Photo credit: This image of marbled paper is from Marble Art.
Paper Marbling is a form of surface decoration with a rich history. The technique has been developed over several centuries in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. A marbled image is created by first floating color on water or a similar substance. After the color is manipulated with simple tools, paper or fabric is pressed onto the surface to capture a monotype print of the pattern. It’s called marbling because it can produce patterns similar to marble or other types of stone, and is often used in calligraphy, bookbinding, and as stationary.
Visit our Art Studio on Saturdays in April from 12-4pm to create your own sheet of marbled paper using our simplified version of traditional paper marbling techniques. The workshop is free with museum admission and is for ages 5 and up (children under 12 must be accompanied by and adult).
We’re excited to be participating in The Elephant Project, taking place at cultural institutions and venues across metro-Detroit and around the world! Here in Metro-Detroit, it’s hosted by Marygrove College. Here is a little information about the project from their website:
“In specific response to pressing local and global issues involving environmental sustainability and earth care, Marygrove College, with funding support from DTE Energy, will host Nomkhubulwane (Nom-koo-bull-WAH-nee, Zulu for Mother Earth), an elephant sculpture created by South African sculptor Andries Botha. This life-size sculpture, made of galvanized steel and recycled truck tires, is traveling around the world to raise awareness about how people can creatively address issues caused by the expanding human ecological footprint. Nomkhubulwane is one of 17 elephants on display globally by the Human Elephant Foundation (www.humanelephant.org).”
Here is a photo of Andries Botha’s sculpture (from his website):
On 10/20, Nomkhubulwane will migrate to our neighborhood to the Charles H. Wright Museum where you can see it in person.
In conjunction with Nomkhubulwane’s visit, here at the DIA we’re building some elephants of our own, and you are invited to help! Join us in the Learning Center on Fridays 10/22 and 10/29 from 6-9 pm and Sundays 10/23 and 10/30 from noon-4 pm. You are welcome to drop in to any or all of these sessions led by DIA studio artist Vito Valdez, and help us build two life-sized elephant sculptures out of wood and paper-mâché. The workshop is free with museum admission.
One of the best parts of the holiday season here at the museum each year are all of our extra (free with museum admission!) drop-in puppet-making workshops! Join us this year to make your own gingerbread puppet, sock puppet, stick puppet, marionette, and finger puppet. If you visited our studio over the Thanksgiving weekend you already got a taste of puppet-making, but don’t worry if you missed us last weekend; there are a number of upcoming workshops scheduled for December.
Here is a list of our upcoming puppet workshops in December:
(Please see the Drop-In page of this blog for a full listing of these and all of our other workshops.)
Gingerbread Puppets – Saturday 12/15, 5-8:30 (in conjunction with Noel Night)
TBD Puppet Workshop – Saturday 12/26, 12-4
Sock Puppets – Sunday 12/27, 12-4
Bug Puppets – Monday 12/28, 12-4
Tongue Depressor Stick Puppets – Tuesday 12/29, 12-4
Felt Marionette Puppets – Wednesday 12/30, 12-4
Model Magic Finger Puppets – Thursday 12/31, 12-4
We hope to see you for one or all of these fun workshops!
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Our Sunday Drop-In Workshop for the month of September is called “Make Your Mark! Personal Seals,” and gives visitors an opportunity to make a simple cylinder seal similar to those made in ancient times. These seals were first created in the Near East and later were made in Mesopotamia and Egypt and were used to create multiple impressions of the same document. Usually made of stone (often amethyst or lapis lazuli), the cylindrical seal would have images or symbols carved into it. When the seal was rolled over wet clay, the indentiations created an impression in the clay; this process could be repeated countless time to make many copies of a document. Because the seals were often made of beautiful stones, sometimes they would be included along with gold and jewels in graves of important people.
In our workshop visitors will be able to carve their own symbols, patterns or pictures into a wax cylinder and then roll their seal over wet clay to create an impression. Visit us any Sunday in September in the Student Lunchroom from noon-4!
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In conjunction with the special exhibition: Photography, The First 1oo Years, on Saturdays in September, visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to participate in a (free!) drop-in workshop called Photograms: Cyanotype.
A photogram is a photographic image made without a camera. It is made by placing objects directly onto the surface of a photo-sensitive material such as photographic paper and then exposing it to light. The areas of the paper that have received no light appear white, those exposed through transparent or semi-transparent objects appear in a medium tone, and areas that receive full light become dark.
Cyanotype is a blueprint process which provides permanent images in a beautiful range of cyan blue values. The process is thought to have been discovered by John Herschel in 1842 and first used in a photographic way by Anna Atkins who is regarded as the first female photographer and who made the image above.
Visit us in the Student Lunchroom from 12-4pm on any Saturday in September and make your own! If you find that you enjoy the process and results, there are many great resources for materials on the web. One that we have used is http://www.blueprintsonfabric.com. This store is an excellent resource for pre-treated cyanotype fabric and paper.
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Head down to Rivard Plaza on the river (1340 E. Atwater Street in Detroit; click here for a map) to visit us on the 2nd Saturday of each summer month through September. The DIA has partnered with the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for this fabulous once-a-month event. Click here for more information about the program from the Conservancy’s website.
We’ll be there this Saturday (8/8) from 11am – 1pm with a free drop-in workshop for all ages. We’ll provide all the materials you need to make your own kalimba instrument (a type of African thumb piano) to take home. Come join us!
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