Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Summer Mosaic Workshop and Tour in Provence with Laurel True and Valerie Nicoladze: June 2015

Mosaic Workshop and Tour in Provence 
Laurel True and Valerie Nicoladze

Art and Inspiration in the South of France

June 27- July 4, 2015

Immerse yourself in our week-long experience 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 creativity through mosaics.  Laurel and Valerie are teaming up for the third 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 international 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.

Laurel and Valerie will share their experience with students in a relaxed studio setting, offering lessons focusing on various techniques including unique precision cutting and setting techniques for glass and ceramic, use of French mosaic tools and materials not  often seen in the States and tip and tricks they have mastered over their combined 40 years of creating mosaics. Each student will work according to their experience level.  

Students of all levels are welcome!

Esprit Mosaique Studio offers a huge array of beautiful materials for students to use in the creation of their mosaics. Drawers and drawers full of colorful and exotic materials from all over the world.  Students will enjoy a guided exploration of materials and color through the creation of work that they will take home.

Mosaics studio sessions are schedules in the mornings and afternoons, with some optional evening sessions, leaving plenty of time to create.

One day of the week will include creation of mosaics elements to be installed at Orel Social Center in Avignon. Students will have a chance to contribute to a permanent mosaic mural that will combine elements made by community at the social center. 

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 gelato), visit the breathtaking 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 Sault, where quaint shops offer all things lavender. The beauty of the lavender in bloom is indescribable and will stay with you well after you return home.

Our trips in 2013 and 2014 were wonderful...

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

Cost for trip: 
1850 Euro ($2364 at present, check exchange rates here.)

Investment includes: 

Mosaic workshop instruction
Accommodations for 8 nights (based on double occupancy, we can help coordinate, single room extra)
Breakfast and lunches
Tuesday night BBQ at Valerie's
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 personal expenses.
Valerie and Laurel 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.



Itinerary 2014

Saturday, June 27
Participants arrive and get settled in Hotel de Atelier. 

Laurel and Valerie will meet participants at the train station during two pickup times.

Sunday, June 28

Studio orientation and intros at Esprit Mosaique Studio.

Brief presentations by Laurel and Valerie of their work.
Lunch in Avignon as a group (non-hosted) and a chance to explore lovely Avignon.
Evening: Free (get over your jet lag and gear up for a great week ahead!)

Monday, June 29
Morning: Project lessons and demonstrations, materials selection and begin first project
Lunch at Restaurant La Strada (La Strada is an amazing restaurant!)
Afternoon: Studio instruction and work time
Evening:  Backyard Provincial BBQ at Valerie’s house

Tuesday, June 30
Morning: Studio work time and instruction
Lunch at Restaurant La Strada
Afternoon: Studio time
Evening: Optional studio time

Wednesday, July 1
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, July 2

Morning: Mosaic studio time, create element for community project at Orel Social Center 
Lunch at Restaurant La Strada
Afternoon: Community mural installation at Social Center
Evening: Optional studio time

Friday, July 3
Morning: Studio work time and instruction
Lunch at Restaurant La Strada
Afternoon: Studio time
Evening: Free

Saturday, July 4
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. Country drive and visit Village of Sault. 

Afternoon: Goodbyes and departure!

Feedback from previous 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

Valerie with student Mary 2013 and 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, offers his vast knowledge of wine during a wine tasting 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 Sault area where we have our final day picnic amongst the lavender fields.

See you in Provence!