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  • Gig Harbor United States (map)


Gig Harbor, WA August 5-9, 2019

This workshop is a collaboration of two artists, Debra Fritts and Frank Shelton, sharing their love of combining materials for art making.

Our class in Oaxaca was such a success that we were asked to put another workshop together, this time it will be in Gig Harbor, WA.


Humans and animals have always inhabited the earth. We will explore the possibilities of this human/animal relationship in clay and mixed media.


A clay head will be constructed with an emphasis on facial features and the spiritual connection with an animal.


A second piece will be constructed combining the human figure and animal with mixed-media including paper, fabric, paints and plaster.

Owl by Frank Shelton

Owl by Frank Shelton

The participant can chose to either combine these two pieces or keep them separate.


Day 1, August 5.  Meet at 9:30 for introductions, coffee and morning poem reading by Frank. Then we will start our day building our clay heads with Debra. We will break for lunch around 12:30, then continue working until 4:30. Appetizers and cold drinks will be served before our dinner made by Kathie. 

Day 2-3, August 6,7. Same schedule with Debra and Frank except for dinners will be on your own. 

Day 4, August 8 Same schedule with Debra and Frank but dinner will be served

Day 5, August 9 We begin at 9:30 with coffee and reading by Frank, then we will finish up our work. Lunch will be served around 12:30. We will continue to finish our work until around 3:00, then we will clean up the studio and prepare for our show and tell. Class is over at 4:30.

Collaboration between Frank and Debra

Collaboration between Frank and Debra


This Workshop is Full. A waitlist has been started. 


  • Five full days of workshop with Debra Fritts and Frank Shelton

  • Daily readings by Frank

  • Two dinners and five lunches prepared by Kathie Vezzani

  • Some art supplies

  • Private Facebook page

  • New art tribe

Price for this workshop is $1600 and does not include lodging or transportation. A $800 non-refundable deposit is due at registration, with the balance due March 7, 2019. The workshop is limited to 12. 

See cancellation policy.

Narrows Bridge to Gig Harbor

Narrows Bridge to Gig Harbor

The picturesque town of Gig Harbor is the location for this workshop. Listed as one of the most desirable cities in the US to visit (or to live), it is located just across the Narrows Bridge from Tacoma, WA on the way up the Olympic Peninsula. 

Gig Harbor. Pic by John Vincent Palacio

Gig Harbor. Pic by John Vincent Palacio

The Harbor is south of Seattle and the SEATAC airport. Transportation to Gig Harbor from the airport - Bremerton-Kitsap Airporter stops at two locations in Gig Harbor, the Inn at Gig Harbor or Purdy Park and Ride. 

Accommodation: There are many Arbnbs and B&Bs in Gig Harbor. Here is a link for more options.

Student Supply List

  • plaster gauze strips

  • mod-podge

  • permanent inks and/or acrylics

  • brushes

  • scissors

  • optional- scrap fabric, jute, threads,etc.

  • clay tools - needle tool, loop tool, wire cutter, metal rib

  • soft brush - Debra prefers watercolor brushes, a variety of sizes, including one fine detail brush

  • palette paper

  • sketchbook or journal

  • banding wheel or turntable if you have one

Supplies that will be Provided

  • clay

  • engobes and underglazes

  • some paint

  • water buckets, rags

  • tape

  • newspapers

  • quikcrete

  • one quart squeeze bottles

Debra Fritts is a studio artist working in Abiquiu, New Mexico. She received her undergraduate degree in Art Education from the University of Tennessee and continued graduate studies in ceramic sculpture, painting, and printmaking.  Debra currently conducts figurative sculpture workshops at her studio, and master classes nationally and internationally.

Debra enjoys national recognition for her work in ceramic sculpture through invitational exhibitions and awards, museum exhibitions and collections, gallery representation, private collections and publications.  Her one of a kind sculptures are hand-built and multiple fired with a painterly glazed surface. The work is a continuous story of awareness and the celebration of daily living.


Frank Shelton is a mixed media artist.  He describes his process of working by paraphrasing a quote from the late Israeli artist, Moshe Kupferman. "...I first put in emotion and expression. Next, I cover it up. Then, I put in silence..." While the process and product are important to me, I feel both are dead without passion. It is the passion that sustains me as an artist and human being


Kathie Vezzani, who is hosting the workshop at her home in Gig Harbor, also is an artist who paints, rusts and waxes. She organizes trips for other artists and in a former life was a caterer. She has 22 years experience organizing trips for foodies and artists.