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Wed, Jul 24


Whiskey Creek Zócalo

CLAY FEST - Clay Wall Carving

Get Your Hands in the Mud

CLAY FEST - Clay Wall Carving
CLAY FEST - Clay Wall Carving

Time & Location

Jul 24, 2024, 9:00 AM – Jul 26, 2024, 4:00 PM

Whiskey Creek Zócalo , 11786 US-180 East, Arenas Valley, NM 88022, USA

About the event

This Workshop is SOLD OUT.

You can go to the website link to get on a waiting list.

Three Day Clay Wall Carving Workshop

with Athena Steen

WHEN: Wednesday July 24th - Friday July 26th

TIME: 9am – 4:30 pm each day

COST: $300 for 3 days

LOCATION: Whiskey Creek Zócalo

11786 HWY 180 E. Arenas Valley, NM







**All tools and materials will be provided. Participants are responsible for their

own transportation to and from the workshop site.

**Class Limit – 10 students

PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT RSVP. Go to Link to Register!

You can sign up for the workshop through the Canelo Project’s website.


This Workshop will likelly sell out. Please secure your spot in adavnce.

Athena Steen grew up building with clay and adobe. She loves creating sculpted spaces that connect form with function, and walls rich with pattern, texture and color.  Through the Canelo Project, a small non-profit organization, Athena has been teaching workshops for over thirty years, in strawbale construction and earthen building. Focused on simple, low-skill, low-cost methods that build community between people, culture and nature. Co-author of The Straw Bale House, Small Strawbale, and Built by Hand, her influence in the natural building world has been wide-spread. When Athena does not have her hands in the mud, she also enjoys publishing and designing books.

This workshop will be held at bar, restaurant, and music venue, Whiskey Creek Zocalo, owned and run by artists Jeff LeBlanc and Melanie Zipin, & Rafael Zipin. It is a space that houses creativity, and in this workshop, you will be part of creating a work of art that will remain there for many to enjoy.


Clay wall carving is the process of building up layers of clay plasters in differing colors or textures, and then carving away those layers in forms and shapes to create a 3 dimensional "relief" carving. This technique transforms ordinary, flat walls into amazing works of art, and can drastically transform and elevate a space. It also goes hand and hand with other natural building techniques like earthen walls and plasters.

Day 1: Mix first plaster layer and apply three coats of plaster. Participants will learn about the properties of clay plaster and different mix proportions. They will also learn how to mix and how to apply earthen plasters to an existing earthen wall.

Day 2: Mix and apply three coats of plaster. Between plaster applications, students will learn about various tools such as different trowels, as well as base coats and middle coats for leveling. (perhaps sculpting?)

Day 3: Transfer design on wall and carve. We will work together to carve away layers, leaving a beautiful design. Students will learn about different carving techniques and tools and how to transfer a design onto the wall.

Clay plasters are a natural building material made from subsoil, water, and fibrous

organic material (typically straw). Contents of subsoil naturally vary, and can be modified with sand or clay to create the desired balance.

You can sign up for the workshop through the Canelo Project’s website.


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