20A-2024 – Kala Stein & Naomi Clement – Clay & Culture: Eat, Play, Make

May 9 – 18 2024 

Respond to culture and develop new ideas

Handbuilding. Some experience is desirable


Clay & Culture: Eat, Play, Make is an 8-day course that begins with three days of cultural day trips followed by hands-on studio time and an additional field trip to Sienna.  Visits to museums, historic sites, not to mention eating and traveling through the Tuscan landscape, will spark new ideas to develop your creative voice and broaden your comfort zone.

Techniques taught

The techniques taught will focus on construction techniques, surface and pattern. Emphasis will be put on research and experimentation, with the rich cultural experiences to form the foundation for this workshop. Demonstrations will concentrate on handbuilding techniques including slab, coil, templates, 3D sketching, and the pottery wheel as a supplemental tool while surface and pattern will be adressed through topics such as stamp making, pattern design, mishima, sgraffito, stencils, majolica and slip decoration, and working with color.

Research & Experimentation

The Clay & Culture participants will be encouraged to draw inspiration from antiquities, architecture, and the natural world around them. Be ready to record your adventures and inspirations with a travel sketchbook and photography. Back in the studio, Kala & Naomi will help to fold inspiration into your studio research. Focusing on play, experimentation, and idea generation rather than on finished pieces, participants can expect to bring home a selection of their bisqued pieces, made of the local terracotta clay.

Teaching method

Your two instructors will offer their unique perspectives and approaches to constructing pottery forms and generating new ideas. They will provide prompts and demos to promote experimental learning, risk-taking, and joy through making in this supportive, immersive Clay & Culture experience. Some experience is desirable for this course, but an open mind is the most important skill you can bring!


Students will study in the beautiful environment of La Meridiana. Each studio day will have at least two demonstrations, one in the morning and one after lunch.   Lunches and coffee breaks will be used to have engaging conversations and to step out of the studio, if desired. Students are hosted in nearby accommodation and a full meal will be served on all course days. The last kiln opening will be in the morning of Saturday, plan your travels so to not leave La Meridiana before 9.30 am.

The artists

Kala Stein (b.1979) is a ceramic artist and designer working at the intersection of craft, design, and new technologies. Her work explores notions of beauty through efficient systems of making, intentional materials, and systematic approaches to fabrication including molding and casting techniques. Kala designs and produces custom work, from her studio in Sonoma, California, for private homes, hospitality, and corporations. She teaches and exhibits her work throughout the US and internationally including Jingdezhen, China and Italy. Kala received her MFA in Ceramics from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2009. https://kalastein.com/

Naomi Clement is a Canadian artist and educator who explores ideas of home and belonging through the powerful lens of functional ceramics. She received her MFA from Louisiana State University in 2017, and her B.F.A from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University in 2003. Naomi has participated in residencies, given lectures and workshops, published articles, and exhibited her work across Canada and the United States. She served as a board member for the National Council on the Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), and was named a 2017 Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly magazine. https://naomiclement.com/



Kala Stein & Naomi Clement


Thursday May 9 (arrival) – Saturday May 18 (departure) 2024

Length of course

3 days of field trips plus 5 days in the studio


Some experience is desirable


Experimentation & design, Handbuilding


€ 900


€ 2900 in double room / € 3350 in signle room

Additional Information

The workshop fee includes the following:
4 field trips with museum visits;
Tuition of 6 – 8 hours per day;
Studio open 11 hours per day;
All materials and firings;
3 nights lodging in Hotel in Certaldo alto; 6 nights lodging in refurbished farmhouse;
Freshly prepared three course lunch with wine on all working days;
Welcome breakfast, Three dinners;
Coffee break in the mornings and in the evenings on the studio days.

Payment and Refund Policy

A deposit is required at registration. After submitting the registration form, you may proceed with the payment on-line. If you choose to pay by bank transfer, the registration will be confirmed once the deposit has been accredited in our banking account. The balance must be paid at the beginning of the course.

You may withdraw within 14 days of registration without incurring in any penalties and will have the deposit fully refunded.  No refund of deposits past 14 days of registration, pursuant to articles 53 and following of the Italian consumer legislation, in accordance with the EU consumer protection legislation. In the event of disputes, the competent court is Florence. If the workshop cannot be hold because of an insufficient number of students, the deposit will be fully reimbursed.
Force Majeure
Students must know that cancellations may occur due to events beyond our control (e.g. pandemic, civil disorder, medical or family issues of the instructor). In such case, La Meridiana reserves the right to offer a voucher for a different workshop of your choice. The voucher is valid for two years. The deposit will be transferred to the workshop of choice.


La Meridiana is equipped to comply with the current safety standards regarding Covid-19, including social distancing between people in and outside the studio. The daily maintenance of hygiene measures is guaranteed.  Please note that participants will be required to follow the security protocol and to comply with some simple precautions.

Sorry, this course is full