Cindy Ingraham Keefer is a professional ceramics artist, sculptor and teacher. She has exhibited in galleries Los Angeles as well as made large public bronze sculptures. The pottery wheel is her first love, and the dynamic firings bring excitement to the process. She has provided restaurants with her beautiful tablewares, and homes with lovely sculptural vessels. Inspired by art history and natural beauty, she enjoys learning methods and techniques that achieve the beautiful results in her artwork. The culture of Italy surrounds itself with art that is both useful or just to be adored. You will be visiting the birthplace of the decorative Majolica style of ceramic art in Urbania, Here you’ll be transformed into being an artist of the Renaissance times, enjoying the culinary arts as well. Each of us will learn what it takes to create our own Majolica tiles and decorative art for you to bring back home.
Join us for the experience of discovering the lifestyle of the studio artist and Cindy will share her joy of teaching you the methods to achieve your personal best work!
*PLUS BONUS COMPANION PACKAGE for non-artist with Piero as your guide: opportunities to explore surrounding historical villages, horseback ride, golf, visit a Roman archaeological site, visit nearby festivals, visit the Church of the Dead, take a bell tower tour, discover sunflower fields or just drink with the locals! ****Non-artist discount of $350.
Day 1, Monday, July 15
-Arrival (*Rome, FCO is the recommended airport).
-Piero will meet you at the airport and escort you to your exclusive Bed and Breakfast.
-Introductions all around as everyone settles in.
- Cindy Keefer, and our host and native Marchigiano, Piero Pagliardini, will welcome you over drinks and then pizza night! After dinner, Cindy will introduce the course and our agenda to create successful beautiful artworks. Beginning with passing out a small sketchbook and colored pencils.
Day 2, Tuesday, July 16
- Wake up to the smell of fresh pastries baking under your hotel window. Enjoy a local breakfast of cappuccino and pastries (or le paste).
- Piero will pick you up and take you to Urbino, the city on the hill, where we kick off our adventure! We'll meet Paolo - who is an art historian with a deep and passionate knowledge of all things Ducale. We'll see the frescos, frieze work, important paintings and architecture of the high Renaissance at the spectacular Palazzo Ducale. In a loose yet structured manner, we'll wander the main squares and winding medieval pathways and pay a visit to Raphaelo's childhood home. You will be immersed in local color, texture, and flavors (while eating everything in sight) as well as examining architectural motifs, contemporary art, design, and their relationship to cake design, all the while sketching ideas that will inspire your art.
-Lunch at our favorite restaurant.
-Stop at an Italian art store before heading back home.
-We will meet for our first class in the neighboring village of Urbania, famous for its ceramic and majolica production center. This will be the introduction to the artist studio materials, tools and options. We’ll start with a demonstration by a regional ceramicist, as well as Cindy.
-Happy hour and dinner in the town square where Cindy will prepare you for your next day’s work!
Day 3, Wednesday, July 17
-Breakfast and lots of espresso.
-Then we return to Arte Urbania for a RAKU ceramic demo with an Urbania master. This is the day to create the form in clay that will be decorated, as per your sketch. Make a tile, hand-built sculpture, bowl or family plaque for your door to set aside to dry. Cindy will demo the relationship between her ceramic and sculpture work.
-Break for Lunch.
-More class then time to relax. Meet back up to experience “Shopping di Sera.” Become one of the locals with this evening festival featuring music, pop-up stands and dinner in the streets!
Day 4, Thursday, July 18
-Fresh baked pastries and coffee at our place!
- Start the morning with a stroll through the traveling open air market. Explore shops, booths and flower boutiques while nibbling on samples of olives, cheese and Porchetta. Explore all the ceramic studios and join us for a visit to the mysterious Church of the Dead…
-Another delicious regional lunch will be provided on site.
-After lunch, Majolica painting demo! Students will practice brush strokes and color mixing on a prepared tile. This is a good opportunity to finalize the sketch and practice on the tile, before you paint the final ceramic form.
Day 5, Friday, July 19
-Breakfast at the hotel.
-That morning we will drive to the last tiny village along the Metauro River before Tuscany to the rustic property of Oasi San Benedetto. This is home to the small but historic Museo dei Colori or "Museum of Colors" - a unique and historical landmark dedicated to recording how colors were extracted from nature before the use of synthetic materials.
-Break for lunch on site by the talented Chef Patrizia, who thoughtfully incorporates color into every meal she creates.
-Private tour followed by an onsite studio experience where you will paint the demo tile made in Majolica style with food coloring.
-Late afternoon wine tasting in Sant Angelo in Vado.
-Celebrate a day of hard work with an aperitivo and relaxed dinner just outside of town.
Day 6, Saturday, July 20
-Morning class in studio with Cindy (espresso provided!) for the final firing of your pieces! This is cause for a celebration of you becoming an artist of the majolica ceramics. We will enjoy the teamwork and excitement of the firing.
-Back to the B&B for time to pack.
-A professional photographer will come to provide a short photo shoot. Each person will receive 5 professionally edited, digital photos to remember your Italian experience.
-Farewell dinner at the local Osteria.
-Raise a glass (or two, or three!) to our fearless leader Cindy and toast to our week in Le Marche. Cin-cin! Cheers! And a warm salute until next year!
Day 7, Sunday, July 21
(*Please arrange departures for after 4:00 pm.)
Pick-ups at FCO Rome airport will be offered between 8:00-11:00 a.m.
Departures at FCO Rome airport will be offered from 2:00 pm onward. In order to arrive for your flight with ample time, we recommend scheduling departing flights after 4:00 p.m.
Pick-up and Departures from other locations, or at times outside these parameters can be arranged at an additional fee.
All skill levels are encouraged to come!!!