Workshops & Events

Mexico in December & 2019 Workshops

Together we will…Make your dreams concrete!

Take a workshop to learn a new skill, refine your technique, or to give yourself time and space to be creative.  The Studio Workshops have been held annually since 1991 and are held just outside the historic town of Bell Buckle at SWH Art Studio, Inc., with Sherri Warner Hunter and other prestigious visiting artists. It’s about an hour drive southeast on I-24 from Nashville.  If you live locally, you may want to commute or, like out-of-town participants, stay at a local Bed & Breakfast to immerse yourself in the creative experience.  Delicious lunches and refreshments are included, and all supplies and tools are covered by the Materials Fee.  Enrollment is limited to ensure personal attention so early registration is recommended. Lodging is extra and arranged by participants.  Local lodging suggestions will be included with your confirmation.

Hunter also teaches at other locations around the country and the world.  She may be teaching at a venue closer to home so please be sure to check the opportunities towards at the bottom of this page.  If you’re looking for something a bit more exotic you might want to join her in Mexico!

It’s not too late to join us in Mexico!

WORKSHOP:  Hacienda Mosaico, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

 Concrete in Paradise!    December 9 – 15, 2018   


This will be my third visit to Hacienda Mosaic and I’ve been so grateful every time.  Sam Leonard has created an inspirational environment for artist retreats, workshops, and independent travelers, and I always meet amazing participants who share my passion for making things!

Never carved foam, worked with concrete, or built an armature…no problem!

That’s what you’re going to learn!  If you already have some experience, then I’ll work with you to go to the next level.  Whether you are interested in creating 3-D substrates for mosaic or want to learn new sculpture techniques, I will meet you where you are and help you achieve your goals.

The information you learn during our time together will be easy to duplicate once you’re back in your own studio.  Due to the need for proper ‘cure’ time, we will not be applying mosaic to our concrete forms however we will do some imbedding and reverse cast mosaics.

I’ll be there to share my expertise and help you…Make your dreams concrete!  I hope you will join me.

What will we make in the workshops?

You will be introduced to a different concrete forming technique each day.   Five processes in five days:  carved foam for lightweight concrete application, waste molds for reverse cast mosaics, sand casting with modeled features, carved concrete and more!

Individual project will be of a scale that can be transported home with a little preplanning.  You might consider bringing a suitcase packed inside your suitcase to use for taking your artwork home. Pieces that don’t go with you, get to live happily in paradise or are adopted for other locations. Shopping is great fun, so you’ll want a little extra room for newly acquired treasures as well.

Past workshop participants have been helping on a group project, building a concrete throne for the garden.  In December we will begin to add decorative surfaces using faux bois techniques, embedding and carving!

Dailey information sharing sessions will address a variety of topics from finding inspiration to creating large scale artworks.

The location…

The Hacienda is filled with interesting collections of work from local craftsmen, selected artists, and the talented Sam Leonard, proprietress of Hacienda Mosaico.  Each guest room has its own unique artwork and design.  You know instantly that you’ve landed in an inspirational oasis!  Visit the site for more information.

The luscious surroundings are supplemented by delicious meals for breakfast and lunch.  No one leaves the table hungry!  They are presented beautifully and are healthy and tasty as well.  Dietary concerns are effortlessly addressed.

Tropical paradise, open studios, like-minded creatives, AND learning the joys of creating with concrete…and this comes with a pool, margaritas, and incredible food!

Plan your next creative travel experience for Hacienda Mosaic, December 10 – 14, 2018, and give yourself a very special Holiday present.  I hope you’ll join me for Concrete in Paradise!


Margaritas and Rebar!


2018 Workshop Fee: $1,900 (Based on double occupancy)

The workshop fee includes:
–  5 days instruction.
–  Unlimited use of the studio, 24/7.
–  Basic tools and supplies are provided however, students are encourage to bring a few specified tools and personal embellishments if desired.  Additional information is provided with confirmation.
–  6 nights of lodging, breakfast and lunch on workshop days. (Breakfast only on Saturday.)
–  A $500 deposit is required to reserve your spot.  A special Registration Form is required for this workshop.
–  SWH Art Studio Inc. is accepting payment for this workshop, via credit card, Paypal, or check.

Students are invited to a Hacienda Mosaico hosted Welcome Reception, Sunday evening, December 9.

Register Here

Trip insurance is strongly advised.

Travel Insurance 101: How to Protect Your Vacation
This “plain language” tutorial will explain travel insurance so you can easily find the right plan.

Cancellation and refund policy:
All cancellations are subject to a 20% handling fee.
Up to 45 days, 50% is refundable.
Less than 45 days fees paid are non-refundable.

Should any workshop/retreat be canceled the entire amount paid will be refunded within fourteen days after the workshop cancellation. Once this occurs, Hacienda Mosaico and SWH Art Studio Inc. have no obligations regarding any additional costs or fees related to the issuance and/or cancellation of airline tickets or other travel reservations. Hacienda Mosaico and SWH Art Studio Inc. accepts no liability for any airline cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a non-refundable ticket. Nor does it accept liability for canceled flights.


                 Workshops in Bell Buckle                                                      …new offerings & classic favorites!



There has been so much immediate interest in this workshop that I am offering another session!  Same class; different !

Instructor: Sherri Warner Hunter
Dates:  June 10 – 14, June 15 (optional) 1 space open
August 19 – 23, August 24 (optional)4 spaces open

Workshop Fee:  $850
Materials Fee:  $320 (+optional installation system TBA)
Limit:  6
Time:  Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM; Saturday: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (optional)

Master sculptor, Sherri Warner Hunter will share her expertise, providing you with everything you need to create a unique chair with all the considerations needed for a durable piece of public art.

This intensive workshop will include the following:

  • Designing for ergonomic comfort and elegance of line.
  • Creating maquettes for presentation.
  • Using working drawings as a valuable construction tool.
  • High quality materials and professional grade tools.
  • Foam carving methods and techniques.
  • Armatures and installation systems.
  • GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete) systems and application.
  • Mosaic for 3 dimensional forms.

Each participant will fabricate their own chair, consisting of a carved foam core, optional metal installation system, covered in multiple layers of AR fiberglass mesh/scrim, and concrete. This class is intended for those who have had some foam carving experience and the intention of creating large scale sculptural pieces.  Participants are encouraged to consider the ‘creative partner’ option with registration as well as how to transport the finished chair home.

Creative Partner option is for an additional person to assist on the primary registrant’s project.  They assist rather than create their own project.

Creative Partner Option:  $125

This  options provides an additional copy of the handouts, and all lunches and snacks provided to workshop participants.



Dates:  June 28 – 30

Details TBA

NOTE:  Bird Bath should set up over night before transporting.




Visiting Artist: Donald Tucker  
Dates: July 17 – 21 , 2019
Workshop Fee: $725
Materials Fee: $75
Limit: 8
Time: Wednesday – Saturday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Faux Bois, or “false wood”, is an old and nearly lost art form in which three dimensional sculptural representations of wood or wooden objects are created employing a steel and stucco lath armature which is then coated with cement-based media.  Sculpting and tooling of the final cement layers creates the illusion of wood grain and bark textures.  The level of detail possible is determined by the formulation of the final finish layer.  The level of detail possible is determined by the formulation of the final finish layer.  Two very different media are addressed in these two classes.  This workshop is more consistent with the more commonly recognized school of French Faux Bois.  The more detailed mix and process associated with El Trabajo Rustico, relates to the type of work made famous by Dionicio Rodriquez, will be addressed in the Advance class.

The five-day ‘Introduction’ course will provide the basic skills, techniques and information necessary for the creation of forms both decorative and functional.  This class includes design and engineering (building an armature), formulating, mixing, applying and sculpting.  Finishing options and coloring techniques will also be covered.  Each student will construct a project of their own design utilizing a fine sand mortar finish, Which Tucker refers to as a ‘French Finish’.


Visiting Artist:  Donald TuckerJMBenchFront
Date:  July 22 – 25, 2019
Workshop Fee: $350
Material Fee:  $25
Limit:  12
Monday – Tuesday, 9 AM – 5 PM
Wednesday, 9 AM – 3 PM

This intensive three-day ‘Advance Sculpting’ class deals only with the use of the unique neat Portland paste finish formulation that distinguishes the more highly detailed works associated with El Trabajo Rustico.  This mixture is very demanding and even considered “impossible” to employ by many experts, but when mastered, can yield a level of detail comparable to most sculpting clays.  Mix design and advanced sculpting techniques will be demonstrated and developed as participants create a series of studies to retain as reference material.

Since none of the basic constructions are covered during this class, students should possess a fundamental familiarity with armature development and sculpting, as well as a working knowledge of basic cement formulation and mixing to get the most from this course.  These skills can be learned by taking the Introduction to Faux Bois workshop.

NOTE:  There is a $100 discount if you sign up for both the Introduction and Advance Faux Bois Workshops!



CONCRETE CAMP:  Hybrid Armatures

Dates:  August 7 – 11

Details TBA


Other 2019 Events & Workshops!

 The Society of America Mosaic (SAMA)

Conference is coming to NASHVILLE!!


Visit SAMA’s website:

– Become a member

–  Register for the conference

– Make a donation to support their educational programing


Watch for more listings to come as details get confirmed! 

Updated 11/20/19     

2 thoughts on “Workshops & Events

  1. Pingback: Concrete in Paradise! – SWH Art Studio Inc.

  2. Pingback: Concrete Sculpture! | Mercedes Mosaics

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