Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mosaic Workshop and Tour in Provence 
Laurel True and Valerie Nicoladze

Art and Inspiration in the South of France

June 21- 28, 2014

Immerse yourself in an educational trip and tour that will leave you inspired and creatively invigorated for the rest of the year! 
Enjoy the lavender in bloom, farm to table food, wine tasting, exploration of local markets and exhibits, and time to create in an inspiring studio environment.

Join professional mosaic artists and educators Laurel True and Valerie Nicoladze at Valerie's Esprit Mosaique Studio in Avignon, France to explore and celebrate color and creativity through mosaics.  Laurel and Valerie are teaming up for the second year in a row to offer a very special, specifically curated and inspiring trip that will combine hands-on studio time, a community project at a local social center, incredible insider sightseeing and experiential learning and amazing food...and wine...and cheese...and shopping in Provincial villages...and more.

Esprit Mosaique Studio is full of joyful color and provides a welcoming place to learn, create and spend time in community with other mosaic enthusiasts. This is a wonderful opportunity for cross-cultural exchange with French mosaic artists and the North African community served by the Orel Social Center in Avignon.  Participants will leave Provence feeling like family, having shared food, wine, stories and  
community creation.

Instructors will offer lessons focusing on various techniques including fresco cement as a
background treatment, demonstration of the uses of stacked and layered substrates and precision cutting and setting techniques for glass and ceramic. Each student will work according to their experience level.  All level of students are welcome.

Esprit Mosaique Studio offers a huge array of beautiful materials for students to use in the creation of their mosaic pieces. Drawers and drawers full of colorful and exotic materials from all over the world.  Participants will have the opportunity to work with french materials that are not often seen or used in the US. Students will enjoy a guided exploration of materials and color through the creation of a piece that they will take home.

One day of the week will include the creation of mosaics elements to be installed at Orel Social Center in Avignon. We will combine the elements we make with elements made by mosaic students trained by Valerie from the social center, creating a group mosaic project to be installed at the social center.  We will spend an evening meeting our co-creators and enjoy a delicious couscous dinner together.

In addition to enjoying time in the studio, participants will have the chance to eat delicious meals together, stay in a cute Provincial hotel, tour Avignon and nearby markets including St. Remy and Les Baux de Provence (a medieval village with an incredible view and violet gellato), visit the breathtaking and indescribable exhibition at Les Carrieres des Lumieres, as well as enjoy educational wine tastings and a Provincial backyard BBQ at the home of Valerie and her family.

We will end our time together with a picnic in a lavender field and visit to the Village of Salut, where quaint shops offer all things lavender.

Our trip in 2013 was an indescribable experience for everyone. 

We can’t wait to offer this trip again this summer!

Cost of this trip $2600


Mosaic workshop instruction
Accommodations for 8 nights (based on double occupancy, we can help coordinate)
Breakfast and lunches
Tuesday night family BBQ 
Thursday night couscous dinner
Transportation from train station or Avignon airport and to and from workshop
All touristic visits to markets and exhibits 
Wine tastings

Cost does not include flight, dinners (except Tuesday and Thursday) and personal expenses.
Both instructors are bi-lingual and workshop and activities will be in English and French.

To register for this workshop, please e-mail Valerie Nicoladze at:
Questions? Contact Valerie (above) or Laurel at


Payment can be made through Pay Pal
50% due at time of registration to hold spot.
We have only 10 spaces and expect this workshop/ tour to fill very quickly.


Only 3 spots left.. sign up now!


Itinerary 2014

Saturday, June 21
Participants arrive and get settled in Hotel de Atelier

Sunday, June 22

Studio orientation and intros at Esprit Mosaique Studio.
Tour of Avignon
Evening: Free (get over your jet lag and gear up for a great week ahead!)

Monday, June 23
Morning: Project lessons and demonstrations, materials selection and begin first project
Lunch at Restaurant La Strada
Afternoon: Studio instruction and work time
Evening: Free

Tuesday, June 25
Morning: Studio work time and instruction
Lunch at Restaurant La Strada
Afternoon: Studio time
Evening:  Wine tasting at Tavel Winery
Backyard Provincial BBQ at Valerie’s house

Wednesday, June 26
Morning: Visit Provencal market in village of St. Rémy de Provence
Lunch: Villa Glanum Restaurant
Afternoon: Visit art exhibit at Carrières des Lumières and in Les Baux de Provence
Evening: Free

Thursday, June 27
Morning: Studio work time and instruction
Lunch at Restaurant La Strada
Afternoon: Studio work time and instruction
Evening: Free

Friday, June 28

Morning: Mosaic studio time, create element for community project at Orel Social Center
Lunch at Restaurant La Strada

Afternoon: Install mosaic elements at Orel Social Center
Evening: Couscous dinner with families involved in social center mosaic project

Saturday, June 29
Morning/ Lunch:
To conclude our week together we will take a gorgeous walk in a lavender field and enjoy a Provincial picnic in the countryside. Visit Village of Salut on our way back.

Afternoon: Goodbyes and departure!

Feedback from 2013 workshop/ tour participants:

"Valerie's studio, project and supplies were the stuff of dreams! The accommodations were fantastic and the village we stayed in was like an American fantasy of what Provence could be...the excursions were all fantastic and the opportunity to have a meal at a French home as well as a picnic...I can't even express what precious memories those will remain for me! I mean really, the entire trip was great!"
- Karen R, Toledo, Ohio

 "I loved every second..."

- Mary W, Seattle, WA

"The special people that I met will forever be in my heart and memories."

- Susan R, Albany, NY 

"Laurel and Valerie are an amazing French/English teaching team! They each have fantastic personalities and teaching styles. Great class for first timers or more advanced mosaicists. I loved the combination of creative time and exploring Provence time. Every part of this trip was amazing!"

- Jennifer N, Carlsbad, CA

Above: Your fearless workshop leaders, Laurel True and Valeria Nicoldze

"Valerie hosted me at her beautiful home and studio in Provence and we decided to put together this workshop experience so that mosaic artists could come and enjoy the atmosphere of this amazing area and the warmth and hospitality of Valerie and her family and community.  I came back from that trip bursting with energy, inspiration and a full heart, and can't wait to share this experience with my students!"

- Laurel True, mosaic artist and co-instructor of workshop

" I welcome you to my studio and town, in the hopes that each participant/ student comes away with a feeling of having spent a wonderful week of creativity,  sharing our mosaic passion and fun, discovering the most beautiful places in Provence, with the desire to come back to explore more!  

 - Valerie Nicoladze, mosaic artist and co-instructor of workshop

Doesn't this sound awesome?

To register for this workshop, e-mail Valerie Nicoladze at:

Questions? Contact Valerie (above) or Laurel True

Cancellation policy:

Cancellations made before April 1st will receive a full refund, minus $100 admin fee
Cancellations between April 1and 15th will receive a 50% refund
Cancellations after April 15th are non-refundable, unless space is filled and in that case there will be a refund minus a $100 admin fee.

For all you left brain folks:

 (Order of these events subject to change, depending on timing/ flow/ etc.)

You can see selected photos from the 2013 workshop/ tour here.

Valerie and Esprit Mosaique Studio  

Laurel True with students at Esprit Mosaique Studio

Village of Les Baux de Provence

Workshop participants with community members from Orel Social Center, where we installed mosaic birds and butterflies on the building

Valerie's husband Gilles, offering his knowledge during a wine degustation during backyard BBQ.

Breakfast room at Hotel de Atelier

 La Strada Restaurant, a short walk from the Studio

 Contemplating wine and beauty. Relaxing and wine tasting in Valerie's backyard.

The inconceivably gorgeous Salut area where we have our final day picnic amongst the lavender fields.

See you in Provence!