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Pigments of the Past – Adult Masterclass
Pigments of the Past – Adult Masterclass

Pigments of the Past – Adult Masterclass

Discover the history of pigments and painting in ancient Greece, with this hands-on masterclass.

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Event Information

20 Aug 2022, 1:50 pm – 4:00 pm

Hellenic Museum, 280 William St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia


How did ancient artisans and craftsmen colour their world before the invention of modern paints? Join a Hellenic Museum Curator and Materials Conservation practitioner in this hands-on discovery of pigments throughout the past.

Workshop participants will receive a primer on the theory and history of pigment with an emphasis on ancient Greece; touch and mix common pigment ingredients; experiment with the traditional recipe for egg tempera; examine painting motifs on real and replica artefacts, and practice painting these using acrylic on individual ceramic pots which can be taken home after the workshop.

Workshop Schedule & Inclusions

  • 1.50PM Arrive and gather in Museum foyer
  • 2PM Masterclass begins with a Curator's tour of painted artefacts on display at the Museum
  • 2.15PM Move to the workshop space for a presentation on colour theory and pigments in ancient Greece. Touch and mix assorted pigment ingredients, and try your hand at mixing egg tempera.
  • 2.45PM An opportunity to handle real and replica artefacts for a close up look at decorative styles. Practice motifs by painting in acrylic on your own ceramic pot with guidance from staff. 
  • 3.30PM Explore the Museum while your pot is given time to dry.
  • 4PM Masterclass concludes. Your touch-dry pot will be packaged to take home.
  • All materials included. Water and herbal tea station provided in the workshop space.

Important Information

  • Recommended for ages 16+ due to advanced subject matter. Younger visitors may prefer our National Science Week pigments activity in collaboration with the Islamic Museum of Australia.
  • Aprons provided, but please consider wearing clothes you may get paint on.
  • Traditional pigment mixing can use common allergens such as eggs and plant materials. If you have allergen concerns, please contact the Hellenic Museum.

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