This September I left my studio and home for the month to learn about sculpting, farming , and living in Italy. I’m an introvert , so please try not to imagine sweaty palms and wide eyes as I depart native soil and land in parts unknown – all in the name of further education. The experience was neatly divided into three segments –  to be elaborately blogged about in the coming days, but let’s back it up and see how I got there.

While interning at the Saint John Sculpture Symposium in 2012 my interest in outdoor sculpture got foisted from the periphery to the center of my focus. I looked all over the world for a place I could learn stone carving as well as figurative clay sculpture. After English, Italian was the most shared language among the sculptors at the SJSS 2012, because it is the language of stone.  I decided to stay in Tuscany to study figurative paper clay sculpture with Lorri Acott at La Meridiana, then take a marble carving workshop with Stephen Shaheen at Corsanini Studio.  With the ten days between these workshops I bought a WWOOFing Italia membership and pruned olive trees at Casa Voltole.

I was awarded a Career Development grant from the NB Arts Board to support my study at La Meridiana, and I received a loan from the Saint John Community Loan Fund to participate in Tuscany Study with Stephen Shaheen. My family and friends have also been very supportive of this eduventure.

So, here’s how I’ll blog about the trip:

This is an introduction, next will be Certaldo (La Meridiana), then Magione (Casa Voltole), and finally Carrara (Tuscany Study).