Workshops"I was in the wilderness and dirty almost every day. It was a great childhood."

Workshop1 Workshop2 Workshop3 Workshop4 Workshop5 GISday2012

Gaining experience with clay, sand and water

Since the first shows of Loam-Paintings there is continued interest in workshops. Hofer created a special form of loam-workshop, the "Play-with-Earth-Table" It turned out that the educational and therapeutical effects of this replacement for a natural environment are very beneficial. Children calm down and work very closely on their pieces. It is allowed to get naturally dirty and working with the hands refreshes the mind. Hofer provides a variety of wooden tools and natural materials, like clay, sand, water, straw, saw dust, to this a bucket of water.

  • Image First Loam-painting seminars for students in Krakow 1992. It was still completely unexplored, which values young people can take from such workshops. The schools in the former "Eastern Bloc" were very open for new ideas in the time of the political changes, like here in Nowa Huta.
  • Green School Wroclaw For a time Hofer slipped into the role as a pioneer of new kind of ecological lessons in schools. Earth-Pigment Workshop for teachers, like these above in Wroclaw 1995 were one of the last.
  • Konzert Gawlinski A particular ocasion for a field test how people respond on the painting with clay was a concert by Robert Gawlinski (Wilki) 1995. Young people from the region of Stalowa Wola and Innsbruck in Austria painted together the whole stage design in loam.
  • Image A small village school in southern Poland in 2002. After the difference was clarified between clay and "dirt", there was no keeping back for the pupils. The contact with Earth was lived fully.
  • Image The time to build a city was too short, however, the enthusiasm was great! The head teacher then hid the photos of mud strewn children. The public must not know everything.
  • Image Handycapted people very often do not appear incapable. Their way to work is surprisingly decent and pleasurable too. Some artists among them have big endurance and are happy about the earned praises!
  • Integrations Festival The Lehmworkshops are very popular at the regularly held Integration Festivals. For many children it has become taken for granted, to play at a party with soil and water.
  • Integrations Festival Very often people take part spontaneously. As at the workshop above, where exhibition visitors were working together with regular participants.
  • Integrations Festival Hofer has not commercialized his workshops. The Earth sustains us all, so we should keep it carefully in our hands. Dear children, do you understand this?

The Earth-Tabel supports spontaneous teamwork. It is possible to work as well in big groups and the concept gives place for everyone to realize own projects allone or togehter with others. Generally it is perceived as very pleasant to touch the earth, that makes a good atmosphere around the place. And it always is amazing, how much makes fun our own productivity.


What is going on in us, when we knead clay? Whether silence, laughing or chatting, it seems everything is taken up from the peace of earth in your hands. This calms down emotions, we feel ourselves quiet. The earth, the sand and water means only pleasure. The way is the goal. A peaceful way.

Useful for others

In 1993 Hofer explored first the influences of earth-murral-paintings in a kindergarden for autistic children in Krakow. In the mid-1990s existed a cooperation with the Wroclawska Szkola Przyszłosci (Wroclaw School of Future), and till today there are regular meetings with the Stowarzyszenie Pomocy Dzieciom Niepelnosprawnym "Badzcie z nami" ('Stay With Us', Aid Association for Disabled Children)  and several similar institutions in Poland. For persons with handicaps he found a special form of therapeutical workshop, the "Play-with-Earth-Table", since that time fix performanced at different festivals in the region.

Worth of Earth

Hofer assumes, that every person has an innate feeling for the earth. In the air, we have no problem with breathing, in the same way our body, hands and the mind are adapted to do a lot of things with the soil. Unfortunately, we seldom use these abilities and often we perceive only unpleasant charakteristics. I.e. dirt, heavy work, survival fight, mudslides, or even landfill sites or mass graves. This view is not wrong, but one-sided. The earth trains the hands and the hands are linked to the brain. Thus, our imagination and our intellect become stimulated. This tasks are especially important for young children, but not only. For adults it acts regenerative.

National Park


This are a number of valleys full of caves, rock formations and ravines, castles and characteristic limestone cliffs. For centuries the beautiful spots of the National-Park of Ojców have been a popular aim of painters and other artists. Magnificent rock needles, steep faces, hundreds of caves and a rare fauna and flora, hidden woods hermitages and crystal-clear sources - to reach easily in short time from Krakow. The region is also called the "Polish Swiss".
Left of center of the spire at the Brama Krakowska is the small icon of the Black Madonna in Czestochowa, which was reconstructed by Hofer in cooperation with the locals in 2011.

Gallery of Workshops

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