Workshops & Retreats

Loading Events

Stone Sculpture: Intro to Hand Carving – G1907211

Workshop ID: G1907211
Dates: July 14 - July 20
Price: $775.00 - $1,540.00

Sculpting stone joins the material and the spiritual. The materials we will use to shape soapstone and alabaster are files, rasps, saws, and sandpaper. The spiritual arises from the imagination, elbow grease, and wonder that comes from transforming stone into figures, pendants, bowls- whatever the stone holds. While emphasis will be on hand carving, we will touch on mallet/chisel, embellishment, and the traditions from which sculpture arises. All levels more than welcome!


Package Price
All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Private Bath$1,540.00
All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Shared Bath$1,465.00
All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Communal Bath$1,195.00
Camping RV$835.00
Camping w/Electricity$795.00
Robin Keck

Robin Keck learned stone carving at Ghost Ranch almost 20 years ago, and has been teaching here since 2005. She is delving into the southwest traditions of stone carving (the meanings of animals, colors, directions


Download and Print Welcome Letter: Keck – Stone Sculpture

Stone Sculpture: Intro to Hand Carving

Instructor: Robin Keck

Start Date: 7/14/19, End Date: 7/20/19

Check-In Begins at 3:00pm at the Welcome Center on 7/14/19. Dinner 5:30 – 6:30; Orientation 6:45 pm

Invitation: Have you ever picked up a rock and wondered what was inside? Or found a stone that looked like…something, and could be more? Have you wandered a sculpture gallery and wished you could carve something? Come learn the art of hand carving with us at Ghost Ranch. Together will choose stone (alabaster, soapstone, wonderstone, limestone), decide which tools to use, and create a work of art from your own vision. Along the process you will meet cool people, learn about stone and its history, and discover a lifelong hobby. It’s not as hard as it looks!

Learning Outcomes: The primary goal of this class is to get hand rasps and rifflers and stone into everyone’s hand and create amazingly beautiful and personal small works of sculpture. A secondary goal is to learn something about different kind of stone, carving tool, the history of the ranch, and each other. A final goal is to instill in the members of this class a love for stone carving, and a desire to take this new art form home and create all year long!

Course Schedule:
Mornings from 9-noon will be spent in class. Afternoons from approx. 2-4:30 the instructor will be in the studio. Evenings from 7-whenever we cannot see anymore, the studio space will be open.
There very well could be an on-ranch field trip/hike to look at stone, and possibly build an inuksuk. Attendance at all is optional, but addictive.

Instructor Background: If it were not for Ghost Ranch, I would not be a stone carver. If I did not practice the zen of stone caving, I would be a far lesser person. In 1993 I had the great good fortune to be introduced to Ghost Ranch, and stone carving. In 2005 I was blessed to be asked to teach. These days, I get to work with the High School Initiative, the Instructor Reunion, the amazing office and marketing staff, and teach. Come to the ranch and take my class; who knows where it will lead!

Provided Materials: This class will have: A lot of stone; Many tools; Sandpaper; Finishing polish; Photos; Accessories; Water; Chairs; Pencils; Rags; Laughter; Dremel (for finishing only); Cotton gloves; A closing night Art Show.

What to Bring: I try very hard to supply everything, especially for first-time students. There are a few things, over and above what I consider the basics, that you might want to bring. A higher quality pair of gloves (thin leather, or nicer cotton); Photos and pictures – especially if you are coming in hot with a vision; Water bottle (you will hear this a lot); Your own tools, if you are advanced or precocious.

FAQs: Q: Is it hard to learn? A: Well, it’s stone. And, it’s a new skill. But no, carving softer stone is surprisingly easy, and immensely gratifying.

Q: Will I get dirty? A: It’s stone dust. It brushes off. In fact, do that before meals.

Q: When I fall in love with carving, can I buy tools and stone? A: Absolutely. I can sell you the basics (although new students get to keep their tool set) plus extra stone. Then I will give you websites to feed your craving for more.

Q: Can I fit my sculptures in my suitcase? A: Yep. Roll them up in your socks. Or put one in your pocket to fondle on the way home. Do not put your tools in your carry on. The TSA does not understand,

Please note that our workshop price structure packages your tuition, course materials, lodging and meals together in a single rate. Prices are presented for each of the types of lodging available for the workshop you select. Some art workshops will have an additional list of course materials and supplies that can be purchased or you will be asked to bring with you.
  • Note:  Some courses (especially studio courses and plein air painting courses) can carry an additional material list or expense.
All rates are Per Person, Double Occupancy unless otherwise specified. Single Occupancy: Single occupancy rooms may be reserved for an additional $50 per night when space is available. The fee will be charged when space is confirmed. Single occupancy lodging is generally not available during June and July. If you are a single person and do not specify a roommate, a roommate of the same gender will be assigned to share your lodging space or you can request the single occupancy and be charged the supplement of an additional $50 per night (based on availability). For more information or if you would like to attend this workshop, but do not need lodging, please call the Registrar's Office at 505.685.1001 or 505.685.1001 ext 4155 or toll-free at 877.804.4678 — available SundayFriday8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. MST.

Three ways to register:

  1. Download printable registration form and mail to: Ghost Ranch Registrar, 280 Private Drive 1708, Abiquiu, NM 87510. OR scan and email your completed form to:
  2. Register by telephone at 505.685.1001 or 505.685.1017 or toll-free at 877.804.4678, ext. 4155 or ext. 4121 — available Monday-Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. MST.
Share Ghost Ranch with a Friend
Sign Up for Enews