trip bursting with energy, inspiration and a full heart, and can’t wait to share this experience with my students!” ~ Laurel True, mosaic artist and co-instructor of workshop

“I welcome you to my studio and town, in the hopes that each participant/student comes away with a feeling of having spent a wonderful week of creativity, sharing our mosaic passion and fun, discovering the most beautiful places in Provence, with the desire to come back to explore more !”  ~ Valerie Nicoladze, mosaic artist and co-instructor of workshop

PAYMENTS:

Payment can be made through Pay Pal; 50% due at time of registration to hold spot with 50% balance due by April 1st OR  students may also make one payment if they wish, at time of registration.

CANCELLATION POLICY:

Cancellations made before April 1 will receive a full refund, minus $100 admin fee. Cancellations April  1 – 15 will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations after April 15 are non-refundable unless space is filled, in which case there will be a refund minus the $100 admin fee.

Register for this workshop here.

Questions? Contact Laurel here or Valerie here.

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