Artifact: The Crucible at the Asian Art Museum

Fridays–Sundays, March 15–May 5, 2013
Noon to 4pm
Asian Art Museum, Ground Floor, Resource Room, Vinson Nook
200 Larkin Street, San Francisco
FREE with museum admission

What would you take to the afterlife? The Crucible in partnership with UC Berkeley’s Archaeology Research Facility (A.R.F.), is excited to tackle this ancient question in the San Francisco Asian Art Museum’s series, “Asia Alive,”a free, interactive, all ages program featuring live art demonstrations, hands-on activities and discussions

The series focuses on the museum’s exhibition, “China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy,” which explores the young Emperor’s worldview, enduring influence and fixation on the afterlife. Although he died in 210 BCE, his legacy lives on through his terracotta warriors. 

The Crucible invites you to reflect on your own life using imagination and skill, transforming timeless raw materials with the stamp of your own individuality. Participants will investigate ancient artistic techniques used for creating afterlife treasures, including glass fusing jewelry, ceramics, and hammering to create their own afterlife pendant.

  • Copper charms: Copper, a common material in this exhibition, was used throughout history. Starting with a piece of raw copper, you will use letters and decorative stamping as embellishments to create an artifact that will function as a charm for a keychain or pendant for a necklace.
  • Art Clay Copper: This innovative material, Art Clay Copper, looks, feels and works like ordinary clay, but when fired in a kiln or with a torch its clay binders burn off, leaving 99.9% pure copper. Today, you will make an artifact by manipulating copper clay through rolling and fashioning texture to create a unique charm. Art Clay Copper donated by Art Clay World, USA.
  • Moldmaking: The terracotta warriors were among the earliest examples of the use of sophisticated reproduction methods. Moldmaking is the most common technique used for reproduction. Starting with clay, you will fashion an artifact that will then be vacuum molded to produce a symbolic negative copy in plastic.
  • Video footage from renowned Crucible faculty, including foundry artist Nick DiPhillipo and blacksmith artist Carla Hallround out the series. 

Artifact is a phenomenal opportunity to explore the First Emperor’s life in a hands-on, community oriented fashion. Between archaeological discussions, artistic explorations, and your own reflections about the afterlife, Asia Alive is sure to inspire creativity in everyone.