Tag Archives: Mosaics in Orvieto

Postcards Home, Small Mosaics with Pam Goode in Italy

20 May

Postcards Home, Small Mosaics with Pam Goode in Orvieto, Italy
May 22 – 28, 2016
$3,100, Double Occupancy

Mosaic Art Retreat

Morning in Orvieto, © Pam Goode

What’s better than a weeklong mosaic studio session in Italy? (I know, right?!) A week of mosaic sessions interspersed with vineyard visits, wine and olive oil tastings, an archaeological tour of ancient mosaics, Etruscan caves, a visit to the Duomo and her dazzling gold mosaics, and a cooking class? Yes!

In May I’ll be returning to heartbreakingly beautiful Orvieto, a hilltop village in Umbria built atop a warren of caves from the Etruscan era (800 – 400 BC). The pedestrian streets are cobbled and lined with artisans and cafes, iron lanterns and bountiful markets, with valley views never more than a stroll away.


We’ll stay in the Institute San Ludovico Convent (pictured above), circa 300 – 400BC, which hugs the town wall presenting lovely views. Each room has its own bath. A library and beautiful gardens are available for us, as well as a colonnaded portico for lunches, sketching, or butterfly watching. Single, Double, and Twin rooms are available. Daily breakfast and some lunches are included. Photos of accommodations are here.


Our theme will be Postcards Home, small mosaics that will capture a detail of our travels, helping us reconnect to moments of discovery long after we return home. Some tools and materials will be provided, and a materials list will be included upon registration. Subjects and styles are up to you, though I’ll have some samples and designs available for use, as well as a bit of poetic inspiration. Alternately, you’re welcome to use this time as an Open Studio for your own projects; I’ll be available for consultation and/or assistance. Workshops and guided studio time will be morning or afternoon with cultural tours and free time rounding out the day. The studio will be open from early morning until late evening, and you’re welcome to work on your own before or after sessions. All levels, from never-touched-a-piece-of-glass to advanced, are welcome.


Learn how wine is made and what to look for in olive oils, savor local cheeses, whip yourself up some wild boar alla pappardelle, grab a rare view of a preserved Christian-era mosaic floor set a story beneath the current church, and sample a few of Italy’s finest wines. Now that’s what I call relaxing after a grueling day in the studio!


There’s nothing quite like rounding a corner and getting that first In-Your-Face view of the Duomo, a 14th century Roman Catholic cathedral lined with gold mosaic (more here). Then again, there’s nothing quite like walking down to the village market early in the morning and ogling the artichokes for taste (and art) possibilities, then settling into the best morning cappuccino. Or sharing a simple and impossibly fresh just-picked/just-cooked meal with friends. Or wandering the narrow streets of the medieval section, where you can feel the life and stories resonating from each stone. Grabbing a handful of fresh flowers for your room and an Orvieto-made pottery pretty to stash them in. Clean, exhaust-free air and a quiet sun-bath on the ancient undulating walls of the town. Take me now! Click on the first photo above for a slideshow.


Mosaic Workshops ItalyPam Goode is a mosaic artist based in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a creator of fine and functional art, installations, and community projects, she works with a variety of materials, including Italian and Mexican handmade glass, stained glass, porcelain, stone, and found objects. Known for her sense of whimsy and color, Pam’s mosaics transcend the subject at hand and go straight for the heart. “My goal is to bring a sense of joy, wonder, or peace to viewers. It isn’t enough for me to create a mosaic; I need to create a mosaic that sings, that resonates.” Her work has been selected for inclusion in Mosaic Arts International four times, and has appeared twice in Mosaic Art Now, a publication featuring mosaic art across the globe. With Lin Schorr as designer, she served as project manager for Unfurled, a collaborative installation featuring the work of 52 international artists.

Immersed in mosaics since 1999, Pam founded Ciel Gallery in 2008 in an effort to provide exhibition opportunities for mosaic artists across the globe. Now an art collective focusing on local artists working in every medium, Ciel continues to present juried exhibitions, classes, and special events.

An avid traveler, Pam is most inspired by being in unfamiliar surroundings where every sight, every thought, is new. “I see everything differently — feel everything differently — and the ability to communicate my own transformation though art thrills me.” In 2012 Pam founded Mosaic Art Retreats, offering international art tours and workshops. Pam has also been selected for an artist’s residency in Ireland for June, 2016.

Website. Contact.


Adventures in Italy is the labor of love created by Kristin and Bill Steiner. They are Hosts Supreme, sharing joy and knowledge and comfort. You couldn’t be in better hands, and you will love them 🙂  Learn more here.


To register or for more information, please look here.

Itinerary: Orvieto, Italy Mosaic Retreat

3 Oct

What, When & Where!

Sunday, May 12, 2013
Arrive in Orvieto, Settle in, Welcome Dinner

Monday, May 13
Orvieto from the Inside Out
We’ll start our journey getting up close and personal with our host city. We’ll tour the convent, walk into town to get our bearings, get a cappuccino fix in one of the many cafes, tour the majestic Cathedral with a local guide, and pinpoint the best shopping and strolling streets for later excursions. Back at the convent, we’ll enjoy lunch made by the resident nuns, followed by an olive oil and wine tasting to get our palates ready for Italy. In the afternoon, we’ll take an historical look at Orvieto from the Etruscans onward — a 3,000 year journey, give or take a decade.
Evening Studio Time
To get started, we’ll talk a bit about materials and technique; suggestions for photography and scavenging during our daily outings; lecture/demo on materials and tools; lecture/demo on texture. Dinner on your own or with the group; studio will be available for those who wish to get started.

Tuesday, May 14
Morning Studio Time
After breakfast we’ll jump right in with a talk about light in mosaic, followed by a morning walk and photography session. Back in the studio, we’ll demo converting photographs to designs suitable for mosaic, and begin preparing designs for the week. We’ll go over details for working in miniature and jump right in, with one-on-one time.
Afternoon Exploration: Cooking Class
This afternoon we’ll visit with a James Beard chef and prepare our dinner at his restaurant. A little cappuccino, a little wine, a lot of tasting all culminating in a typical Italian dinner compliments of our classmates and the restaurant staff. Always a highlight! After dinner, feel free to stroll a bit, hit the studio, or wind down at the convent.

Wednesday, May 15
Morning Studio Time
We’ll start with a lecture demo on choosing materials for your specific designs, followed by on-your-own and one-on-one time with Pam. Students are welcome to work in the studio or take their very portable works-in-progress to the garden, city wall, or a quiet spot in town.
Afternoon Exploration: Ancient Orvieto
Created especially for our workshop, we’ll spend this afternoon touring the Roman mosaics beneath At. Andrea Church, followed by a tour of the ancient Etruscan caves beneath Orvieto. Dinner on your own and studio time if desired.

Thursday, May 16
Morning Exploration: Market Day!
We’ll visit the weekly market after breakfast, and pick out the ingredients for a fresh fresh fresh picnic lunch.
Morning Studio Time
Walking back from the market, we’ll stop for cappuccino and talk about one of the most important topics in art: putting SOUL into your work. At the studio we’ll continue working or begin new pieces. And since there’s no better inspiration than the brilliance of fresh produce, we’ll talk about Color!
Afternoon Exploration: Orvieto Wines
An “off the rock” excursion to a local vineyard, where we’ll have learn about the wine-making process, followed by a sampling. Dinner on your own if you have room, and as always, studio time if you wish.

Friday, May 17
Studio Time
Pleine Air work as a group or on your own, adding finishing touches. Free time in Orvieto as desired.
Early Evening Reception
Student Show and Share Time followed by group dinner.

Saturday, May 18
Depart Orvieto for more on-your-own adventures!

*Workshop Notes: The Mosaic Workshop portion of this retreat may be used as a workshop as schedulued or as personal art retreat time at the student’s discretion. Students are welcome to use the studio on their own schedule and work as much or as little as they wish; sessions are not mandatory. Students also have the option of working entirely independently, but are always entitled to one-on-one time with the instructor as desired. Program cost remains the same whether used as a group workshop or private work art retreat time. Workshop is suitable for all levels and one-on-one time will be tailored to your experience, preferred materials, and mosaic style.

*Program Notes for Travel Companions: Our hosts Adventures in Italy provide a reduced-cost program for travel companions sharing your room but not participating in the mosaic workshop. Discover Orvieto includes all excursions and activities of the group, including meals outlined above. Information on Discover Orvieto is here.

For more information or clarification on any details, just email pamgoode@earthlink.net.

All About Orvieto, Italy

2 Oct
Mosaic Retreat Orvieto, Italy 2013

Orvieto, Italy

There’s something about a hilltop village that makes the heart sing. Maybe it’s the isolation, the close-to-the-clouds-ness, dreams of castle life, or simply the striking beauty of ancient stone structures standing tall against a pristine sky. Whatever chords are being plucked in our hearts, we all want to climb that hill and walk through those cobbled streets. Or maybe it’s just me . . . .

Mosaic Art Retreats Orvieto Italy, 2013

Etruscan Caves, Orvieto

Considered one of the most picturesque villages in Italy, Orvieto is located in luscious Umbria, replete with verdant valleys and minus the touristy overload of Tuscany. Just a bit over an hour from Rome, Orvieto has the history with less of the bustle. Populated since Etruscan times (beginning in Italy around 800 BC), the town sits on a perch of volcanic tufa built over a labyrinth of Etruscan caves, tunnels, and tombs, yielding one of the most dramatic sites in Europe.

Mosaic Art Retreat Orvieto, Italy 20123

Orvieto Lane

With brilliant views over the 2000-year old walls across the surrounding countryside, Orvieto is accessible by funicular (built in 1888 and powered for almost 100 years by tanks of water beneath each car; fully refurbished in 1990). Sited 700 feet above the surrounding areas and boasting a measly 6500 inhabitants, Orvieto is less than a mile long and a half-mile wide, with a pedestrian-only city center. Think morning strolls with cappuccino and the sound of Duomo bells ringing the hour.

Mosaic Art Retreat Orvieto, Italy 2013

Orvieto Vineyards

Orvieto is renowned for the production of dry white wines under the DOC Orvieto and Orvieto Classico, as well as a number of reds sold under the DOC Rosso Orvietano. We’ll be visiting one of the Orvieto Classico vineyards, complete with the original house dating back to 1300. And of course, there WILL be wine tasting!

Mosaic Art Retreat Orvieto Italy 2013 Accommodations

Our Convent B&B with Valley Views

Accommodations for the Mosaic Art Retreat in Orvieto are at the lovely San Lodovico Convent B&B with updated rooms and private baths alongside 14th and 15th century frescoes and lovely gardens. Built along the original city walls, bedroom views span the valley below.

Mosaic Art Retreats, Orvieto Italy 2013

Duomo Column

And speaking of the fabled Duomo, it’s a show-stopper. Commissioned by Pope Urban IV, construction of the 14th century structure lasted almost three centuries, and includes elements of both Romanesque and Gothic design. The facade contains decorative elements of mosaic, stained glass, and sculpture, and creates a breathtaking sight when the sun strikes the golden face. Our time in Orvieto will include a private mosaic tour of the cathedral, considered one of the finest achievements of the Late Middle Ages.

For an overview of the Mosaic Art Retreat in Orvieto, click here.

For a full itinerary, click here.

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