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2 artists / 2 styles

WITH debra fritts & frank shelton

juNE 17 - 21, 2019


DAY 1: Morning Poem reading by Frank.  Introductions and discussions. A demonstration by Debra on building a clay head will start our day.  Everyone will start building a head using coils before lunch.  After lunch, the head form will be completed. A detailed demo on facial features by Debra will be given in the afternoon.  Students will add facial features on the head.  Late afternoon, we will discuss symbolism and surface decoration.

Day 2: Morning Poem reading by Frank.  We will discuss ways to make a personal connection with your piece.  Participants will at work all day on the head and hopefully make a personal statement in the piece.  A demo by Debra on surface decoration will be given using underglazes and engobes.  The pieces will be treated with engobes and underglaze to achieve a painterly surface.

Day 3: Morning Poem reading by Frank.  We will be with Frank constructing mixed-media figures/dolls from newspaper, tape and plaster strips. Frank will bring examples of his figures and discuss the possibilities of working intuitively with the materials. A visual presentation on historical figure/doll making will be seen before beginning making our own.

Day 4: Morning Poem reading by Frank. We will be with Frank adding different surface treatments to the figures/dolls. After surface treatments colors will be added on using various wet and dry mediums such as paint, inks, oil pastels, colored pencils, etc.

Day 5: Morning Poem reading by Frank. We will unload the kiln and talk about both the clay and mixed-media pieces made during the week. This is the day to add any finishing touches to your pieces. A discussion on how to see and talk about art will close out the workshop.

DATES: June 17 - 21, 2019 (5 full days)

INVESTMENT: $1500 Canadian (+ tax) - Includes lunch

*Please note: CA dollar is about 25% less than US dollar


ABOUT debra

As a child I had dirt under my fingernails. I continue to allow the earth to feed me information for my art and daily living. Working intuitively from pounds of wet clay, forms appear and stories develop. I may be questioning an occurrence or celebrating a relationship or just being present in daily life. The search continues until I reach the core: the spiritual level of the sculpture. Then the work can speak. At the present, I am exploring new territory in the west while embracing my southern heritage. I am touching ground, getting to the basics, and listening.

I hand build each sculpture, primarily using thick coils, and fire three to five times depending on the color and surface I am trying to achieve. I approach color on clay as a painter. My palette is a combination of oxides, slips, underglazes, and glazes. The form of the piece informs how I should approach the surface.  

Visit Debra’s website / Follow Debra on instagram


My process of working may best be described by paraphrasing a quote from the late Israeli artist, Moshe Kupferman. "...I first put in emotion and expression. Next, I cover it up. Then, I put in silence..." While the process and product are important to me, I feel both are dead without passion. It is the passion that sustains me as an artist and human being.

Visit Frank’s website / Follow Frank on instagram


* Refund Policy: Refunds (minus $60 processing fee) will be provided for cancellations made 30 days prior to the first day of class. Cancellations under 30 days notice will receive a credit for a future workshop.


Enhance your art retreat experience with a Ki Essence Bodywork session. Relax and rejuvenate with aromatic massage, energy medicine, Reiki treatments, and angel card readings. Contact Hilary Laidlaw for prices and to schedule your session. Email:  | Phone: 416-402-8605


Please contact Heather at for information regarding lodging, in and around the retreat centre.