What We Do

aicc workshop facility

Anatomy in Clay® Centers exists to expand upon centuries of exploration into human and animal bodies. The system was founded by Jon Zahourek, who pioneered a new way of teaching anatomy more than thirty years ago with a hands-on approach to learning anatomy. In its lengthy history, anatomy has been closely linked with the medical sciences but is also an essential element in the understanding of who we are and how we function in the world, a subject with broad implications.


Jon Zahourek developed the initial concept for Anatomy In Clay® Learning System in 1977 with the creation of the first Maniken® model, a 30-inch tall scale model sculpture of a human skeleton. The purpose was to provide a teaching display to demonstrate the anatomy of muscles in front of classes of drawing students at the Parsons School of Design in New York City.

By 1979, Jon's experience in the classroom dazzled him with how much he learned about anatomy while building muscles on the model skeleton. His original concept expanded with a new goal: to share this learning experience by putting it in the hands of students -- literally "hands on" education in action.

Jon and his wife, Renée, developed a week-long intensive workshop involving this hands-on method that they conducted throughout the United States -- and in London and Stockholm as well -- in a variety of venues. They relocated to Colorado in 1992 and established an office and manufacturing facility for the Maniken model series.

Zahourek created Anatomy in Clay® Centers, Inc. so that other teachers he trained could help share his innovation with a wider audience. A teaching facility was leased for five years in Boulder and beginning in 2012 has a permanent home of its own in Denver. The new Anatomy in Clay® Centers, Denver, is a non-profit organization offering workshops for students of all ages, all levels of preparedness, and all purposes.

In 2013, the Anatomy In Clay® Centers (also operating as the Formative Haptics Center) was founded by Jon and his wife Renee as a nonprofit organization, operating as a 501(c)(3) public charity. The Center was created to promote and conduct anatomy education using an innovative method of instruction. Our goal is to empower self-discovery in each of us by forming anatomy with our own hands.