That Necessary Mid-Winter Break

Fancy getting away from it all in our mid-winter? Here are three events in Latvia (where it will be mid-summer) that may have appeal for some.

July 21-31 is a ten-day master-class workshop on the art and craft of Lithophanes run by Ilona Romule who has been successfully using this format for some years for her internationally exhibited figurative works. Some may recall her entries to ‘The Fletcher’ as then her finely cast porcelain figures seemed exquisitely exotic to eyes more attuned to gritty stoneware textures. The master-class includes materials and extras such as visits to interesting destinations.

Lithophane, for the uninitiated, is light-transmitting porcelain cast into plaster moulds that are carved with a pattern or a narrative illustration. When light is shone behind, the pattern or narrative is revealed so that the artist’s intent is revealed via the varying layers and thicknesses of porcelain. It’s a Victorian technique often utilised for lamp shades and suchlike.


August 2-12 is a ten-day participatory symposium, led by Ilona Romule and Peteris Martinsons – both leading Latvian ceramic artists – around the subject of ‘Masculine and Feminine ceramics’. The symposium consists of group and separate discussions and instruction to develop each of the 20 participant’s ideas, individually. Basically it’s a ten day intensive around your own work providing that work can be under the rubric of Masculine and/or Feminine in some way. There will be visits to different destinations such as Latvian porcelain factories etc as well as the wonderful, well preserved, ‘art nouveau’ area of the city of Riga. Most materials supplied.

Both the above take place in Zvartava Manor where accommodation, meals and studio space is located. Language is English or Russian so if you have either you’ll be fine.

Participants must pay own transport to Latvia plus costs of instruction for 10 days, meals and accommodation. Seems very reasonable for ten days instruction, room and full board. Go to for more information. Applications should be made asap and all fees must be paid by March 3.


July 6-17 is a different type of symposium – “Meditation Light”, for 7/8 more established ceramic artists to work with unfired brick creating permanent ceramic and light objects for Riga Dome Cathedral’s sacristy and monastery garden. Created objects will be fired at the Lode Factory – maker of the bricks. Artists can use other materials also, as necessary, but light is to be a vital part of the object/sculpture which will be mounted in the sacristy or in the garden. Applications/proposals invited now. Participation bears no cost other than transport to Latvia.

Go to


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