Sculpture Workshop

Join us for an exclusive opportunity to learn or practice stone carving at its traditional heart: under the marble mountains where Michelangelo chose his blocks. Tuscany Study will offer one, limited enrollment, 2-week workshop this summer with expert New York-based sculptor Stephen Shaheen. The course dates for 2014 will be announced in October.

For more information or to register, please contact us at

Course Highlights

  • All experience levels and aesthetics welcome, with individual guidance and instruction.
  • Expert oversight by trained instructors, and the chance to work alongside Italian master carvers.
  • Hosted in Carrara, Italy, the world center for stone sculpture.
  • Daily studio work in a modern and fully-equipped stone sculpture facility.
  • Field trips to Florence, Pietrasanta and local points of interest.
  • Studio and lodging a short walk to the beach, at the beginning of the Italian Riviera.

Included in the tuition:

  • Daily studio access and work station in a modern, fully-equipped sculpture facility.
  • Air hoses and high-compression air supply.
  • 220-volt electricity.
  • Homemade, delicious Italian lunches in a friendly atmosphere with other sculptors.
  • First and last nights’ dinners, freshly prepared in a local trattoria.
  • Field trips to Pietrasanta and local points of interest.
  • Guided tour of Florence and visits to major museums with an art historian.
  • Guided tour of the marble quarries above Carrara.
  • All ground transportation to and from the studio and on field trips.
  • Assistance with selecting, moving and (if necessary) squaring/trimming stone.
  • Guidance with crating and shipping your work.

What You’ll Learn

This course will teach students the fundamentals of stone carving, or guide experienced carvers towards honing their skills. Various tools and techniques will be discussed, and participants will engage in all aspects of the carving process: from roughing out the form with chisels to finishing it with rasps, sanding stones and other abrasives. The use of both manual and power implements such as diamond saws will be demonstrated.

Stephen Shaheen will provide individualized instruction throughout the day and will guide workshop participants at each skill level and aesthetic interest, from beginner through advanced, both realism and abstraction.  Some tools are available to try in the studio, others can be purchased from local suppliers.  Our past participants have created remarkable artworks during the workshop.


The course is open to all levels of experience as it is tailored to each individual student. Students are guided through projects of their own choosing and at their own pace. Some students may choose to work from a model using measurements systems while others may be drawn more to free carving methods. A combination of both aspects may be used in some cases depending upon the work. Students will be guided through the differences of approach between working from a preconceived idea and learning to respond to the stone as the piece emerges.

Students will be working in a professional stone sculpture studio, and will have the unparalleled opportunity to watch experienced artisans sculpting nearby on both small and monumental projects. Demonstrations of tools and techniques will be given to the whole group throughout the course as artistic needs arise. Instructors will also provide knowledge of proper tool use and offer guidance while students are learning to handle new tools. “Tricks of the trade” and other beneficial tidbits will also be shared during the course as needed. Come develop your sculpting skills in the world’s marble center!

Field Trips

One of the goals of our program is to combine high-level training with simultaneous exposure to some of the best examples of artwork in the discipline. It is estimated that Italy possesses nearly three-quarters of the West’s artistic patrimony. Aside from having weekends free to travel to points of local interest, students will be taken on three guided field trips:

1) Florence

Students will be brought on a guided field trip to the city of Florence. This excursion will be led by our knowledgeable Art Historian, Piergiacomo Petrioli, and offer students an unparalleled chance to see sculptural masterpieces with a resident expert. Please be aware this trip involves a great deal of walking and being on one’s feet for most of the day.

2) Pietrasanta

During the first few days of the course, the group will take a trip to several of the best shops in the region specializing in stone carving tools. Some of these tools are not available outside of Italy! Students will be guided in making purchases that will help them pursue their carving goals for the course.

3) The Quarries Above Carrara

We’ll take a scenic day trip to the coastal mountain range above Carrara, where people have been harvesting marble for thousands of years. On the drive you’ll see many open-air quarries. We’ll then descend underground to a working underground quarry (this is where the highest-quality blocks are found). You’ll be literally inside the marble. This is a fascinating journey to see where and how world-renowned Carrara marble is quarried, and also the history of the quarries.

The Studio

Luigi Corsanini opened his Laboratorio Scultura, which hosts Tuscany Study’s workshops, over 30 years ago. It is now run by his son, Leonardo Corsanini. The studio hosts artists from around the world, so you never know who might be carving beside you. There are also two full-time professional carvers on staff at Studio Corsanini. By taking a moment to look up from your own work, you will learn so much by watching what goes on around you at the studio.

There is a deep sense of community at the studio. It is nurtured by large meals prepared by Luigi himself. Shared at noon, these lunches are full of comfortable conversation and laughter. This group of carvers pulls you right in until you feel like you’ve always been a part of the family.

The Town

Marina de Carrara is a quiet resort town. People come from northern Italy to sit along the sea and delight in the warm breezes. There are many restaurants and pizzerias to enjoy, as well as some of the best gelaterie (ice cream makers) in all of Italy. Sculpture can be seen in nearly every public space and piazza across town. Marble even lines the curbs! Read more about Carrara here.


Tuscany Study has secured a special discounted rate for students from Villa Acero, an excellent local bed and breakfast. Villa Acero is a lovely retreat after a long day in the Studio. The rooms are lavishly simple and well kept. Marble is everywhere! Breakfast is served in their sunroom overlooking the beautifully groomed lawn. Cappuccino, espresso, coffee or tea are always fast to arrive each morning with a smile from Antonella or Roberto, the gracious hosts. On top of it all, your hosts are always ready to offer a suggestion for dinner or a fun adventure when free time allows.

Students are welcome to find other accommodations that suit their style and requirements. However, transportation will only be provided to/from the Studio and Villa Acero.

Visit Villa Acero’s website to learn more.


Students are encouraged to plan how to spend their free time. This region of Italy has many sights to see and beautiful countryside to explore. The sea is also a welcome retreat after a long week of carving. However, the Studio is open on Saturday mornings with flexible hours for working depending on interest and current studio activities.


The town of Carrara boasts a variety of dining options for every taste and budget. Being a seaside resort town, it has wonderful seafood houses, and of course, a plethora of incredible traditional Italian restaurants and pizzerias. Meals may be shared together with others from the course or students may venture out on their own as they prefer .

Crating & Shipping

We will assist you with crating and connecting you to shipping companies so that you can get your creations home.


For more information or to register, please contact us at Space in the course is limited to ensure proper individual instruction.