GATHER WANDER CREATE

ART AND TRAVEL ADVENTURE IN MOROCCO

CAROLINE+DOUGLAS+HAMSA

From the moment you step out of the Marrakech airport, you will feel a flutter in your heart, an excitement in your body and an awakening of your senses.

Fragrance lingers in the air. As you breathe you are aroused by new and unfamiliar, yet welcoming scents. As the divine sound of the call to prayer kisses your ear, you will be swept away by the enchanting sound, and part of your heart will never want to leave again. Your eyes will be delighted at the patterns and colours that will meet you at every turn on this captivating journey.


"IGNITE YOUR CREATIVITY"

our Adventure includes a 5-day Sculpture and Pottery Workshop with

Caroline Douglas.

 
Caroline Douglas Sahara

“I have been to Morocco 9 times, and fall deeper in love each time I go. I invite you to explore this beautiful country with me and Michelle Fletcher, a visionary, lover of life and creator of Kasbah Aitisfoul. She and her partner Kamal have created a stunning environment where artists and creatives can flourish.

First of all, I would like to offer each of the participants a personal, scientific hand analysis. I have been practicing this art for over 10 years and find it validating and fascinating. After I receive your hand prints, I will study each one. During our trip, you will each receive your reading in a magical Moroccan setting. The readings are not predictive, but I can see your life purpose, life lesson and life school plus any special gifts you have and challenges too (if you would like to know). From where I sit, our challenges are very instructive and help us be more aware of why we are here and how best to serve. As we learn more about ourselves, it will clarify what we want to create in our art and in our lives.

 

We will be inspired by the weavers, dyers, potters and basket makers that we will meet while hunting treasure along our mountain to desert route. We will save these treasures to use in our pieces. Working with the Tamgroute pottery village in southern Morocco, using their clay, firing methods and amazing ashy green glaze, we will make several pieces. We will make our own Hamsa, a symbolic hand which you will see everywhere in Morocco. We will also create a face and a figure using my techniques in hand building. Each person, no matter your experience, will complete a figure to be embellished with your treasure finds. Each will be personal to the maker and represent an aspect of ourselves.

At the beginning of the workshop, we will play with the Tamgroute clay and let it speak to us as our fingers start to form our expressions/impressions. Each of these beginning pieces will represent our fresh starts, our touching into our dreaming space, and will become clay relics and possibly be set into a personal shrine which will depict our journey to these amazing magical places in Morocco.

After a few days of creating our soulful intentions and mindful moments, we will work with the potters of the village, using their glazing and firing methods. The pieces will be smoke-fired and have a rustic, primitive feel, and that ashy green glaze that the village is famous for.

We will also make a weaving that incorporates a hand built face that will be decorated with some of the wool and materials we will find along the way.

You will be inspired by the people, the animals, food, the sensory experiences we have in store for you, plus the architecture and history of an ancient culture in northern Africa.”


Caroline’s BIO

When I was young, I began expressing myself with many different kinds of materials, and then settled on clay as my main medium. I am intrigued by stories of the mythic heroine who travels inward and the quality of spirit found in the art of ancient cultures.

I also love sharing my love of clay and the healing power of art in workshops around the world in magical places that bring us alive. I have exhibited widely in the Denver /Boulder area and participated in SOFA in Chicago and American Craft Shows across the country. 

Caroline Douglas received a BFA in Ceramics at the University of North Carolina, has studied the material of clay extensively and has been hand building for over 45 years. Currently, her figurative sculptures are evocations of a dream world. Her inspiration comes from her dreams, as well as archetypes, ancient mythology, fantasy literature, fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and the antics of animals. Publications include Ceramics: Art and Perception, Lark Books, The Shambhala Sun, and Better Homes and Gardens, Marrakech By Design, and many clay compilations. Her work is in the National Museum for Women in the Arts, on exhibition in Serbia and Latvia, and other private collections. You can view her art on her WEBSITE.



 
 

Berber Pottery Making Tour

This 13-day all inclusive Art of Travel adventure in Morocco will begin in Marrakech, following the ancient caravan route over the High Atlas Mountains to the edge of Sahara desert. Caroline Douglas will lead us on a foray in clay with a 5 day sculpture and pottery experience at the famous Tamegroute co- operative of Berber artisans.

You will learn local traditional methods, glazing techniques, and make your own hamsas and clay objects.

This cultural tour of South Morocco includes time in Marrakech before heading over the Atlas Mountains, passing by mud-built kasbahs and the fabulous Draa Valley Oasis. You will stay in hand-picked Riads and spend several nights in our Kasbah guesthouse nestled in an Oasis at the edge of the Sahara Desert.

You will also enjoy a night “glamping” in Berber tents, and experience a sunset camel ride in the desert dunes.


 

TAMEGROUTE POTTERY, 1000 SHADES OF GREEN

Pottery and ceramics are considered an ancient tradition in Morocco. Ceramiccs fill the souks with colourful designs. In particular, the beautiful pots of Tamegroute are a pleasure for the eye. Sturdy with small distinguishing imperfections, each piece is unique. Intrigued by the artisan production process, Caroline Douglas will lead us on a journey with clay in South Morocco, just north of the immense Sahara. In the Berber language, Tamegroute means ‘last place before the desert’. The town arose in the 6th century and is one of the oldest towns in Morocco. It was the last stop for the well-known trade caravans who travelled across the desert to Timbuktu with their camels.

7 ovens and 7 potters families

The town is not difficult to find: plumes of smoke, originating from the ovens, direct the way to the square where the ateliers are situated. The sun sheds a warm glow over the square. Men are busy moving about, and the firing of the pottery is in full swing.

Within the square, you find 7 ovens belonging to 7 pottery families. Each family has one oven and their own atelier built of clay. Every family member has his or her own task and specialty. The art-form and pottery skills are carried down though generations. We will use these master potters’ clay and kilns to make our own creations during the workshop at Aitisfoul.

 

THE JOURNEY


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DAY 1: MARRAKECH

ARRIVAL
Tuesday, October 22, 2019

If possible plan your arrival for late morning/midday and you will be met at the airport and transferred to our Riad. You will be welcomed with Moroccan Mint Tea. After settling in, and lunch, we will be off to the spa for a relaxing Hammam and massage to reinvigorate you from your travels. 

Evening brings a beautiful Welcome Dinner Party, with a henna artist to decorate our hands as we begin our adventure and enjoy our first sunset together.


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DAY 2: MARRAKECH

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

BREAKFAST 8 AM   DEPART 9 am  

”TREASURE HUNTING IN THE SOUK"
We will be met by our guide, for a walking tour of Marrakech’s ancient Medina. You’ll learn a bit about Marrakech and enjoy a visit the beautiful 19th century, Palais Bahia,  then onto the Palais Badi.  Following lunch we will then head to the souk to bargain for brightly colored trinkets and treasures to use in our workshop with Caroline.

Dinner TBD

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DAY 3: SKOURA

Thursday, October 24, 2019

BREAKFAST 8 am | DEPART 9 am

We depart Marrakech and cross the famous Tizi n Tichka Pass in the High Atlas Mountains. Here everything changes and a very different Morocco emerges. From the barren desert to the stunning red rock mountains outlined by lush green river beds, the contrast is spectacular and all that is needed for breathtaking landscapes. We will visit Kasbah of Telouet, then onto the ancient fortified village. We will see have lunch there and continue onto Skoura.

Dinner amongst the Palm Groves. 

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DAY 4: AITISFOUL

Friday, October 25, 2019

BREAKFAST 8 am | DEPART 9 am     

We will continue our day exploring the valley of the Draa River with millions of palm trees and interessting old Kasbahs. We will have lunch in Zagora. Then continue on to the village of Tamegroute where you will visit an ancient library with ancient manuscripts. You will visit Amzrou and see the local jewelry makers.  Tonight will be at Kasbah Ait isfoul, our home in the desert.

Tomorrow we will IGNITE OUR CREATIVITY.

Dinner tonight will be under the stars at Ait isfoul.

 

DAY 5 - DAY 9: AITISFOUL

CAROLINE’S CREATIVITY WORKSHOP

WORKSHOP DAY:1 - DAY: 5| Saturday, October 26, - Wednesday, October 30, 2019 

Our days will unfold in a rhythm to suit you: explore a little or a lot, in and around the workshop. During your free time you can chase the light with your camera or draw in your sketch book, or explore the local area.

WORKSHOP DAILY SCHEDULE


10am to 12:30pm: Workshop
12:30pm - 2:30pm Lunch
2:30pm - 4:30pm Workshop

The Studio will remain open after hours if anyone wants to keep their hands in clay.

One of these days, we will participate in the weekly local Souk for our Souk to Tagine Experience where we will shop like the locals and return to Aitisfoul for a hands-on cooking class with Chef Mohamend.

SUPPLY LIST: Basic Pottery tools, an apron, different size brushes, a few favorite acrylic paints, a sketchbook, a few magazines to share.

Amazon

 
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DAY 10: ERG CHEGAGA

Thursday, OCTOBER 31, 2019

BREAKFAST 8 am | DEPART 9 am 

We will begin our journey to the dunes of the Sahara, Erg Chegaga. In our 4-wheel drives we head into the desert, stopping for a picnic along the way to our Luxury Tent Camp complete with hot and cold running water, beds and duvets, showers and toilet. Once in the camp we will settle in and will enjoy a sunset camel ride. The desert at this time is truly an amazing experience, complete with a golden glow and long shadows. Here we will hopefully enjoy a magical sunset. Dinner under a starry night followed by the beating of Berber drums.


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DAY 11: MARRAKECH

Friday,  November 1, 2019

BREAKFAST 7- 8 am | DEPART 9am

After a beautiful sunrise and breakfast, our route covers the desert with varying scenery – sand dunes, stony plains, and the dry lake Iriqui – as we make our way to the village of Taznacht and visit a carpet collective. We will continue on to Marrakech via a route through the High Atlas Mountains, enjoying astonishing views all the way back to Marrakech. After our long scenic drive, dinner awaits us at the riad as we return to the Medina.

 
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DAY 12: MARRAKECH

Saturday,  November 2, 2019

BREAKFAST 7- 8 am | DEPART 9

After breakfast, along with our local guide, we will further explore one of the most interesting cities in Morocco: Marrakech. We will spend the day visiting some architectural interesting sites such as the Koutoubia Mosque and a visit to the heart of the medina. Our main focus will be the lively medina (old town), with its colourful shops and souks (markets), followed by the famous place Djemaa el’Fna with the snake charmers, acrobats and storytellers. We will have a farewell Dinner tonight celebrating Morocco and our new friendships.

 
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DAY 13: MARRAKECH

Sunday,  November 3, 2019

BREAKFAST 7- 9 am

Farewells and transfers to Marrakech Menara Airport or the continuation of your journey in Morocco.

**If you are interested in staying on or perhaps seeing more of Morocco please let me know and I can help you make your dream excursion come true!!

 

Nota Bene: this is a prospective itinerary. It is subject to modifications, dependent on local weather, new opportunities and the desires of the group.


THE INVESTMENT

This is a 13 day all inclusive Art of Travel Experience, including a 5 day creative workshop with Sculptor/Potter Caroline Douglas in Southern Morocco.


WHAT'S INCLUDED:

  • Transfers to and from Marrakech Menera Airport on arrival and departure days

  • 12 nights lodging (double occupancy) (single room supplement limited supply)

  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinners throughout the trip

  • All Guides + Entrance Fees

  • Welcome bag

  • 5 day Workshop with Caroline Douglas

  • Air Conditioned Transportation throughout the trip

  • Bottle of water daily

  • Sahara experience with sunset camel ride

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:

  • Airfare and travel costs to and from Marrakech

  • Travel Insurance (mandatory)

  • Optional activities

  • Supplement for single room (limited supply)

  • Additional nights lodging or any add - on tours

  • Personal spending money

  • Tips and gratuities. (To simplify we encourage a tip kitty of $10 USD pp per day, collected on the first day to be dispersed to the many people that will be involved in making your journey fabulous.)

  • Caroline’s hand analysis is not covered in the cost of the tour, there is a $200 fee payable to her directly if you are interested in this fascinating reading done while in Morocco.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE FROM MICHELLE

  • You are required to get travel medical insurance, there are many companies but I use World Nomad.

  • Morocco can be overwhelming for the first time visitor. It is for the traveller who is open to new cultures, and is willing to have plans delayed, or a schedule which may shift. Flexibility is essential and participants should not be fearful travellers; being open to the diversity is all part of the experience and fun.

  • This is for the person who wants to travel to Morocco with the safety of a group; it is for the adventurer, the person who wants to feel all their senses in this amazing country.

  • If you have specific allergies (i.e. peanuts, wheat, gluten, dairy, etc.), it will be harder, but not impossible, for you to find food that suits your needs. We are unable to cater to any specific dietary issues - you will need to manage this. All meals will have vegetarian courses.

  • Consult a doctor, nurse or health care provider, or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel. (side note: If you have any pending health concerns you should contact your health care provider prior to registration).

Should you have any questions prior to registration please email me here.

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TWIN SHARE ROOM

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SINGLE ROOM (limited supply)


There will be no refunds for this trip due to the planning and logistics involved. When you register be sure to know all you can about travelling to Morocco. 

**Airport Pick-up is only for indicated dates.  Should you plan to arrive earlier to stay at the hotel you will be responsible for your own transfer fees.  We can help you arrange your transfer.

 

TRIP PRICE + DETAILS

You will be sent a list of supplies to bring after registration.

Rooms are shared with one other guest.

Deposit:  $2000.00 USD - due upon registration.

Final Payment due July 22, 2019

PLEASE DO NOT BOOK FLIGHTS UNTIL YOU RECEIVE AN EMAIL REGARDING FLIGHT BOOKINGS.

PASSPORT

Foreign visitors wishing to travel to Morocco should be in possession of valid passport valid for at least 190 days. 

A detailed PDF will be send out after final payments with additional information and surprises.

 


michelle fletcher

Travel extraordinare, Michelle Fletcher will make every blink, every turn, & every step of the way transcend you to the next adventure full of surprises, wonderment & excitment.

The intertwining of art, travel and culture will leave you with a true sense of self expressive satisfaction combined with a curiosity of what will follow. Don’t miss your opportunity to grasp this rich, artistic and cultural retreat where you will go deep into the folds of this exotic and mysterious country of Morocco.

My best trip ever through Camels and Couscous!

VIVEE YOUNG