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Watch Modern Artists Use Ancient Techniques
May 20, 2013 10:05 PM   Subscribe

For the past three months, the Art Institute of Chicago has been putting their Launchpad videos, designed to provide more context of museum-goers at the Institutes, on YouTube. The short videos include modern artists recreating art using ancient, medieval, and newer techniques in mosaics, glassblowing, pottery, painting, silversmithing, marquetry, and coin production plus conservation of art. There are also a few videos focusing on individual pieces in the collection.
posted by julen (7 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks Julen. Love how little the basic process of blown glass bottle making has changed from Roman times through to current artisanal techniques. And to see someone core forming and feathering with such apparent ease and speed is really very very cool.

(Just in passing, I was thinking 'but I'd love to see this done in a traditional furnace, and maybe see recreations of Roman era mold blowing and mosaic as well' but chasing down the ref.s at the end of your links and following the sidebarred stuff on youtube it seems the Roman Glassmakers, the J. Paul Getty and the Corning Museum of Glass are way ahead of me).
posted by Ahab at 1:09 AM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


The best and most grateful thing we can do, as participants in this amazing thing called human existence, is to not lose these skills which have been honed over millennia and which continue to be expanded and refined, and to continue passing them on.
posted by h00py at 4:17 AM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


These are great. My History of Medieval Art class in college read On Divers Arts, and it was a real eye-opener to learn just how intimately involved in the creation of their materials artists needed to be in the Pre-Industrial Age. The instructions for green pigment, for example, involved putting copper plates in an earthenware jug, pissing in the jug, burying it for several weeks, and then scraping off the green tarnish that will form on the copper once you have unearthed it.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:38 AM on May 21, 2013


Related..
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:43 AM on May 21, 2013


The instructions for green pigment, for example, involved putting copper plates in an earthenware jug, pissing in the jug, burying it for several weeks, and then scraping off the green tarnish that will form on the copper once you have unearthed it.
Rock Steady, Theophilus didn't mention (probably because he assumed the artist would be a man) that men's urine is more concentrated, and therefore more chemically active, than woman's. One more refinement in the process.

In fact, public urinals were licensed as a profit-making venture.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:12 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


IAmBroom: Theophilus didn't mention (probably because he assumed the artist would be a man) that men's urine is more concentrated, and therefore more chemically active, than woman's. One more refinement in the process.

I'm struggling to remember the details now, but I think there was one detail in the book that referred to some bodily fluid of a red-haired person, and my professor explained that redheads commonly have some (otherwise harmless) genetic anomaly that meant that their excretions would actually be more effective than that of a non-ginger person. I'll have to see if I still have my copy when I get home.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:18 AM on May 22, 2013


You remind me of some copper oxide news from a few years back:

Japan's Imperial Palace to Sell Copper Roofing as Pigment in Artists' Paint
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:32 PM on May 22, 2013


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