Amber is the fossilized sap of ancient trees, transformed over time into a uniquely beautiful gemstone. Lightweight and workable, amber been shaped into jewelry, sculpture, and practical objects for thousands of years. We’ll delve into the world of amber in Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost state and prominent amber-producing region. In addition to learning how to carve and polish raw amber, we’ll learn how to distinguish real from fake and come to appreciate amber’s importance to the local culture and economy.
Our class will take place in San Cristóbal de las Casas, a beautiful 16th century colonial city regarded as the cultural capital of Chiapas. We’ll stay a short walk from our studio at the famous Casa Na Bolom, a cultural center, museum, and hotel dedicated to the preservation of indigenous arts and knowledge. Na Bolom is on the edge of San Cristóbal’s walkable downtown, where you can enjoy museums, churches, markets, marimba music, and a wide range of delicious restaurants.
We will work with locally-sourced amber and study with Antonio Ramírez Jardines, a nationally known master carver and amber ambassador. You may carve complete objects such as pendants or beads, or create items that you will wish to set in metal after you return home. Class will take place Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday. We’ll study each day until 2pm, then break for lunch and sightseeing. Our free day on Sunday is an opportunity to visit the weekly markets in several nearby villages noted for their indigenous traditions and textile arts.
CLASS FEE: $1750
7 nights hotel in a private room
5 days of instruction (25 hours) and tools
approx. 100g of amber
1 field trip
7 hotel breakfasts
Snacks and coffee during class
2 group dinners
AIRFARE NOT INCLUDED
REGISTRATION DEADLINE If the trip has not reached minimum enrollment by December 6, it will be canceled. Should Pratt cancel the trip due to under-enrollment, registration fees will be refunded in full. We will notify students when the class reaches minimum enrollment and suggest making no non-refundable travel plans until that time, or until notified that the class has filled.
PAYMENT DATES $875 deposit due upon registration $875 final payment due by November 22, 2019
25% of the trip fee is non-refundable for withdrawal until December 19, 2019
50% is non-refundable for withdrawal between December 20, 2019 – January 22, 2020
100% is non-refundable for withdrawal after January 22, 2020