Friday, September 15, 2017

Fine art meets crafting in "Crown Yourself" workshop

By Sheon Wilson
Publications Coordinator

Come join us for a class where crafting meets fine art and creates a beautiful takeaway.

In one afternoon, “Crown Yourself: The Dolci Experience in Flowers and Art” will show you how to create art from everyday materials.

During this three-hour workshop on Dec. 16, co-hosted by Duke Gardens and the Nasher Museum of Art, participants will visit the Nasher’s Carlo Dolci exhibition and then head to Duke Gardens to craft their own crowns, wreaths or centerpieces.

Using botanical materials sourced at Duke Gardens, such as evergreen branches, holly and berries, our instructor will demonstrate how to craft your piece and then provide individual guidance and suggestions as needed. Basic materials will be included, but participants are invited to bring lights or other embellishments.

Nasher Museum of Art staff will give the class a guided tour of “The Medici’s Painter: Carlo Dolci and 17th Century Florence,” which showcases the Italian art master’s eye for color, light and texture.

A celebrated artist of his day, Dolci often painted crowns of foliage on his subjects. That inspired “Crown Yourself.”

“We thought a class that requires slowing down would relate to Dolci, because he was known for his meticulous attention to detail,” said Jan Little, director of education and public programs at Duke Gardens. Dolci was known for spending a decade or more on one painting, resulting in incredible depictions of minute detail.

At Duke Gardens, you'll learn how to use different colors, textures and types of botanicals, and how to manipulate scale, form and light. Dolci’s artistic process should prove inspiring as you craft your own creation, Little said.

“Painters mix their color to their exact goals to illustrate light and shadow, but people who craft with natural materials fashion those materials to respond to existing light and shadow,” she said. “We look forward to exploring the contrasts and similarities between fine art and craft.”

Workshop details: Saturday, Dec. 16, 2 to 5 p.m. To register, please call 919-668-1707 or email For more information about this or our winter "Crown Yourself" workshop, please see the event page on our website.

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