Sculpting with Clay

2023 Canelo Workshop

Sculpting with Clay

“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it.”― Frank Lloyd Wright


  • Tuesday, October 10, 2023
  • Saturday, October 14, 2023
  • 06:00 PM
  • 05:00 PM


  • Canelo Project , ARIZONA


  • $ 1100 inc. all meals

Sculpting with Clay Workshop


This 4-day workshop will teach the use of simple clay & straw mixes to both shape walls and create sculptural reliefs. 

This is a unique opportunity to participate in the design and sculpting of Canelo Art wall with Athena Steen and Beckie Kravetz. This is a special pairing of teachers that will combine Athena’s abstract sculptural forms with Beckie’s realistic reliefs, as the resident mask maker for the Los Angeles Opera. 

It will start with teaching coarse sculpting mixes to fine smooth finishes including clay paints and washes. This is will be an intimate class with space for only 6 students. They will be a part of the design process and implementation. 

With students and teachers we will co-sculpt an artwork. We welcome you to come and create with us. 

Sign up for our mailing list to get notified when registrations open.

This workshop has limited spaces and will fill quickly, so be sure to register as soon as possible.

  • Dates: This course begins with orientation and dinner Tuesday evening and ends Saturday 5pm, with a dinner and breakfast following morning provided. 
  • Meals: are included in the workshop price.
  • Accommodations: Camping and bunkroom beds are available and included in the workshop price. We have a few private rooms available for an extra cost.

Read more on our General Workshop Info.

Workshop Syllabus


ATHENA STEEN comes from a family of well-known Native American potters, sculptors and artists.  She grew up building with clay and adobe, and loves sculpting spaces and walls like giant pots. Connecting function and form, she plays with texture, color and line to create beautiful pattern and design. In the early 80’s, she built her first small, off-grid, passive solar house out of straw bales, believing she invented strawbale construction.  Her influence in the world of natural building has been wide-spread.

For over 25 years, as directors of the Canelo Project, she and Bill Steen, have been teaching workshops in strawbale, natural plasters, earthen floors, earthen ovens, straw-clay blocks, domes, vaults, cob, etc. While incorporating many commonsense tools and techniques from other countries, their focus remains on simple, low-cost, low-skill methods that build community.


BECKIE KRAVETZ began her sculpture career as a theatrical mask maker. She receive her training at the Yale School of Drama, the Centro Maschere e Strutture Gestuali in Italy, the Taller de Madera in Guatemala, and the Instituto Allende in San Miguel, Mexico. In 1988, she became the resident mask maker for the Los Angeles Opera where she has worked for over 35 years.

In 1998, the Los Angeles Opera hosted the premiere solo exhibition of Beckie’s opera-
inspired sculptures at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Beckie’s recent exhibitions include
contemporary figurative sculpture in bronze, ceramic and mixed media.

In 2001, Beckie was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to Spain to study wood sculpture, ritual masks, and puppets. Beckie’s sculptures have been exhibited in galleries and museums across the country. Full portfolio online at