Monday, January 10, 2011

Sculpture School



Stoneware clay face planters

Finally! After spending over a year renovating my Tuscany Suite, I am ready to offer sculpture classes here at Woodloft.

I love both taking and giving classes. I’ve studied sculpture and other forms of art all over the world and have an idea of what a good class should be like. In preparing my sculpture class, I decided to fashion it after the ones that I have enjoyed the most and also add my own touches.

Woodloft welcome sign

When I studied fresco making in Serravalle, Italy, I was impressed with the fact that my superb teacher, Alma Ortolan, offered an all inclusive class. Her mother, Leo, who was an excellent chef, provided all of our meals. This allowed plenty of time for learning fresco. Another time, in France, the class I took in anatomical sculpture, offered a wonderful French country atmosphere and a stay in an 11th century castle. While I can’t offer the castle, Italy or France, I do have a lovely home located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which I have named Woodloft. At Woodloft, we will combine studies with local sightseeing and have a chef prepare all our meals. That would be my version of an all-inclusive.

Tuscany Suite

I like the idea that my students won’t have to scurry around looking for supplies since I’ll have absolutely everything they will need for their studies. They won’t have to worry about meals, since the chef will be doing all the cooking, and they won’t have to worry about hotels since I have accommodations for 5 people. By keeping the class at 5, I will be able to devote utmost attention to each one.

My studio

I named my workshop, Faces, Faces, faces. I plan to teach my students how to create a face using various materials such as stoneware clay, paper clay and a few other types of clay. We will construct a stoneware clay planter with face that will be fired in the kiln. We will also build a tall stoneware clay Goddess figure. While the clay is drying, we will create a doll using a non firing clay and also a bas- relief to be used on the cover of our journals.

Tall standing sculpture

Since it does take awhile for the clay to dry and for firing, the class will take two excursions. We will visit Chateau Morrisette, which is a lovely French restaurant and winery located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We will also visit the Taubman Museum located in the Farmer’s Market in Roanoke and have lunch while there.

Blue Ridge Parkway

The fabulous chef I have chosen for the class, Stratton St. Clair, is a bit eccentric. Here is what he says about himself:

“Wayne is mildly psychotic... fortunately for everyone around him it is expressed in generosity, good humor and fine foods. He claims that he learned how to cook in order to augment the fine art of seduction then discovered he was better at the cooking. He has worked in many restaurants and chased out of many more. He likes to make as much as he can from scratch and in the process has taught himself how to garden, hunt wild mushrooms, brew beer, make some cheeses, can foods... make sausages, dry foods and smoke them though meats and cheeses tend to clog the pipe. In the years since he has renounced the restaurant trade his cooking has become more refined and now he understands (via the context of cooking) what Picasso meant when he said that it has taken him a life time to learn to draw like a child; consequently Wayne can be often observed playing with his food. ;) W”

Stratton will not only cook for us but will also give us a cooking class at the end of the sculpture session.

Stratton St. Clair

All in all, I think everyone will have a grand time, including me. My goal is that at the end of the week, each student will take away samples of the work they create in class and to have a firm grasp of how to recreate the process once home. I will be available to the students exclusively all week.

Woodloft pool

I am placing class information on my right hand side bar for you to refer to at any time. The site can still use a bit of tweaking but a complete itinerary with prices, videos and all details can be found there. You can also click on I hope you will join me!!!!

My art car B-dazle

Stumble Upon Toolbar


  1. Ok i'm hurriedly rushing to see exactly where Roanoke is! Do you have plans to offer any other classes as well?

  2. OH, Cheryl, the suite looks magnificant!! And a week at Woodloft staying in the Tuscany suite with the classes, the food, the pool, the food, the trips, the food. What can I say other than sign me up. Your avid fan, Trish

  3. Such a welcome sign! 5 for starters but you will soon have to build up and out as 500 eager students will be knocking at your door. I'd say next week. Who could resist this healing vital sanctuary at Woodloft? You have made a magnificent dream come true and provided a place for others who didn't even know there was a dream to be fulfilled. Lucky lucky artists to know you!

  4. Cheryl, everything about your classes sound so wonderful! I'm wishing you tons of success on this new journey. Hugs, Terri xoxo

  5. OH my , I may just have to take a trip to your area, just so I can take your wonderful class with all the extras. I know you will do great with this Cheryl.

  6. What a beautiful space. I would take every class you offered if I didn't live on the other side of the country from you.
    Have a great week.

  7. is all amazing. I wish I lived closer and could take the class. I will just sit and drool over all the post I know you are going to do once the classes are complete ^_^


  8. Take a bow, Madame. Chez Woodloft is magnifique. Our French friends will SO want to trade houses! Diansique

  9. How remarkably generous of you to share your home, your wisdom...yourself. I believe this is the most fabulous retreat I've ever heard about! You have thought of everything!

  10. Can you hear me sighing.... It would be wonderful but I fear the price of the flight across the Atlantic is a touch prohibitive. One day...

  11. Oh wow Cheryl, it all sounds fantastic!!! All the very best to you, your studio and accomodation look wonderful and your chef sounds a hoot! Love your pool and car too!

  12. Oh I wish I could come- that sounds like an AMAZING class! To be able to create with you....WOW! I know you will have so much fun with this and Chef St. Clair sounds like my kind of people :)
    I can't wait for the post I know you will create to share the classes with us!

  13. WOW Cheryl, You really have thought of everything. It all sounds so wonderful and inviting. Your chef is a riot! No doubt you will fill the class quickly and be setting up for your next one soon.
    I'm off to check the deets!

  14. Oh Cheryl! This just sounds like heaven in a teacup - and if Andy had not planned for us to go to Singapore this Spring, I would have been looking at flights to Virginia right now! I hope I get the opportunity to come and study with you one day. I'm really looking forward to hearing about the event later in the summer, despite being madly jealous of all the lucky participants! I think you are going to be innundated with them.x

  15. I would love to come just for the experience. Although I have no real interest in sculpture or clay, you make it sound like heaven on earth. And the all inclusive package is quite reasonable for everything you are offering. I'm sure the class will fill up fast, and you'll be offering it at least twice more this summer. Good for YOU!! I'm delighted and proud you are taking your art in this direction. It always helps to expand your expertise and resume.

  16. Oh this is so very unfair.....why can't you live in the UK.....sob sob. You are giving so much inspiration with the surroundings and the projects. Your students will have the most heavenly time and won't want to leave. Annette x

  17. Cheryl, what a FABULOUS new adventure!! A five star excursion awaits ... You truly have thought this through with a genius's mind. The Tuscany suit looks like a spa's retreat. A personal chef ... my, one would definitely leave Woodloft feeling most pampered!!! Five days of bliss, new friendships, and personal growth .... who could ask for more??? :)) Your homestead looks magical ....

  18. Cheryl I just know this new journey for you will be a success..I wish you all the best with it, the whole thing sounds wonderful, the setting is perfect..brilliant x

  19. Everything about it sounds wonderful!

  20. Cheryl, what an experience that would be. I love the faces you create out of clay. Too bad I live so far away from where you are as I would love to take one of your classes.

  21. Wow- what a fabulous endeavor sounds like a dream. Your home is amazing and what a fantastic experience this will be for your students and you as well. I wish you the very best success in this- beautifully thought out and presented Cheryl!

  22. Hi Magical Cheryl...such a gorgeous and inspiring post full of your shining spirit and beautiful world! Your place is stunning and fabulous...and your incredible talent and energy will be a blessing to those who take your course! You are awesome! I would love to be taught by you....maybe one day the future! Till then..shine on...I cannot wait to hear more about these new adventures! You are a very special artist..thanks for sharing your world!

  23. Okay this isn't a class or even a retreat--it's an adventure--this is what I call a complete art experience!

  24. I don't know what you say; I'm speechless. I think I would have to pack for a year! Wonderful!

  25. Someday...... Gosh the class sounds incredible. Cheryl I would give anything to come and take a week long excursion to Woodloft. Not to mention that I might learn something!

  26. Cheryl, how outstanding! From the welcome to the farewell it sounds like absolute wonderment! Makes me wish I lived somewhere near Roanoke. I look forward to your future posts. Big hugs! Katherine

  27. What a fun endeavor for you - and for your students!! I hope for all the best for you!

  28. Cheryl, sadly I will not be able to attend your class, so I am sending wishes of success instead. Go girl.

  29. So many beautiful fantastic pieces you've made!
    I love the Stoneware clay face planters and the art car B-dazle makes me happy.
    Have a nice sunday,

  30. Cheryl are we connected our spirts, I think so sometimes.LOL
    How lovely everything is so stunning and beautiful. Oh I live so far,your so amazing. Your new students will be so excited..
    My very best sending positive thoughts of new beginnings. Life is such a gift !!!
    Your always so inspiration,love what you share.
    Your so magical to me, Hugs Laura. xoxx

  31. Cheryl! you genius you! Oh that I could, I surely would! this sounds brilliant! and to have studied in such places...well, it's no wonder you are so very cultured and well rounded! not to mention a talented artist!

    you'll have a bliss filled time, I'm sure of it...even if I am not there! you'll manage! hehehe....

    have fun! and my hats off to the chef! what a grand gesture is captured in that photo! good stuff!

    ciao bella

    creative carmelina

  32. Hi Cheryl - thanks so much for stopping on by my blog. My friend and I run workshops in New Zealand here and you're definitely on the right track. We've kept our numbers to 6 students and that's more than enough, lol!

  33. In my dreams!!!!!!!!!!
    Maybe there is a class in the future for me!
    hugs and best wishes

  34. Hi Cheryl - You are an amazingly talented and gifted woman. I admire you in your new adventure. You have sussed it all out so perfectly. I know all participants will be thrilled with the tutoring, ambience, studio, views, food etc. etc. I just wish for you every happiness in fulfilling your dreams.
    And thanks heaps always for your beautiful comments left on my blog - you are truely thoughtful and it is appreciated!
    Love Suzy

  35. I LOVE the face planters, so beautiful. What a very good idea to organize this. And you are not expensive at alll!!! This year I go to a Sue Spargo class in Italy and they are much more expensive......
    Good luck

  36. Just looking at your studio and your lovely home makes me wish I could come down that way. I bet your students are going to have an amazing time! Glad you like my grapes in bowl still life. I would be very interested in seeing what you have been learning and doing in your Renaissance painting class. Do you plan to post any pictures of that work?


If convenient, please leave a comment. I read every one and thoroughly enjoy hearing your thoughts.