A slice of paradise…and concrete too!

I’ve just returned from a very unique teaching venue in Puerto Vallarta:  Hacienda Mosaico.  Sandra Leonard, AKA Sam, is the creative force behind this artful retreat as well as a gracious host.  Over the years, many of my friends and colleagues have recommended I teach there and 2017 marks my first time.  I had such a positive experience that I scheduled another workshop for January 21 – 27, 2018!

Hacienda Mosaic is a beautiful complex of gardens, quiet alcoves, and a staggering amount of intriguing artwork.  Around every corner you’ll encounter installations from previous workshops.  Sam’s interiors are colorful and inviting and are filled with much of her own creative work.  It truly is visually inspiring.

My good friend Amica, joined me and assisted with the workshop.  We arrived a couple of days early so I could source materials.  The added bonus was that Carol Shelkin was teaching one of her wonderful classes.  A long time, veteran teacher at Hacienda Mosaico, she was able to provide some valuable guidance and inclusive hospitality.  Her group was wonderful, a mix of some good friends and some new ones, who I’m looking forward to seeing this year at the SAMA Conference in Detroit.


Carol recommends Fish on a Stick….I recommend the Cadillac Margaritas. 

I wasn’t sure what supplies were available so was uncertain what I would be able to present as projects. With the help of Amica I had three suitcases packed with tools, foam blocks, and wire.   Xenofron, Sam’s husband, patiently drove me around prior to the workshop to source other materials and I was very pleased with what we were able to find.

I had a great group of adventurous souls who joined me in pursuit of concrete and margaritas!  Together we created a distinguished group of ‘Potheads’, learning the basics of armature construction and modeling facial features in concrete.  They also had a foam carving experience, complete with a mini hot wire table, finishing with their pieces with custom colored concrete…I had to bring my colorants with me!

The group project, a special throne-like chair, will have to be completed during the next class.  We did, however, experience the joys of bending and tying rebar.  It was an action packed week that also included group dinners, Gallery walks, shopping and swimming!


I hope you can join me the next time…to make your dreams concrete!

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