Sculpture in Stone with Gail
  • Istria, Croatia
  • 40 hours over 10 days

Sculpture in Stone with Gail

Learn to carve a sculpture in stone in Istria, Croatia's hidden gem jutting into the Adriatic Sea. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced, British sculptor, Gail will share simple techniques to work the stone or combine it with other materials. Set amid olive groves and vineyards, you'll gradually be seduced by the Roman ruins, coastal villages, artist towns, truffles, and Croatia's best-kept culinary secrets. The Mediterranean calls.
  • Breakfast, Snacks, Coffee, & Tea


One Guest
USD $1225
Additional guest(s) (max 4)
USD $600


One Guest
USD $590
Additional guest(s)
USD $125

Meet the Artist

Gail is a British sculptor, living and working on the Istrian peninsula of Croatia for over 30 years. She first came here (then Yugoslavia) to attend a summer school in stone that proved to be a turning point in her life. She discovered the Mediterranean light, the local stoneworking traditions, and the ancient techniques of making diminutive sculptures. Rest, as they say, is history.

Her work over the years has followed its natural course – from working exclusively in metal, then stone, and finally combining stone, metal, and other materials. Forging the metal to fit or spring from the stone, borrowing traditional techniques to create something new. She finds inspiration in nature and human form, and the age-old building traditions in her area have helped guide her practice. She likes to approach her work from different points of inquiry and varying themes like ‘Of the body,’ ‘A Passage Through,’ and ‘Earthen Houses.’

Gail finds it hugely satisfying to share her knowledge, to witness someone grow, and to see their satisfaction as they accomplish something new. Her studio is in the countryside with plenty of outdoor areas to work in, surrounded by wine and olive-growing farms. You are in for a treat!

VAWAA Includes:

  • Create sculptures in stone or combined materials like clay, metal, and leather.
  • Prepare the form in clay, wax, or plaster.
  • Model the form in stone using basic to advanced methods.
  • Develop and refine the form using various techniques to work the stone with hand tools.
  • Get guidance on cutting, drilling, and splitting the stone using machines and compressors.
  • Add textures, polish and finish your hand made sculpture.
  • Learn to make your own tools (for advanced levels).
  • Combine materials to make a sculpture for an additional fee and extended duration.
  • Your own stone sculpture.
  • Visit Grožnjan the historic city of artists, Marussici sculpture park, summer music evenings, and exhibitions.
  • Walks in the countryside, the Parenzana, or visit the waterfall and swim seaside. (seasonal availability)
  • Option to visit seaside towns Piran and Pula and other sculpture parks nearby.

Stay at Gail's

Stay at Gail's countryside home located in a little village at the top of a hill, 10 mins drive from her studio. There are two guest rooms with double beds and a private bathroom (not ensuite). Breakfast is included and you'll have full access to the kitchen to prepare other meals. Rest of the house has an open, airy floor plan and a little gallery of Gail's art work.

When you want to relax, you can pick fresh fruits in her outdoor garden while enjoying the terrace overlooking the village. Set amid olive groves and vineyards, it is a relaxing space to share meals or gather inspiration. Please note that the house requires the use of steps and a staircase for access. It's also the home of 3 cats that mostly stay outside.

Explore Istria

Gail's studio is in the heart of Northern Istria, in the small village of Donja Gomila. It is about 8 km from Grožnjan, the well-known, picturesque, cultural town where artists from all over the world live and work.

Stoneworking is part of the local tradition. Istrian stone has been used for construction since the Venetian era – from the famous Roman amphitheater in Pula to the local stone houses. Stone workers were brought to work the stone from further south in Dalmatia or Monte Negro, which influenced the local architecture. Gail uses the same stone for her sculptures.

The Istrian peninsula in the northern Adriatic is packed with ancient hill towns, UNESCO Heritage sites, and a rugged coastline. There's something to explore for everyone, whether it is Marussici, a beautiful village nearby with 40 sculptures from all over the world, the splendid views of the Mirna river valley, or Momjan, the wine country and its castle. Food lovers, in particular, flock to the region for its award-winning cuisine, truffles, and abundance of fresh ingredients.

Additional Details

Istria is beautiful year-round, especially in May–July, and September. However, August can be hot and busy with tourists, and December to February are the coldest months.

This VAWAA can be extended for up to 21 days for special projects or advanced techniques. Please ask when you send your booking request.

Seniors and anyone above the age of 18 are welcome. This VAWAA is not suitable for individuals on wheelchairs or with special needs as it requires guests to be on their feet most of the day.

Gail's home has 3 cats that mostly stay outside. If you are allergic to cats, please bring suitable medication before you arrive.

Gail speaks English, Italian and some Spanish, Croatian and Slovene.
Gail's Availability 10 days

Guest Reviews

  • Catherine B., United States

    I had never thought about visiting Croatia - but was drawn to a chance to learn stone sculpting. This experience was beyond magical - Gail, her studio, her home, and the beauty of Croatia all brought calmness and life to my frazzled mind. Gail’s got a strength and fearlessness she shares, a love of sculpting that she has taught many, and a special bond to Croatia and the people in town. It’s hard Read more

  • Mc Arthur K., United States

    Fabulous! I literally felt my brain getting unstuck as I tried something brand new. Gail was a great teacher— clearly had the vision and skills to chart a path to a successfully completed piece. Helps, of course, she is patient, flexible, and good fun. Highly recommend! P.s.: and her house and cafes are CHARMING!