Do you ever gaze upon a breathtaking, centuries-old work of art and wonder to yourself, “How did they do that?”
Enthralling answers await in Studio Sessions, an innovative new online education series presented by the Aga Khan Museum. With each learn-at-your-own-pace course, you will explore the ideas, materials, and techniques behind masterworks in the Museum’s Collection — and then try a hands-on activity inspired by what you’ve just learned!
Guiding you on your journey will be a Museum Curator along with elite 21st-century artists and craftspeople specializing traditional artforms celebrated in our Collection. Embark on a journey into the workshops of master artisans of the past via the Museum’s extraordinary Collection and the studios of today’s most skilled creators!
The first course in the series celebrates the centuries-old art of bookmaking. Discover secrets of making works on paper with this four-part course led by Aga Khan Museum Assistant Curator Bita Pourvash.
Here’s how the course is structured:
Unit 1: Paper-making — Sneak a peek into the Museum’s expansive collection of works on paper, then enter the paper-making studio of artist Radha Pandey to find out ancient tricks of the trade. Cap off this unit by making your own paper with guidance from a Museum Educator.
Unit 2: Dyeing paper — Feast your eyes on the rich hues of dyed works in the Museum’s Collection. Stop by Radha’s studio to learn how papers were traditionally dyed. Then, experiment with dyeing paper with one or more of your favourite colours.
Unit 3: Marbling — How did the artisans behind centuries-old manuscripts in the Museum’s Collection create almost kaleidoscopic designs? Artist Hacer Özcan delves into the art — and the science — of marbling paper. Afterwards, get your hands dirty as you make your own DIY version.
Unit 4: Illumination — Embedding gold and other precious metals onto the page was one way traditional artisans — and their well-heeled patrons — made their manuscripts shimmer. With help from artist and researcher Anita Chowdry, shine a light on the use of illumination in artworks in our Collection. Then, experiment with colourful paints to bring a Museum-inspired design to vibrant life.
Go here to purchase an optional Studio Sessions Art Kit containing materials used in the at-home demonstrations ($34.95 plus tax). Or, use inexpensive materials that can be easily found at home or at a dollar store near you. If you’d prefer, you can skip the hands-on portion entirely — it’s up to you.