LISA CLAGUE & DEBRA FRITTS - DREAMING IN METAL & CLAY - Sept. 3rd - Sept. 11th, 2016



The Human Figure, Fantasy and the Subconscious

Barro.Co Clay Studio, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

September 3rd – 11th, 2016

The Reliquary Figure:  a personal journey.  San Miguel De Allende is rich with inspiration, cobblestone streets, religious imagery, architecture, and endless surfaces that show the passing of time.  During this workshop we will allow our surroundings as well as our own visions to inspire us as we create the human figure.  We will visit the Mask Museum in town and the Sanctuary of Atotonilco in the countryside, which will help fill us with a vast display of history, imagery and imagination.  Debra and Lisa will demonstrate daily, their individual building techniques. Incorporation of metal, found objects and slip dipped fabrics will be introduced.  Both instructors will discuss color and surface texture using the numerous engobes available at Barro.Co Clay Studio.  Discussion will surround the human form as a spiritual vehicle to embellish with ones own vision, narrative or surreal.  In addition, we will begin the day with a simple meditative exercise in clay to generate our energy, and the objects will be used as test tiles for finishes.  We will combine our intuition, personal experience and the influence of the city to discover new possibilities in our work.

Lisa Clague:  Lisa Clague Sculpture

Debra Fritts:

San Miguel de Allende, a colonial treasure in the mountains of central Mexico, stands still in time with its pastel-colored houses, centuries-old churches, and cobblestone streets. A UNESCO World Heritage Site that was recently rated by Condé Nast as the best city in the world to live, San Miguel offers a favorable year-round climate, an active arts community and a laid-back environment that stimulates creativity. Read more about San Miguel.

PRICE: $1695 U.S.*  

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT:  If you register before February 1st 2015, you will receive a 10% discount. 

TO REGISTER:  A 30% deposit is required for registration.

*Price includes: 6 full days in the studio (see itinerary below) with all necessary materials, as well as daily coffee, tea and snacks, all lunches, welcome dinner, farewell dinner, all listed tours and activities.

**Not included:  Flight, accommodation, optional cooking class, alcoholic beverages, optional firing and shipping of sculptures.



Our studio, a renovated warehouse, offers a colorful, cheery working environment.  It’s a large, open area with high ceilings and natural light.   There is plenty of space for each student to work comfortably at a sculpting stand or sitting at a table. Click for more photos of the studio.

Click here for Map & Directions to Studio

Workshop hours are 10:00am – 6:00pm.  The studio is fully equipped with a slab roller and a wall-mounted extruder, as well as a great variety of wooden, metal, plastic, and silicone sculpting tools, ribs, paddles, brushes, canvas covered boards, sculpting stands, aprons, etc.  The only thing you need to buy is a notebook and pen, but feel free to bring your favorite tools, just make sure your name is written on them with indelible marker.

Our clay body is a user-friendly, low to mid-temperature groggy earthenware sculpture clay.   The recipe is a formula of various Mexican clays.  Our clay is ideal for beginners and advanced artists as it is strong and forgiving during all states of the construction, drying, and firing process.  It is excellent for small, medium and large-scale coil and slab-building projects, although it is formulated for monumental sculpture.

We generally do a single firing to Cone 04, where we apply color and glaze in the greenware state.   If you have not tried single firing before, you might become a proponent – it saves time and energy costs, and allows surface effects you would otherwise not get with separate bisque and glaze firings.  There are 54 engobe colors and 1 clear glaze for your use.  (For an explanation of engobes click here)

FIRING AND SHIPPING:  Your work will not be fired by the time you leave.  The firing is not included in the workshop price and must be paid before you leave, preferably in cash. (We charge by the cubic centimeter). After firing, we’ll e-mail you a packing and shipping estimate based on your home address, the weight and dimensions of your piece and the type of packing materials required.  We use a local company with reasonable prices that specializes in shipping artwork. 



Saturday September 3rd

6:30pm--Welcome cocktail and group dinner with Lisa Clague and Debra Fritts
Sunday September 4th

Sunday September 4th

10:00--Introductions and presentation of Studio Guidelines

11:00- -Clay meditation with Debra

11:30--Lisa demonstrates building of large bust

12:30--Lunch at El Buen Café each studio day

1:30--Debra demonstrates building the shell for the figure, two approaches, coil & solid using a dowel

3:30--afternoon snack

3:30-6:00 work time

Monday September 5th

10:00--Clay meditation with Lisa

10:30--Debra demonstrates coiling of head.


1:30--Lisa demonstrates construction of neck and head

3:30--afternoon snack

4:30--discussion, incorporation of metal or found objects

5:00-6:00 work time

Tuesday September 6th

9:00-5:00-- trip to the antique junkyard to search for metal treasures to apply to sculptures.

Tour of the World Heritage Site, The Sanctuary of Atotonilco  and visit to folk art gallery

Followed by lunch at Nirvana

Wednesday September 7th

10:00-- Clay meditation with Debra

10:30-- Face Demonstrations, Lisa and Debra


1:30-4:00--work time

3:30--afternoon snack

3:30-5:00 --Load small meditations into kiln, Studio Time

5:30-7:30-- tour of the Mask Museum 

Thursday September 8th

9:30--5:00--Day trip to the World Heritage City of Guanajuato

A possible visit to the Gorky Gonzalez ceramics studio in Guanajuato (renownedMexican Talavera potter).

*If students and/or teachers would like to stay behind and work, the studio will be open all day with assistants and guidance provided by Barro.Co Clay Studio.

Friday September 9th

10:00-- Clay meditation with Debra, demonstrations on using dry clays for surface treatment, and mark making.  Carving the dowel piece and intuitive play. 


1:30--Lisa demonstrates arms and hands as well as the dipping of fabric in slip and application to main sculpture. 

3:30--afternoon snack

3:30-5:30p-- Load small pieces for glaze firing.  Studio time

6:00--Lisa and Debra will give a public slideshow and lecture at the local library theatre (Note: date and time to be confirmed).

Saturday September 10th

10:00--Clay meditation with Debra

10:30--Lisa completes hair and talks about surfaces


1:30-- Debra demonstrates a painterly surface on wet clay with engobes and slips

3:30-- afternoon snack

3:30-6:00 --Studio time

4:00-7:00-- Optional Mexican cooking class: La Cocina Cooking School

Sunday September 11th

10:00: Surface and Refinement/ studio time


1:30–6:00-Presentation and demonstration on surfaces, fired/cold finish options/

repairs and gluing/ studio time

3:30 – afternoon snack

3:30-6:00 Studio Time 

7:00--Farewell Dinner

The times and activities and are subject to change.  An exact itinerary will be sent out 30 days prior to the workshop, along with an email from Lisa and Debra regarding preparation for the workshop.

**Once you have registered for the workshop, a detailed list of accommodations along with general travel and San Miguel information will be sent out.





Lisa Clague and Debra Fritts Figure Sculpting Workshop


August 2–10, 2016



Please read this Registration Form and if you are in agreement, print this document, fill it out and sign it, then scan and return by email to: If you have questions please contact Kris Rudolph at

Once you are notified that there is space in the workshop, a 30% deposit is required ($508.50 U.S.). You will receive a PayPal Request for payment.  Once we receive your deposit, a confirmation email, guaranteeing your spot in the workshop, will be sent out.

WORKSHOP BALANCE & EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT:  The workshop balance ($1186.50 U.S.) must be paid on or before June 1, 2016.  There is a 10% DISCOUNT if you register on or before February 1, 2016.  Tuition with the 10% discount is $1525.50 U.S. (the deposit is $457.65 U.S. and the remainder is $1067.85 U.S.).

CANCELLATION POLICY:   All workshop cancellations must be sent via email. If students cancel before the balance has been paid on June 1st, the deposit will be refunded minus a $50 U.S administrative fee.  If students cancel after the full tuition has been paid, and before August 1st, there will be a 50% refund.  Any cancellations after and including July1st will receive no refund.  However, we will attempt, but not promise, to fill your spot and refund your money minus a $200 administrative fee. 

IMPORTANT NOTEFor those students who are flying to Mexico for the workshop, PLEASE DO NOT BUY YOUR PLANE TICKET UNTIL WE HAVE INFORMED YOU THAT THE WORKSHOP HAS THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS.  For those students who will be staying in a hotel, please do not pay for your hotel or other accommodations until we have informed you that the workshop HAS THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS.  (The minimum number of students 10 / maximum number of students 15)

We will inform you by e-mail by May 1st at the very latest whether the workshop will be continued or cancelled.  If our minimum number of students is not met, we will refund your deposit and/or full tuition before May 15th.  

Please confirm that you have read all the terms and conditions:

NAME:  _____________________________________________

SHIPPING ADDRESS (full address please, to have your sculpture shipped after firing:  ______________________________________________________





EMAIL:  _____________________________________________

PHONE:  ____________________________________________




DATE:  _______________________________________________

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