Collage as a Visual Language with Berri Kramer, March 26 - April 1, 2023

Click or swipe to view the slideshow below!

Join Berri Kramer in the spectacular Italian countryside for an extraordinary workshop where you’ll learn how to use collage as a visual language. Surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and spectacular panoramas you’ll discover the process of creating personal imagery while looking at and using materials in a new way.

COLLAGE What is it?

The history of Collage goes back to the Cubists. The technique of Collage upended the fine art world when the cubists incorporated bits of newspaper and printed wallpaper into their paintings. Collage is a method combining real world objects, images and ephemera into a single work. With Berri’s expert instruction, you’ll print on a variety of papers, utilizing the Gelli plate to achieve dimensional textures, as well as learning many important techniques that can be applied to any art form. In addition to both small-group and personal instruction, you’ll enjoy excursions to medieval hill towns and delectable, chef-prepared meals at your 17th century villa accommodations.

ABOUT Berri Kramer

Berri Kramer grew up in Lincoln, Massachusetts and spent as many hours as she could in the studios at DeCordova Museum. She earned a BFA in Design and Crafts from Kent State University and a Masters in Fiber from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. Berri was the founder and President of Heartwood College of Art which thrived in Maine for 25 years.

” My work reflects the blocks of color and patterns that surround all of us everyday. I am fascinated by the tools and tracks that are unintentionally left behind. …a fiber remnant, a letter or a feather. The exercise in choosing from endless imagery and palettes, and editing it to distill the message, has become my practice in every medium. Often the scale of these snippets is exaggerated or reduced to take the viewer away from the ‘assumed’. The simplest forms can often tell the greatest story.”


  • Discovering what you love in the process of creating personal imagery
  • Collecting ephemera and found materials that capture your voice
  • Editing materials and considering surface design as a language
  • Looking at and using materials in a new light, and as a visual element
  • Discovering a personal sense of design
  • Creating compositional energy and drama
  • Approaching basic design by recognizing the importance of scale and value within a given perimeter
  • Printing on a selection of papers (rice, mulberry, tissue…)
  • Using a Gelli plate to achieve texture and a personal palette
  • Printing with vintage letterpress type to create pattern and imagery
  • Using stencils, graphite and tissue to add depth and translucency
  • Adhering a variety of material and ephemera to a substrate
  • Revisioning a piece as part of the process
  • Participating in a group critique to learn the language of art
  • Editing, simplifying and finishing a piece to be matted


Day 1 ~ Sunday, March 26: Arrival

  • Welcome to Villa Poggio alla Trese, trip orientation with Berri and Susan
  • Aperitivo, dinner

Benvenuti in Italia! Upon arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport, enjoy the ride through the hills of Tuscany to Poggio alla Trese, your 17th century villa accommodations. After check-in, you’ll have the opportunity to explore your surroundings, and learn the fascinating history of both the house and the area. Then it’s off to the art studio with Berri and Susan as they give an overview of collage itself – with samples of what you can expect during this exciting workshop. Afterwards, it’s time to gather for a friendly aperitivo, followed by a delicious, regional-style dinner prepared by Chef Lorenza.

Day 2 ~ Monday, March 27: at Villa 

  • Highlights: Instruction and projects with Berri and Susan, bruschetta lesson
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner

This morning, after breakfast, you’ll join Berri and Susan for a full morning session as you explore the papers in an ephemera packet. Then it’s time to set up and make gelli prints, with different textures and a variation of palettes, on rice paper, tissue paper, copy paper, dictionary pages, book pages and more.

Lunch today will be served up at the villa, followed by an afternoon session that includes a discussion of design, hue and value. Using magazine pages, ephemera and gelli prints, you’ll make several 3″ x 3″ studies,.You’ll learn to use the “sanding” technique on magazine pages and explore the concept of working in a series. In late afternoon you’ll enjoy a walk through the adjacent olive grove, followed by a fireside bruschetta-making lesson with aperitivo, then dinner cooked alle brace (over coals).

Day 3 ~ Tuesday, March 28: Orvieto

  • Highlights: Excursion to Orvieto, marbled paper lesson with Lamberto, instruction with Berri and Susan
  • Breakfast and dinner

This morning, after an abundant breakfast at the villa, our drivers will transport you to the hill town of Orvieto, situated on a stunning, rocky outcropping with sweeping views of the Val d’Chiana below. In this ancient city, you’ll be meeting up with our friend, Lamberto – a paper and printing expert – for a fascination lesson on marbled paper – a technique used in Italy for centuries. After designing your own sheet of marbled paper, with Lamberto’s assistance, you’ll have time on your own to explore the winding avenues of town (a stop in the magnificent cathedral is a must!), and to enjoy lunch on your own at any one of Orvieto’s inviting trattorie.

In the afternoon, it’s back to the villa for an afternoon session with Berri and Susan where you’ll have the opportunity to discuss the packaging, maps or brochures that you’ve collected in Orvieto, to be used the next day. Plus you’ll make pages of “ink” textures, and print with vintage letterpress on tissue and found papers. Apertivo and dinner follows, served up at the villa.

Day 4 ~ Wednesday, March 29: Villa 

  • Highlights: Instruction with Berri and Susan, pasta making lesson
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

After breakfast this morning, you’ll join Berri for another full morning session as you complete black and white studies (visual note taking) and then begin working on the first of your 6” x 6” pieces.

Lunch will be served at the villa, then you’ll enjoy an afternoon session creating 6″ x 6″ color pieces, while learning how to edit and find what you love. Afterwards, it’s time to don an apron and join chef Lorenza for an oh-so-fun pasta lesson where you’ll learn how to make pici – a hand rolled Tuscan pasta. After gathering for aperitivo with your fellow students, you’ll enjoy a delicious dinner, featuring your hand made pasta.

Day 5 ~ Thursday, March 30: Città della Pieve

  • Highlights: Instruction with Berri and Susan, walking tour Città della Pieve, saffron tasting and painting, pizza night
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner

This morning, after breakfast, it’s off to the onsite studio with Berri and Susan for an inspiring morning session that includes layering with tissue, along with using stencils, pencil and graphite. Plus you’ll be learning how to seal marks. Lunch is served at the villa.

In the afternoon our drivers will be taking you to the nearby hill town of Città della Pieve, where you’ll enjoy a walking tour along fabulous, medieval avenues, ending at our friend, Alessandro’s saffron shop. Here you’re in for a treat as you take part in a delicious saffron tasting, followed by a painting session using saffron “watercolor”. Afterwards you’ll have time on your own to shop and explore in town before gathering together at our favorite pizzeria for a dinner of authentic, wood-fired pizza.

Day 6 ~ Friday, March 31: Villa

  • Highlights: Instruction with Berri and Susan, , farewell aperitivo and dinner
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner

After breakfast this morning, you’ll join Berri and Susan for another full morning session as you complete additional 6″x6″ pieces, including layering techniques.

After lunch, it’s time for a final afternoon session where you’ll learn various mounting and presentation options. Plus, get ready to choose your best 3″ x 3″
work for a final matting, followed by a grande finale Art Show. A special aperitivo accompanies the show, followed by a farewell dinner prepared by chef Lorenza.

Day 7 ~ Saturday, April 1: Departure

Early morning transport to Rome Fiumicino Airport.


Your accommodations are beautiful Poggio alle Trese, a 17th century villa, nestled along the border of Tuscany and Umbria, near the town of Chiusi (Tuscany). Exclusive to your group, the villa boasts a number living rooms, sweeping terraces for dining or lounging, swimming pool, elegant breakfast room and grand dining hall. Sleeping rooms, furnished with family antiques, offer either an ensuite bathroom or shared bathroom. Room options are made available upon booking. View photos of Villa Poggio alle Trese here.


  • Daily, individualized instruction with Berri Kramer
  • 7 days/6 nights at elegant Villa Poggio alla Trese, situated in the picturesque countryside near the charming Tuscan hill town of Chiusi
  • Private van service pick-up on arrival and departure days (Rome Fiumicino Airport)
  • Private van service to/from all towns and sites included in the itinerary
  • Day trip to Orvieto
  • Excursion to Città della Pieve
  • All abundant breakfasts
  • All regionally inspired dinners, featuring local wines
  • Evening aperitivo hour
  • Marbling demonstration
  • Saffron tasting and painting
  • Pizza night
  • Lessons, demonstrations, presentations and individual instruction with with Berri Kramer and assistant Susan Wilder.
  • Paper packet #1 (for Gelli printing)
  • Paper Packet #2 (ephemera)
  • Gelli Plate, Brayer, matte medium, stencil, brush (for you to keep!)
  • Also supplied: Gelli printing paint, letterpress ink, sumi-e ink

Not included: Airfare, meals, alcoholic drinks, buses, trains or boat transportation outside of that which is specifically listed in the trip package, gratuities for villa staff and drivers

The Unexpected is Part of the Journey: Although we are weaving amazing, authentic experiences into this trip, sometimes unexpected things come up. If a site has an unscheduled closing, we improvise to include something equally as wonderful and interesting. The quality of the trip is never at risk, as our hosts at Strada Toscana are committed to excellence, along with their vast Italian connections.

Collage as a Visual Language with Berri Kramer


  • 6 Nights
  • March 26 – April 1, 2023
  • A $500 deposit is required to book your space on this trip.
  • Trip Price (choose your room configuration upon booking)
    • $3,590 USD per person – single occupancy room with shared bathroom (max 2 of the same gender per bathroom)
    • $3,790 USD per person – single occupancy room with ensuite bathroom
  • Terms and Conditions