Fiber Arts Photography Courses Bach to Brubeck (and everything in between)
Other Media

Depending on the season, the Smithsonian Associates offers a range of classes in different media, including beading, mosaic-work, calligraphy, bookmaking, printmaking, art history and theory, and Japanese flower arranging.  These courses are fantastic opportunities for students looking to explore new artistic outlets.  The topics often cross conventional media boundaries and can be pursued purely for enjoyment or augment previous artistic skills and experience.

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current other media courses

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 6:30 PM

Holding a well-made hand-bound book is a rare and rewarding experience, especially when you have made it yourself. In this course, learn how to produce a beginning-level Coptic structure with extremely beautiful and satisfying results.

Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Learn the art of coiled basketry, which came to America through slaves who used the aromatic long-bladed grasses found in Southern states to create baskets based on traditional African forms. The workshop is led by basket weaver Lori VanKirk Schue.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 6:30 PM

The elegant and enduring Italic script has a venerable legacy. Begin your study of these versatile hand-written alphabets, which translate well into many practical and artistic applications.

Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Master basket weaver Lori VanKirk Schue guides students in creating a beautiful basket tote to carry your belongings to an outing or to the office.

Friday, April 1, 2016 at 6:30 PM

Get a taste of three of our most popular studio arts classes—in watercolor, color theory, and photography—for a single night each as you enjoy a glass of wine and stimulate the artist within.

Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Explore the basis of abstraction by studying color, line, and shape as they relate to composition. Learn to create exciting and innovative works of art, using a series of drawing and painting exercises designed to examine non-traditional ways of handling traditional materials and subject matter.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Bring new color, shine, and beauty to your mosaic projects by learning how to work with smalti, the enameled-glass material with a venerable global tradition.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 6:30 PM

Learn how to create your own mosaics using classical mosaic techniques with modern sensibilities.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 6:30 PM

Open the creative possibilities—and pages—of a hand-bound book in this class that familiarizes you with the skills and techniques of case binding. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Here’s an ideal opportunity to explore the history, basic materials, and methods of sculpture through hands-on studio work in a variety of media, lectures, and a visit to the Renwick Gallery. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 6:30 PM

Woodblock printing and linocut printing are ideal for creating bold images made up of patterns and textures. This course is an introduction to the relief print, from techniques of design and transfer through cutting and printing the block. Students design and produce their own editions, using nontoxic materials and employing both one-color and two-color techniques.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 6:30 PM

The elegance and aesthetic harmony of ikebana—Japanese flower arranging—have inspired poets and artists since its founding. In this course for beginning and continuing students, participants learn basic styles of ikebana as taught by the Sogetsu School of Ikebana in Japan.

Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 10:30 AM

The elegance of hand-lettered calligraphy is unmatched by machine. This class gives students a chance to learn the basics of this graceful and stylish art in a relaxed and supportive setting.

Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 6:30 PM

In this workshop, students are introduced to the materials, tools, and technologies used in collage and assemblage. They find inspiration in artists who worked in collage including Joseph Cornell, Romare Bearden, and Gertrude Green.

Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 6:30 PM

Through lecture, demonstration, and hands-on experimentation, students enhance their experience of color as they learn about the color wheel, the Munsell color chart, and the attributes of value, chroma, and hue. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 1:30 PM

The elegant script commonly known as Copperplate is unmatched in its usefulness for social stationery. Beginning with basic tools and mechanics, students discover how to develop their skills and to recognize the small details that make this style of writing so appealing.

Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 10:15 AM

In this course combining the Japanese art forms of sumi-e and shodo, explore the basic principles of classical Japanese painting and brushwork.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 6:30 PM

Learn to create unique bracelets, necklaces, and earrings as you cover the basics of bead stringing, wire-working, and pearl knotting, as well as other aspect of beadwork in this three-night workshop.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Learn the history, vocabulary, and techniques of flat-reed basket weaving from master weaver Lori VanKirk Schue and create three or four beautiful and useful baskets over the course of the class.

Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Turn up the heat on your technical skills. Get an introduction to the versatile—and non-intimidating—butane micro-torch as you craft a pair of earrings and a pendant.

Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Learn the terminology, tools, and techniques of wirework as you create a colorful abacus-style beaded pendant.

Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Lightweight, colorful, and full of movement, beaded tassel earrings are the perfect fashion accessory. Learn to create tassels from glass-seed beads, as well as some basic wirework techniques for earrings in a workshop that’s perfect for beginners. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 1:30 PM

A layered necklace can be bold, elegant, classic, or contemporary—and after learning the simple techniques needed to create your own, you may want to make one for every outfit and mood.

Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Learn the art of coiled basketry, which came to America through slaves who used the aromatic long-bladed grasses found in Southern states to create baskets based on traditional African forms. The workshop is led by basket weaver Lori VanKirk Schue.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 6:30 PM

In this six-session course held at the instructor's Washington studio, explore the mysteriously compelling qualities of neon light and create your own illuminated object.

Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 1:30 PM

The encaustic method of painting combines the luminescence of watercolor, the rich color and thickness of oils, and the quick-drying benefits of acrylic. The medium can be molded, sculpted, combined with collage materials, and reworked at any time. In this workshop, ideal for all experience levels, learn to capture vibrant pigments using heated beeswax, as well as fusing and carving in wax.

Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Master basket weaver Lori VanKirk Schue guides students in creating a beautiful basket tote to carry your belongings to an outing or to the office.

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