2019 Workshops

February 25 - March 1   - $475
Nadine Gay
Collecting Dreams

Learn to use slab building techniques to build a head and half torso.  We will use modeling techniques and basic proportions for the face and the body.  You will learn to express yourself and your personal imagery through sculpture.  Visual references will provide inspiration and small objects that you bring or find in San Miguel can be incorporated into the piece.  Using colored underglazes and terra sigillata will be demonstrated as a way to add interest to your sculptures.  All levels of experience are welcome.

March 18 - 22   - $800
Gerit Grimm
Beyond the Figurine

You will learn how to use press molds and/or throw, alter and put together wheel-thrown parts so you can develop new forms in ceramics. The goal is to develop your technical skill and discover a new way of thinking about your art work.   We will produce figurative scenes through using a variety of shapes and building techniques. The goal is to develop your technical skill and discover new ways of creating your art work (including methods like working waster slabs and developing ideas for projects). 

April 1 - 14  - $1,200
Adrian Arleo
The Narrative Figure in Clay


Learn to coil-build the human form and create evocative surface imagery through carving, texture and sprig-molded forms. We’ll use the rich cultural and natural setting of San Miguel de Allende for inspiration, along with a day trip to a folk art museum. Throughout the workshop, Adrian will give demonstrations and slide presentations on sculpting and coil-building to guide students in making medium scale sculptures. Techniques for making future large scale work will be taught, such as internal supports and buttresses, sectioning and reattaching techniques, two different techniques for making sprig molds, the use of a base and rod for tall narrow pieces. Adrian will also discuss and show examples of low-fire glazes, terra sigilatta, and non-fired surface finishes such as wax encaustic, casein paint and gold leaf.

Some clay experience is required.

April 16 - 21   - $900
Kelly Rathbone
Semana Santa

This workshop will take place during Mexico’s beautiful, moving, celebratory Holy Week! There will be parades, mojigangas, and plenty of inspiration. During the course of the workshop, we will all construct a head and incorporate imagery and details to make our own personal saints. We will focus on the anatomy, nuances and movement of facial features. Tricks for achieving symmetry and mapping out composition will be covered. This will be a combination of slab and coil construction, hollowing out when and where it’s needed. Glazes and surface treatments will be addressed and we will once-fire our work. Kelly will make time to demo hands, share slides, and cover any other tricks-of-the-trade she knows.

April 29 - May 3   - $900
Natasha Dikareva
Imaginative Creatures

Natasha will share her process of forming imaginative and otherworldly creatures. Every day will begin with a demonstration of different hand-building techniques, as well as surface treatments. The ceramic surface will be approached as a canvas with slips, underglazes and the sgraffito technique used to create vibrant, dynamic surfaces of visual storytelling. For inspiration, we will use Mexican imagery, both ancient and modern, as a major focus of investigation.  Students will be encouraged to use personal iconography, symbols and forms that are significant and meaningful. Participants will come away with work that reflects their own unique experience of the amazing surroundings in San Miguel, as well as a deeper understanding of the clay process and history.

May 6 - 12   - $1,200
Tip Toland
The Figure / The Narrative

Tip’s demonstrations will include the basics of reduced-scale figurative sculpture: proportions, animating the figure through gesture, sculpting the face and hands, etc.  Most of the workshop will be hands-on student work and experimentation.   Students of all levels of experience are invited to join this stimulating workshop, which is designed to advance each student’s technical skills and approach to their own personal narratives they want to explore in their art.  San Miguel de Allende is a visually rich tapestry of cultural history and its environment is permeated with amazingly colorful Surrealist imagery, making it a charming and ideal setting for this image based workshop.

May 27 - June 2   - $900
Magda Gluszek
Solid Figure Sculpture

The body is an amazing vehicle for emotional expression. In this seven-day workshop we will examine how subtle gestures, such as flexed toes, curled fingers or hunched shoulders, can be used to communicate rich visual narratives. We will begin with small maquette studies, created as inspirational warm-up exercises. Then students will produce one full-figure sculpture with a solid building technique, which will be hollowed out and re-assembled. Basic proportions and anatomy will be demonstrated, as will the use of a simple armature.


Beginners welcome. Some hand-building experience is helpful.

June 10 -21   - $1,500
Kirsten Stingle & Christine Kosiba

Creating Personal Mythologies:

Combining Animal and Human Forms

This workshop will stress narrative vocabulary by combining human and animal sculptures to create personal mythologies. Proportion and anatomy will be covered as well as the power of gesture and expression in storytelling.  Students will build large and small forms and then deconstruct them in order to construct their own narrative sculptures.  Different building styles and techniques will be offered that participants can adapt for their own studio practice.

August 12 - 18  -  $900

Claudia Olds Goldie

Body Image and The Figure

This workshop will examine the beauty of imperfection in the human figure.  All body types, including the full-bodied or older figure, can be evocative, sensual, and emotionally expressive. Learn to capture personality through facial features and gesture, which create narrative.


Hollow-building techniques will be used to create a proportionate, anatomically convincing figure.  Learn how to sculpt an expressive head and hands.  Bring images and reference material that interest you to learn to “read” photographic information to understand the 3-dimensional cues they offer. 


Artists of all experience levels are welcome.

September 9 - 20 - $1,200
Esther Shimazu
Minds of Their Own

Students will be constructing detailed nudes and dogs from toenails to teeth using multiple -- mostly hollow-- part joinery in this very hands-on workshop.  There will be more emphasis on expression rather than accuracy with room for experimentation and a little unpredictability.   We will be jumping right in, so it will help to have had some experience with clay.

September 28 - October 2   - $1,200
Michelle Gregor & Françoise LeClerq
Humans and Horses: A Sculptural Confluence

This workshop begins on Saturday, the 28th, with the celebration of San Martin Caballero, a procession of hundreds of horses through town and into the Jardin for the annual blessing by the priest of the Parroquia.  If you are an experienced rider, you can join Michelle and Francoise in the ride.  The workshop will begin on Sunday and run until Thursday, October 2. 


Students will build small-scale maquettes for larger work, experiment with armatures, learn solid sculpting methods and hollowing to prepare their pieces for firing. We will break the figure down into basic components and investigate various poses. Michelle Gregor will emphasize an improvisational method to massing and refining the human form, while Francoise LeClerc will demonstrate the use of armatures and anatomy to create various animal forms.


Special focus will be given to heads, legs and hands. Additionally, we will address surface development techniques using texture, underglazes and mark-making to strengthen and unify form.

October 28 - November 1   - $1,500
Debra Fritts & Lisa Clague
Day of the Dead

With consideration of the festivities for the Day of the Dead, this workshop will stress the importance of the figure as a shrine.  The seated figure will be constructed using hand building techniques and small clay relics or found objects will be combined with the figure. The history of this Mexican celebration of life will inform us with special attention to color and pattern on these figurative shrines.  Daily exercises will inspire ideas for the clay relics.  Surfaces will be explored using mark making, engobes and underglazes.