Italy

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This week on Hands On we travel to Italy. Italy is a country located in Southern Europe sharing its northern border with France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia. The land known as Italy today has been the cradle of European cultures such as the Etruscans and the Romans. Our crafts feature special products from Italy and the influence of religion. First, is a majolica inspired dimensional decoupage - a long name for an easy technique. The name majolica was derived from Majorca, the port from which majolica was originally traded. In the 13th century, during the Renaissance, a small town in Umbria made use of a special clay to make Italian pottery. The clay is formed, dried, and fired for the first time; then the cooled form is dipped into mineral oxide creating a white opaque background on which the designs can be painted. The next project takes inspiration from the beautiful stained glass windows of the many Italian cathedrals. Churches and cathedrals are an important part of Italian architecture. Inspiration for the cathedral window quilt pattern comes from the beautiful stained glass windows of Italy. Then, we're off to the quarry for a marble frame. Carrara is a city in Italy famous for the white or blue-gray marble mined there. It has been used since the time of ancient Rome for famous sculptures by Michelangelo and in architecture such as the Pantheon. Finally, we create a micro mosaic in a traditional religious design - a cross shape. A characteristic of micro mosaics is that the glass threads or beads are elongated. The Vatican mosaic studio created many of the micro mosaic religious icons.

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