Tag Archives: Travel

Flora + Fauna of Costa Rica with Carol Shelkin and Pam Goode

28 May

Flora + Fauna in Costa Rica with Carol Shelkin and Pam Goode
January 9 – 17, 2016
San Ramon Area, Costa Rica
$1960 per person, Double Occupancy; $2360 Single Occupancy

Mosaic Workshop

Farm Trail, © Pam Goode

“Up at 5:45, and I’ve already missed the sunrise. I go to breakfast early to do some writing, and all nine of us are already there, ready to take on the day. We scarf down eggs cooked with tomato, beans and rice, half-dollar-sized cornmeal cakes, rustic bread, buffalo cheese (fabulous), buffalo yogurt, and carambola (starfruit) jam. As soon as I finish, I miss the tastes. By 9:00 we’re gathered for our tour of the organic farm, and before we hit the path, our guide Ishmael has already shown us a tree full of toucans (yesterday a flock of parakeets flew overhead); jackfruit, which can weight up to 75 pounds and often hangs bulbously and pimpled in an unseamly flop between forks in the tree; and the fruit of the Lipstick tree, a beautifully freakish hairy and crimson pod used to color lipsticks, cheddar cheese, fingers (oops) and cheetos. Just beyond, Ishmael moves beneath a large bush, reaches both hands overhead to grasp an oblong yellow fruit, and begins twisting it on the stem until it snaps. About a foot long, this is cacao, the mother of chocolate. Smashed once against a trunk, the pod opens to reveal a white slime, which we’re encouraged to taste, and it is deliciously sweet/tart with the faintest hint of bitter chocolate. Later Ishmael hands us the halves of several nerf-ball-sized green orbs with fleshy spikes, with a thicker white goo-ish interior. This is anonas, or custard apple, also known as ice cream fruit, and the most sublime mouthful I’ve ever tasted. I eat more than my share, scooping out the custard with my fingers and licking it up eagerly.” ~ Pam Goode, Costa Rica Retreat, 2013

Mosaic Workshops

Firing Up the Pizza Oven, © Pam Goode

Mosaic Workshop Costa Rica

Baby Ocelot

Costa Rica, how we’ve missed you! Our 2016 retreat will combine onsite organic farm and rainforest tours, an adventure or two (think water safaris, hot springs, butterfly gardens, lava hikes), and a possible community outreach project in a neighboring village. Accommodations will be at glorious Finca Luna Nueva (New Moon Farm), a sustainable rainforest ecolodge and certified organic biodynamic farm with single or double lodge and cabin accommodations (triples and quads also available), fabulous organic food grown and prepared onsite, panoramic open-air workspace, wifi, ionized pool, jacuzzi, and spa. Optional activities at an extra cost include guided Arenal Volcano Lava Hike, Butterfly Garden or Cloud Forest Tours, Zipline Canopy Tour, Rafting, or Hanging Bridge Canopy Tour. And surprise! There’s a new baby ocelot wandering around 🙂

INCLUDED

Mosaic Workshops

  • Transfer from Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose to the Lodge and Return Transfer
  • Eight Nights Accommodation (rooms will be assigned in the order received)
  • Seven Breakfasts, Seven Lunches, Seven Dinners
  • One Guided Farm Tour
  • One Guided Rainforest Tour
  • 5-Day Mosaic Workshop and Open Studio Time
  • Access to the Secondary Rainforest and Primary Rainforest

 

 

Mosaic Workshops

Open Air Work Space

NOT INCLUDED

  • Airfare To and From Costa Rica
  • Optional Tours and Activities
  • Transportation for Optional Tours or Local Transportation (Arrangements Provided)
  • Offsite Meals
  • Trip Insurance (Recommended)
  • Gratuities
  • Departure Tax of $29
  • Alcohol, If Available

Mosaic WorkshopsAVAILABLE OUTINGS

  • Optional activities at an extra cost include guided Arenal Volcano Lava Hike, lunches and dinners in town, Butterfly Garden or Cloud Forest Tours, Zipline Canopy Tour, Rafting, or Hanging Bridge Canopy Tour.
  • One Day will be set aside for on-your-own adventures. We will choose as a group, but additional free time during the week is always an option.
Mosaic Workshops

Birds at Rest, Penas Blancas, CR, © Pam Goode

“The river is magnificent. The banks are almost vertical for twelve feet in many places, and covered with ferns and far too many tree species to taken in, several easily 200 feet. The occasional bamboo stand seems to have been caught in a cyclone, with every trunk twisted counterclockwise from the ground up into one reedy giantess, her broad stride twisting to a skinny waist and then flayed out against the sky again. We see a large family of howler monkeys noisily leaping through the trees, and a pair of white-faced capuchins, a fairly rare sighting here according to our guide. A snowy egret on the bank holds a flash of silvery fish at the tip of his beak, his black legs and bright yellow toes a vibrant contrast to his starkly white curl of a body. I anticipate that, like me, most of the wildlife will choose to shelter deep in the trees until the rains pass, but when we spy flocks of birds, they’re almost always outlined against the clouds on leafless branches, one breed with fabulously outstretched wings at rest, as if ready to take off and soar when they hear the call. I think I have a new animal spirit.” ~ Pamela Goode, Costa Rica Retreat 2013

NEED TO KNOW

  • Retreat has a minimum of 6  and a maximum of 10. Please reserve early, but don’t make flight reservations until notified that we’ve met the minimum.
  • Participants will bring their own materials; details to follow. Packing Tips here.
  • Photos from our 2013 Retreat are here.

GOOD TO KNOW

  • Temperatures  for January average High 73, Low 59, with .4″ of Rain
  • Central Standard Time
  • Mosaic Workshops

    Volcano and Valley View, Observation Tower, Finca Luna Nueva, © Pam Goode

    Latitude: 10° North of the equator, with equal hours of light and darkness

  • Currency: US dollars are accepted pretty much everywhere, including tips
  • Electricity: 110, with standard US plugs
  • Fast Facts: Literacy rate 96.3%; Military abolished in 1948
  • Costa Rica is among the countries with the highest amount of protected land in the world; 25% of the nation is dedicated to park systems, reserves, or natural wildlife areas
  • Bridging the northern and southern most points of the two American contents, Costa Rica is the meeting point for a variety of cultures and a density of plant and animal species said to be unlike any other country in the world
  • Approximately 850 bird species, 9000 plant species, 34,000 insect species, 205 mammalian species, 220 reptilian species, and 160 amphibian species

ABOUT THE LEADERSCarol Shelkin Workshops

  • Read more about Carol Shelkin here. Contact Carol here.
  • Read more about Pam Goode here. Contact Pam here.

ABOUT THE ACCOMMODATIONS

  • Read more about Finca Luna Nueva here.

TO REGISTER

Contact Pam here for a reservation form.

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.

ACCOMMODATIONS

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.

WORKSHOP

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.

CULTURAL TOURS

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!

A WALK AROUND TOWN

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.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

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.

ABOUT ADVENTURES IN ITALY

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.

REGISTRATION

To register or for more information, please look here.

Make Your Own Workshop in Bermuda with Carol Shelkin

19 May

Make Your Own Workshop in Bermuda with Carol Shelkin
November 1 – 8, 2015
Mosaic Art Classes: Monday – Friday
$2,260.00 Per Person, Double Occupancy

Mosaic Art RetreatsIn the mood to spark and rejuvenate your artistic juices or just enjoy an art vacation with a small like-minded group? This workshop is for the inquisitive beginner AND the advanced professional or anyone wishing to expand their artistic and creative potential in paradise.

Mosaic Art RetreatsCarol Shelkin, Instructor, and Donna Smith, your Host in Bermuda, invite you to this beautiful island located off the coast of North Carolina in the Atlantic. Bermuda is known for its British-influenced traditions, from afternoon tea to cricket matches. Put Bermuda on your radar if you’re looking for a warm weather, arts-focused getaway with time to create in a seaside setting. Donna welcomes you to Bermuda, her island home and to Herchalat, an old Bermudian Cottage carved into the hillside in the historic town of St. George, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll have our workshop nestled in this cottage for the week.

Mosaic Art RetreatsCan you see yourself meandering the streets of old towne after the daily workshop, enjoying ocean breezes and harbor views? Picturesque Tobacco Bay and St. Catherine’s Beach are within walking distance of our location for this weeklong mosaic workshop. After class, kick back and relax on the property or explore the island and its culture.

Breakfasts and lunches are included in this retreat, along with airport transportation and a Welcome Reception. You’ll have five full days of mosaic immersion creating a piece of your choosing, as well as two optional excursions, just for fun! Carol will contact you to chat about what you’d like to work on for the week.

Mosaic Art RetreatsAs you fly into Bermuda, you’ll see the crystal blue waters, and if you explore once landed, you’ll see the coral reef plateau that surrounds the island. Bermuda will captivate your senses and be your muse with its picturesque cliffs, coves, pink-pillowy sand beaches, snorkeling, British charm, Island soul, tea cafés and a laid Mosaic Art Retreatsback culture.

With Bermuda’s intoxicating sunshine, we offer a very distinctive mosaic art retreat that will give you the opportunity to create in paradise. We also invite those with less experience in the arts; you’ll be provided with patient, professional art guidance to kick-start your artistic journey.

Mosaic Art RetreatsWORKSHOP DETAILS: No Materials Fee; bring whatever you’d like to work on or have Carol help you choose. Class is limited to 10 students. Adults (18 years and above) only. No experience necessary.

Included:

  • 8 days, 7 nights double-occupancy lodging (single supplement extra)
  • Airport Transfers
  • Sunday Evening Artists’ Welcome Reception
  • Breakfast and Lunch 6 Days (special dietary needs welcome)
  • Bus and Ferry Pass
  • Five-day Mosaic Workshop: Bring what you like to work on!
  • Open Studio Time
  • Private Tour: Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art
  • NOTE: No refund for skipped activities

Not Included:

  • Optional Add-On Excursions
  • Airfare
  • Additional Meals such as Dinners Not Noted Above
  • Personal Expenses
  • Alcohol
  • Travel Insurance (Advised) (More information here)

Optional Activities at Your Own Cost:

  • Sailing Cruise
  • Gallery Art Tour
  • Island Tour
  • Bike, Paddle Board, Kayak, Jet Ski Rentals available in St. George
  • Snorkel Equipment Rental
  • Crystal and Fantasy Caves
  • Walking Tours of Hamilton, St. George, and Spittal Pond Nature Preserve
  • Bermuda Perfumery Tour

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Mosaic Art RetreatsCarol Shelkin, with studios just outside of Philadelphia, is an artist with over 25 years of teaching experience. She attended Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Scuola del Mosaico, Italy. She shows her work both nationally and internationally with acceptance into juried shows and galleries, and her artwork is also held in private collections. She has been a presenter at the Mosaic Association of Australia and New Zealand and teaches at the Society of American Mosaics Artists’ annual conference. She is a founding member of the Mosaic Society of Philadelphia and President, as well as being a Juried Member, of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. For more information about Carol, please visit her website.

TO REGISTER:

  • ALL RESERVATIONS REQUIRE a 50% DEPOSIT. Reservations cannot be held without a deposit.
  • Deposits can be made by US Check, Money Order, PayPal or wire transfer.
  • PayPal to: carol.shelkin@yahoo.com (If paying with PayPal, Please include PayPal fee of $8.75)
  • Checks: Carol Shelkin 830 Morgan Avenue Drexel Hill, PA 19026 USA
  • Balance is due 60 days prior to your arrival date.

CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY:

  • All cancellations are subject to a 20% handling fee.
  • Reservations cancelled prior to 90 days, 50% is refundable, less 20% handling fee. Reservations cancelled prior 60 days, 25% is refundable, less 20% handling fee. Reservations cancelled prior 45 days prior to registration, the registration fee paid is non-refundable.
  • Should any workshop/retreat be cancelled the entire amount paid will be refunded within fourteen days. Once this occurs, Carol Shelkin and Donna Smith have no obligations regarding any additional costs or fees related to the issuance and/or cancellation of airline tickets or other travel reservations.
  • Carol Shelkin and Donna Smith accept no liability for any airline penalty incurred by the cancellation of a non-refundable ticket.
  • Carol Shelkin and Donna Smith accept no liability for any canceled flights.

African Beadwork Mosaics in Cape Town with Karla Duterloo

18 May

African Beadwork Reinvented in Mosaic, with Karla Duterloo
Cape Town, South Africa
November 1 – 7, 2015
€1350

Mosaic Art Retreats

Enjoy a mosaic holiday in Cape Town, South Africa combining a week full of mosaic and some sightseeing in one of the most beautiful cities of the world.

Mosaic Art RetreatsCOURSEWORK:
Our project will be a disk using traditional mosaic and incorporating African beadwork, which gives the work a very local African touch with a strong sense of timelessness. I will show you how to find inspiration for your design, as well as for your choice of mosaic colours. Lots of examples of how to develop a design will be supplied. I’ll teach you all there is to know about cutting and laying of the tiles, the grouting process, incorporating local beads and much more. Handouts are also provided and pictures of your work in process will be taken which we can analyze later on. Disks and all basic mosaic materials will be provided.

LODGING:
Mosaic Art RetreatsParticipants will stay at the Lodge in the Atlantic Beach Golf Estate. Beautiful rooms, continental breakfast included, with a view over the golf course and 50 meter from the Golf Clubhouse which includes a restaurant. The Lodge is very close to the studio.

The estate is about a 10 min walk from a stunning beach and some great restaurants; after a hard day’s work you can enjoy sundowners at the beach and fine dinning in these restaurants.

Mosaic Art RetreatsThere is a beautiful 18 hole golf course at the Estate — the only golf course in the world where the springboks are freely roaming around while you play. There is also a leisure centre, pool, driving range, gym, 2 floodlit tennis courts , and a 5 km walking/running track. A shopping centre is located just outside the Estate.

EXCURSIONS:
Included in the course are two and a half days of excursions: a Stellenbosch Town and Wine lands tour, a Cape Peninsula Scenic tour and a half a day Greenmarket/Watershed Market at the Waterfront tour.

  • In the Cape Peninsula Scenic tour, which will take approximately 10 hours, we visit some of the most stunning places in and around Cape Town: we’ll drive along the beautiful beaches of Clifton, Bantry Bay, Camps Bay to Hout Bay and then drive over the impressive Chapman’s Peak to Cape Point National Park, where you can walk to the most southern part of Africa. On the way back we go to Kalk Bay and have sundowners at the famous 12 Apostle Hotel overlooking the ocean.
  • On the Stelllenbosch Town and Wine lands tour we will see (and taste) beautiful wine farms and visit the quaint town of Stellenbosch, South Africa’s second oldest town.
  • On the Greenmarket and Watershed market at the Waterfront front, we’ll go to local art markets where you can buy additional African beadwork to personalise your mosaic artwork even more. At the Waterfront, South Africa’s most visited venue, you can also do additional shopping in the many beautiful shops and boutiques.

During the course we will offer coffee/tea, biscuits at the break and a very nice lunch for all course-participants.

We promise a creative week with lots of entertainment!

Mosaic Art Retreats

COST: 1350 Euro per participant

INCLUDED:

  • 6 nights accommodation at the Atlantic Beach Golf Estate Lodge including breakfast
  • Welcome drinks and tapas on Sunday afternoon (Nov 1) at 4:00 PM
  • 2-1/2 half days mosaic course including all basic materials and the disk
  • 2-1/2 half days excursions
  • Lunches on all mosaic days at the studio
  • Transport to and from nearby restaurants for evening dinners

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Airfare tickets to and from Cape Town
  • Transport to/from Cape Town International Airport to the Atlantic Beach Golf Estate (we can arrange pick up for your own cost)
  • Dinners in the evening
  • Beverages and lunches on excursion days

DETAILS:

  • To run the course we need a minimum of 5 participants
  • To guarantee optimal personal attention the course can have max. 6 participants
  • To confirm your initial place on the course we need to have 50% (675 EURO) of your payment received by August 1
  • If by August 1 we have not received initial payments of the required minimum of 5 participants, the course will be cancelled and your payment will be refunded minus any bank transfer charges
  • Your 2nd payment of respectively: 675 Euro needs to be received by September 1 to ensure your final confirmation as a participant on the course
  • Banking details will be supplied to you via email
  • If we have to cancel the course before September 1 due to insufficient enrollment, payment will be refunded minus any bank charges
  • If you cancel the course after September 1 but before October 1, we will refund 50% of your initial payment minus any bank transfer charges
  • If you cancel your participation after October 1, no refund can be given

ABOUT KARLA:
Mosaic Art Retreats
I am a Dutch award winning mosaic artist and making mosaic on all kind of surfaces : garden sculptures, functional and decorative mosaics, 2D/ 3D mosaics, fine art and bathroom floors. I work with all sorts of different materials which gives my work a unique design and colour application. My work is held in more than 15 different countries around the world, and exhibitions of my work have taken place in various countries, included UK, Europe and South Africa. Read more about Karla here. See more of Karla’s work here.

TO REGISTER:
Read more about the retreat here. For more information and a detailed course program, for you (and your partner) please email Karla here or here.

 

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.

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.

Phoning It In from Abroad

18 Jul

Phoning Home from AbroadWhether it’s a real-job deadline or a much-needed reconnection with Honey/Mom/Daughter/Doggie, easy access to our phones and those on the other end can be hard to do without, and even harder to pay for. Before you sign up for that overseas plan at Verizon (the Ouch! comes on the other end of your travel), take a look at this suggestion from National Geographic Traveler’s Christopher Elliott. Also chirpily parroted by my son, who knows these things.

“Don’t purchase a pricey international plan from your wireless carrier. For example, AT&T’s least expensive rate costs an extra $30 per month and charges $1 a minute for your calls in Scandinavia [or Narnia — you get the idea]. Instead, when you get to your destination, buy a SIM card or a phone that offers cheap data and make all your calls on Skype, Google, or Viber, which won’t cost extra.”

I used this trick on my recent trip to Barcelona, stopping in at the ubiquitous Vodaphone a couple of blocks from our apartment as soon as I arrived. For $15, the tech popped a brand new SIM card into my iPhone (cheaper for other brands), gave me a fancy Spanish phone number, and I was good to go. I had downloaded Viber (free) before leaving the US, and was able to call home on a whim at no additional cost. If you exchange your nifty new Spanish phone numbers, it’s also a great way to stay in touch with other members of your travel party. Just make sure that Honey/Mom/Daughter/Doggie had downloaded the same free calling program on their end too.

Travel TipsMy son also clued me in on easy re-entry: packing a small paper clip in your carryon. Open the clip by pulling an arm open, and it fits right into the tiny iPhone hole to open the SIM card holder. Slip your US SIM card back in the slot, and slide that Spain card somewhere safe for your next trip to Barcelona.

Can you say Cheap?!

 

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.

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.

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