37-2025 – Adrian Arleo – The Layered Figure

September 7 – 20 2025

Coil-building and developing surface imagery through drawing, carving and texturing

Sculpture. No beginners

37-2025 – Adrian Arleo – The Layered Figure


During this two week figurative workshop we will focus on coil-building the human form. The layered figure means developing surface imagery through drawing, carving, texturing, and the addition of simple sprig-molded forms.

Teaching method

For inspiration for the layered figure we’ll steep ourselves in the Tuscan landscape, the Florence art museums, and a culture renowned for blending the old and the new. The first week will begin with a trip to Florence and the Bargello Museum to experience the works of great Renaissance masters such as Donatello, Michelangelo and della Robbia. Note-taking through sketching and photos will help inform our sculpture ideas which we’ll develop and refine through moquettes back in the studio. Throughout the two weeks, Adrian will give demonstrations and slide presentations on her sculpting and coil-building process and supportive individual feedback to guide students in making medium scale sculptures.

Techniques taught

The techniques covered will be useful for large scale work that could be explored in the future. This will include the use of a base and rod for tall narrow pieces, sectioning and reattaching techniques, internal supports and buttresses, and other sculpting techniques from over 30 years of experience in working with clay. In addition to coil-building the figure, we’ll enliven the forms with narrative and textural surface imagery. Adrian will demonstrate her texture, carving and relief techniques, as well as how to make simple small sprig molds and ways to alter and apply the press-molded forms to larger pieces. These sprig molds can be made from any assortment of found objects, natural textures, small architectural details, or forms you create out of clay. The final component to developing a strong, convincing form and surface relationship is an understanding of different types of finishes.

Finishing techniques

Adrian will discuss and show examples of low-fire glazes, terra sigilatta, and non-fired surface finishes such as wax encaustic, casein paint and gold leaf. Also during this time, participants will have the opportunity to make one or two more simple small sprig molds to take home for future pieces.


While our work is firing, we’ll have the good fortune to go back to Florence to visit the Accademia where we can see the work of more Renaissance masters such as Botticelli, Bartolini, and of course, Michelangelo’s “David” and “Slaves of Stone”.The workshop will wrap up with unloading the kiln and a group critique of the fired pieces. Participants will be able to make arrangements to have their work shipped back home.

On every classday, a delicious meal will be served. At booking, you may select your preferred room type, choosing between standard lodging, single room and/or upgraded accommodation. Please note that depending on the availability, certain types at times may not be offered.

The artist

Adrian Arleo is a studio artist living in Lolo, Montana. She studied Art and Anthropology at Pitzer College (B.A. in 1983) and received an MFA in ceramics from Rhode Island School of Design in 1986. Her work is exhibited internationally, and is in numerous public and private collections, including The World Ceramic Exposition Foundation, Icheon, Korea, Racine Art Museum, Racine WI , The Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, GA, and The Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT. Adrian received awards from the Virginia A. Groot Foundation in 1991 and ’92, and a Montana Arts Council Individual Fellowship in 1995. Along with making her own work, Adrian is a frequent workshop leader and has been a guest juror for numerous national exhibitions. Her work is currently represented by Radius Gallery in Missoula, Montana, and Eutectic Gallery in Portland, Oregon.


“For fourty years, my sculpture has combined human, animal and natural imagery to create a kind of emotional and poetic power. Often there’s a suggestion of a vital interconnection between the human and non-human realms; the imagery arises from associations, concerns and obsessions that are at once intimate and universal. The work frequently references mythology and archetypes in addressing our vulnerability in a changing personal, environmental and political world.” https://adrianarleo.com


Adrian Arleo


Sunday September 7 (arrival) – Saturday September 20 (departure) 2025




Some experience required

Workshop fee (without lodging)

€ 3280


Euro 900

Workshop fee and lodging

The costs listed include both: the workshop fee and the lodging. 

Standard accommodation in shared double room, at 15 minutes walking distance from La Meridiana – Final course cost: Euro 3720
Standard accommodation in single room, at 15 minutes walking distance from La Meridiana – Final course cost: Euro 4080
Upgraded accommodation in shared double room with air condition, at maximum 15 minutes walking distance from La Meridiana. Final course cost: Euro 4040
Upgraded accommodation in single room with air condition, at maximum 15 minutes walking distance from La Meridiana. Final course cost: Euro 4440
Private appartment with air condition with one bedroom, kitchen, bath and outdoor space. Final course cost: Euro 4680
Course without lodging Euro 3280

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 EU consumer protection legislation.
If La Meridiana cannot hold the course due to unforeseen events beyond our control, La Meridiana reserves the right to offer a voucher for a different course of your choice. The voucher is valid for two years. The deposit will be transferred to the new course.

Additional information

The workshop fee includes the following:
Tuition of 6 – 8 hours per day;
Studio open 11 hours per day;
All materials and firings;
Freshly prepared three course lunch with wine on all working days;
Welcome breakfast, Welcome and Final dinner;
Coffee break in the mornings and in the evenings.

At booking, you may choose your preferred room type but depending on the availability, certain types at times may not be offered.

Choose the accommodation you prefer: