French Summer School 2015

August 3-8 near Limoges, France, with Artist and Carver Martina Segler

To book contact Helen Mary Skelton on 01273 842363  01273 890491 Email:

Travel Details

Cost of tuition for 5 days 280 Euros,  including materials.

Travel by air (Ryanair) from Stansted to Limoges and then by hire car  (approx 45 mins).
Accommodation will be in nearby gites or B&Bs. See details at or Partners are very welcome to attend too but places on the workshop are limited to eight so please book soon to avoid disappointment.

Workshop Venue

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The Creuse area, approximately 45 km north east from Limoges, is very pretty, fairly untouched, with many small rivers and lakes, long walking tracks and lots of air and views.

The workshop is 500 meters up from sea level with lovely warm summers.

The first traffic light is around 30km away but despite this relative isolation, there are quite good local facilities in Chatelus.

Locally there is an ‘Auberge’, weekly summer markets, a beach with a small bar, and quite a few pilgrims on their way to Compostella.

Course Details

The idea is to host students of all levels, and obviously there is space for those who have a project on the go to pursue this and get all guidance and counsel I can possibly give them.

For stone carving, I prepare the facilities, but people would have to bring their own stone and tools.

The spirit of this week is not to work like in school where everyone has to go through a fixed programme, but rather to create a “pool” of creative discovery and sharing, with new impulses and experiences.

I would very much want to take everybody through some teaching around drawing, painting and modelling though, to come to know each other, to have fun and a good constructive time and to see where each participant would want to go deeper with a subject.

Obviously we cannot treat any of these domains exhaustively in five days, but we can get some basic notions very well established, f. ex. working each morning for two hours on these subjects.

We would have a look at drawing techniques which might allow you a new way to see, based on the method of Betty Edwards, which stimulates the right side of our brain.

There are basic exercises and if there is time we can decide on a theme, landscape or portrait.

Concerning the painting, I suggest to work with aquarelle.

We’d have a look at techniques on humid or dry support, the chromatique circle of Goethe, seeing complemetary colours, and free exploration of colour and surface.

And then, of course, clay modelling, in which we would look at the basic elements of form by working the sphere and the “ribbon of Moebius”, which is a big challenge for everyone who wants to conquer the third dimension.

The idea is not to produce an object that is functional or can be burnt and used, but to go through certain processes which allow a better understanding of form, space and the creation of dynamique, vibrating and vital surfaces.

The clay modelling allows us much more of these experiences, as it is fairly rapid, but the creation of these forms in stone can be envisaged for a later workshop.

All of this can be taken further by those who wish to, and I am sure we can work out a time schedule where everyone finds his/her place.

Looking forward to the adventure.


About Martina

Born in 1961 in Germany, I passed three years of a thorough apprenticeship as a stone mason and sculptor in Duesseldorf from 1982 to 1985.

After my diploma, I studied architecture in Cologne. With this new perspective, I returned to stone carving, working for around 25 years in Cologne, Copenhagen, Tel Aviv and London, often in the restauration of historical monuments and always deepening my work as a sculptor and letter carver and other artistic disciplines (calligraphy, drawing, painting).

In 1997 I started to study art therapy (drawing, painting, modelling, drawing of formes), in Germany again, and got my diploma in 2000.

From 2000 to 2002, I worked as a sculptor and as a teacher in a school for art therapy in Denmark.

At the end of 2002 I moved to France, to this beautiful area of the Creuse, where I have built my workshop from the local granite and have developed a very versatile professional life around my work, including exhibitions, a first children’s book, therapeutic projects and much around teaching, children and adults, in  varied circumstances.