Rye x Kana "Autumn Art Creative Immersion" in Portugal

September 22 - 29, 2024

Cucumbi Farm , Alentejo Portugal

Cucumbi Farm Website

In Alentejo, life moves with the natural flow of the wind. Immerse yourself in the wild, golden landscape of wheat fields, cork oak, olive, and orange groves.

Sometimes we learn and we feel more when we first slow down and we rest and reset.

In the warm Portuguese sun, surrounded by organic farm, orchards, and nature, we enjoy the deep autumn harvest. Nourish your body with family-style seasonal dishes by the resident chef at Cucumbi.

Exploring free afternoons soaking up the final sun rays before winter, strolling on beautiful trails, you can lose yourself in meadows, swim in a natural lake, or relax by the salt pool, reading and journaling.

Throughout the week, an exploration of the connections between nature, others, self, body, and creation will unfold.


We will have 3 full days of KANA art program where we will have 2-3 sessions a day along with some culinary experiences and a day trip to the coast!  


Our muse for the week is my favorite model Hollie. We will have 4-5 live nude drawing sessions across the week, working with watercolors, ink, and charcoal. Hollie is incredibly talented artist, designer, and photographer. Her presence is gentle and inspiring, and she will be sitting for us daily as inspiration for studying figurative drawing or sculpture. While we won't be only focusing on the female form, we can take a focus on understanding and studying anatomy, or work through the connection between the figurative and abstract. Some sessions will be held in our designated art studio and some outdoors (weather permitting). All materials will be provided.

We will have 3-4 sessions working with clay in the special ceramic studio, ensuring that a batch of our work gets fired in time for our departure and everyone will be able to take some of their pieces home with them. We will focus on decorative objects such as candle holders, bowls, and vases. We will also play with a sculptural approach in making a ceramic mask that can be hung as decoration on the wall. A small selection of work will be fired; whichever pieces will be dry enough, pieces won't be glazed. We will also make small clay sculptural pieces or small sculptural drawings working with our live nude model.

Day trip to the incredible oceanside in COMPORTA
Spending a day on the beach.  
Lunch at ALMO Comporta.  
Dinner closer back to our home at a traditional local restaurant O Cantinho da Ribeira Velha, trying traditional delicious Portuguese food, especially incredible seafood.

A day on the land / HARVEST and Celebratory CLAY COOKING DAY with resident gardener

 After breakfast, we will spend the morning in the gardens, meeting their head gardener, an incredibly talented man. He will show us their organic gardens and produce. We usually split into a few groups, each assigned a task of what to pick. It's a beautiful day to spend appreciating nature, organic produce, the land, and grounding through working and observing nature's cycle. We will return to the hotel in time for lunch. After lunch, everyone has time for relaxing in the sun, swimming, or enjoying a siesta. We will meet in the early afternoon and cook together our special clay-baked dinner, gathering around food we have harvested and learning another way we can use clay as an ancient material to prepare food. It's a beautiful collective gathering experience, and food tastes a whole lot different. While we wait for dinner near the fire, we will gather together for a beautiful game of Clo cards and share stories while drinking some beautiful wine. Once dinner is ready, a big celebratory breaking of clay and enjoying the flavors of what has grown on the soil and been cooked in the clay.

On our last day we will indulge in two guest teacher workshops  
Hollie Peck will be running an incredibly exciting and surprise workshop in silver sand casting. We will be making a small talisman size object, and while the form can be designed, the actual outcome is left to the alchemy of the melting silver poured into sand. For this workshop, we will ask you to bring with you any old bits of silver jewelry you might have, but do not wear; it can be nostalgic and meaningful to you but you are ready for it to take a whole new shape. Gems are welcome too.

ASTROLOGY and star gazing 
A very special Closing night, a special guest for the evening, and a surprise Astrology for Artists workshop by MADELEINE BOTET DE LACAZE. Madeline will prepare personal astrology charts and run an in-depth mind-expanding workshop during which we will all look at specific topics / and serological events in the sky / and how it is affecting and benefiting each one of us.

Who is it for?


~ Anyone wanting to really reconnect to themselves and through exploration, rest and play find their way to their practice.

~ Anyone  having a burnout, or navigating a big transition in their life ( personal or professional) , feeling at a crossroad in their life, navigating big decisions.

~ Anyone wanting to find way to explore creative practice or just find a new perspective on life.

~ Anyone having existing creative practice but feeling stuck -  “out of love with it” , unmotivated -  looking way to finding way back to joy , exploring and oneself  in need of nourishing and guidance.

~ Anyone having the need to reset their life and break the circle , on a journey of self development , and personal growth looking for place to explore intentions and integrity.

~ Professionals  that need a break from a daily grind and seek release, grounding, rest and spark of creativity for life.

~ This retreat is open to all genders, with double rooms and our private cottage for couples or friends sharing.

~ Would you like to discuss with me if this retreat is right for you? Email me kirsten@ryehomeshop.com (and trust that you are here, reading this page, this might be the invitation you needed).

Studio Set Up & Materials

This retreat comes with all materials provided 

We will work between 2 studios and outdoor space, Studio will be set up to allow each one of you to have a space and privacy to create your own working area for the week.

Accommodation Overview

Cucumbi is set in refurbished traditional Portuguese style farmhouses, which offer a beautiful selection of modern spacious accommodation with plenty of privacy and calm. Private ensuite double bedrooms with terraces, stunning apartment suites, generous double bedrooms and dorm-style shared apartments.

There are many stunning options whether you are joining us
solo or with a friend and wish to book a shared accommodation or book a private suite. Double rooms and apartments are very spacious and ideal for sharing.

We encourage sharing double rooms with a partner
or close friend, in addition to shared dorm style twin rooms which will be booked on a first come first serve basis and you will be matched with someone else wanting to join a shared accommodation.

Please reference the Cucumbi website for details.

Booking Details

Pricing & Accommodations

Prices vary depending on the accommodation chosen.

3 Ensuite Double Bedrooms 
Kawa / Mukuza* / Tchombo* - $4,919 USD Single

*2 rooms are available for double occupancy

Mukuza* / Tchombo* - $7,342 USD for double ($3,671 USD pp)

En-Suite Deluxe Apartment
Kambimbi - $7,298.50 USD double ($3,970.50 USD pp)

(double occupancy available for a couple / friends sharing a double bed OR  a twin bed option available  on request )

Cottage Phuka
Twin room - $2,774 USD single person
Double room - $4,321 USD single person

Suite Deluxe Duplex Apartment
Tchikungulu - $5,517 USD single person  / $7,941 USD Double occupancy ($3,970.50 USD pp)

(double occupancy available for a couple / friends sharing a double bed, no twin bed option available )

Lakeside House Apartment

Studio Double Bed En-suite - $4,919 USD single
Double Bedroom - $4,320 USD single
Twin room - $2,774 USD single

More details on room selection:

Three Double Bedrooms with Ensuite 

These beautiful double rooms have a private entrance from a shared walled courtyard; all rooms are sunset facing with unobscured stunning views over Alentejo landscape. You will hear the sound of the sheep being shepherded home in the evenings, and your room will be bathing in golden sunlight. Each room comes with an open plan wardrobe, double bed, a private bathroom and  a private outdoor terrace by the gardens with a view of the garden. 


Double queen-size bed and an outside terrace with garden view


Double queen-size bed and an outside terrace with garden view


Double queen-size bed and an outside terrace with garden view

En-Suite Deluxe Apartment Kambimbi

A stunning rustic cottage tastefully refurbished into a Suite Deluxe Apartment is ideal for anyone wanting to have a lot of privacy and comfort while being a step away from the retreat group and communal living. Spacious Apartment spreads across 3 rooms, a large ensuite bedroom, kitchen with dining corner and a cozy living room with sofas, armchair and a fireplace. From the kitchen you access your own private large terrace with a sitting area and views over the gardens and the land towards the west.

This apartment is ideal for a single occupancy as well as perfect for two sharing, for a couple or two friends (room can be set up as double bed or twin). 

Private 2 bedroom apartment / Cottage Phuka 

A cosy cottage with an open plan living room with a fireplace, dining room and kitchenette and two attached bedrooms - a twin and a double bedroom (with a shared bathroom).

All rooms have access to the large private west facing terrace with a sitting area and loungers.

Twin room has two single beds and is available as our shared `dorm style occupancy”, the double bedroom has a large comfy double bed and is available as single occupancy (shared bathroom).

Twin room

Double room

Suite Deluxe Duplex Tchikungulu

This bright and stunning Suite Duplex Apartment is ideal for anyone wanting to stay in a suite with a lot of character, its built in a refurbished industrial height unit, with a whole east wall in large French style doors, covered floor to ceiling with muslin curtains to allow maximum privacy while allowing beautiful sunrise to sunset light coming through the suite. The apartment is split between the spacious ground floor with walk-in wardrobe, open plan living room with suspended fireplace, kitchenette and dining room, bathroom and mezzanine with double bedroom. The mezzanine bedroom is only available as a double bed set up which makes this apartment ideal for a single occupancy or a couple sharing. 

The light in the space is sublime from sunrise to sunset drawing ever-changing light and shadows. 

Lakeside House Apartment

This Lakeside apartment is located on the end of property with unobscured views of the landscape and the sunsets over the lake. It is located on the quietest and most secluded spot allowing plenty of privacy. Lakehouse is right next door to the ceramic and yoga studio. 

The lakehouse has one double bedroom, a dorm style sharing twin room and a private ensuite deluxe double bedroom / studio with private access. 

All rooms in the Lakeside apartment share a spacious open plan living space with  bathroom, kitchen, living room and access to a large terrace with breathtaking views.

Deluxe Double Bedroom Studio En Suite

2 x Twin room

Private Double room 


•Double bed / twin beds options *on selected rooms 

•Air Conditioning

•Hair Dryer

•Shampoo & shower gel

•Towels and linens


•Pool towel

•*Some have fireplaces


Single: Joining us for the whole retreat programme, this room is yours alone

Double: Perfect for couples or friends sharing.

Twin: Dorm-style shared apartments with friends or another guest.

Booking & Payment

Once you select the room of interest please get in touch with us to book directly. If available, we will follow up with an invoice to secure your space. The retreat must be paid in full.

Space is very limited and we cannot hold rooms.

Cancellation Policy

Your booking is non-refundable.

For more details see terms and conditions

Terms & Conditions

With making a purchase of a ticket you agree to our Terms and Conditions.

Space is offered on a ‘first come basis for this beautiful experience, please book soon to avoid disappointment.


When you sign up for a retreat, we ask for a non-refundable payment.  By transferring your payment, you indicate that you have read and agreed to the terms and conditions on this page.


All payments are submitted in full upon sign up. Please email to inquire about payment plans or installments

We do not offer refunds of any kind for the retreat. Before signing up, please make sure you can make it. 

Nobody books or organizes a retreat with the intention of canceling it, but the last few years has shown us that unexpected events do occur, so we strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance. Furthermore, you participate in the classes, hikes and workshops at your own risk and you must employ your own judgment as to which movements, positions, and exercises are appropriate for your level of training, overall physical fitness and experience as well as mental stability. All participants are required to have international health insurance that also covers medical care and transport home if needed.

All guests Must follow Covid protocol and rules applied by their country and Country we are traveling too.
Please check with your government as well as with the country where retreat is taking place  (Portuguese, Spanish, Italian)  government if you are allowed to travel to and stay, . Kana Retreats is not responsible for your additional travel efforts and costs such as the COVID test and quarantining.

If we must cancel a retreat, we will notify you as soon as possible and you can request a full refund.
We are not accountable for your expenses incurred in preparation for the retreat, such as airline tickets, loss of work, visas fees and/or other costs associated with preparation for your trip.

We reserve the right the change the program, teachers or team members at all times.
We reserve the right to remove a participant from the retreat if their behavior is disruptive.
We reserve the right to keep a guest liable if they bring damage to the house or belongings.

For more information or any specific questions, please email us at kirsten@ryehomeshop.com.
Thank you for understanding and respecting our terms and conditions for 2024.

What's included

  • Seven night accommodation at Cucumbi

• Six full days of retreat program

• Daily guided workshops in clay, exploring ceramics, from foundations of ceramics to  sculptural forms

  • Observational drawing, landscape, still life  etc..
  • Guided creative workshops with specific topics

• A Daily  session with a  live nude model

  • A personal watercolour set to work with for duration of retreat
  • A personal clay carving set of tools
  • A luxurious hand binded journal to work with during the week of retreat and bring with you into your daily rituals
  • High quality paper for working with ink and charcoal, as well as a sketchbook to work in with watercolours and / or charcoal pencils during the time at the retreat and  to keep and bring into your daily practice as well as

• Daily space and time for self-explorative practices

  • Diner out during our beach day adventure

• Full board ( Breakfast, lunch and dinner ) -

all food is seasonal, organic, vegetarian and grown on the Cucumbi grounds from gardens and a farm that you can see from the dining room terrace ( or locally sourced from local farms )

  • Daily we will meet for an evening gathering with an Aperitif before dinner
  • Time to explore the nature surrounding us.  Cucumbi has few 5k trails to explore their lands 

• Outdoor salt-water swimming pool & wild swimming in the lake

• Bikes, sups and canoe available

• Outdoor dining under the vast Sky

• All materials for creative workshop will be provided

What's not included

Travel insurance

Flights, train, bus, taxi travel to retreat 

(let us know if you are renting a car or if you need help with booking  a taxi / we will try to combine taxies to collect few of you on similar arrival times)

Additional alcohol and soft drinks during retreat (they have a selection of wines and cocktails available)

Shipping of your ceramic pieces - we recommend you check an extra bag for your flight back (we don’t provide shipping service from this location)

•Treatments and therapies on request

Lunch on our beach day adventure

Flights & Getting here

Cucumbi rests between the two small cities, Montemor-o-Novo and Alcácer do Sal, close to the small village of Barrancão. It is just 1.5 hours south-east of Lisbon. There are direct flights to Lisbon from London and most UK airports, and most European, USA cities. For guests arriving into Lisbon at the same time, we can will arrange a return shuttle from Lisbon airport to Cucumbi, (transfer fee will be payed directly to the taxi driver - (100 EURO for up to 3 people / 175 EURO for 4-5 people) per person each way. All guests traveling on different flights are welcome to make their own transfer arrangements. There is space to park, so you are very welcome to rent your own car if you want the freedom to explore nearby.

About the host


Trained in the Classic program at Fine Art Academy in Sculpture, printmaking and painting my practice spans over many different materials. I have developed a strong personal artistic practice and developed a few side explorative projects, one of them is ceramic and design studio Kana. 

I have always been passionate about sharing skills and collaborations which has naturally brought me to teaching along the way. I believe a great teacher is always also a student and students are one of the best teachers. 

With my over 18 years of teaching experiences and 6 years of hosting retreats with different programs and for different levels of Art practice, I have been focusing on challenging, nourishing and developing creativity, returning to one self and connecting the mind with the body. I love combining creative practice with other self inquiry tools.

I often work intuitively, allowing for the schedule to be soft and informative. Over days we spend together I create a slow flow of workshops, classes, experiences that slowly dive you into a process of surrender into your senses and disconnect you from the sense of time.

My teaching technique is focused on supporting, mentoring, guiding and recognising whether you are in need of encouragement, support, need corrections on technique, introduction to new techniques, whether you need gentle guiding or seeking a challenge.

I teach with focus on each of you individually while guiding the group collectively. This way there is always space for everyone to learn from one another and for the group to  grow together.

About the Host

Kirsten Calhoun

Kirsten Calhoun founded Rye Home, in her hometown of Santa Cruz, as an expression of her abiding interest in art, interior design, food, gardening, and travel.

Her love for European travel is expressed in her selection of ceramics, textiles, glassware, cutlery, and wood pieces, amongst many other products, that share texture, warmth, and a quiet palette - with pops of color here and there.

Making local connections with artists and makers in Santa Cruz, as well as offering classes and gatherings for the local community, are integral to her commitment to honoring her roots in her hometown.

Kirsten’s mission is to inspire Rye’s customers to create and share memorable experiences - gathering for celebratory meals with friends and family, picnicking on the beach or in the woods, or creating a stylish, comfortable, and inviting home that will be enjoyed for years.

Beauty. Quality. Utility. 

We hope to see you in Portugal!