Past Event

Dyeing and Painting with Nature: The Chemistry of Cochineal

April 13, 2019 - April 14, 2019
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
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Genspace, 132 32nd Street (Suite 108), Brooklyn

Event Description:

Since antiquity, humans have extracted colors from nature to dye textiles, mark our bodies, and paint masterpieces. What are these colors made of and how do you make them? Join Genspace for a hands-on exploration of natural colorants where we will focus on the tiny but powerfully-colorful cochineal bugs.

We will dive into the fascinating history of cochineal use--from the red royal fringe of the Inca Empire to its industrial manufacture today. We will look at the science behind transforming organic matter into usable color, learning about the relationship between dyes and pigments, and how you can make them in the lab or at home in your kitchen. Following 500-year-old recipes and using modern chemistry, we will dye textiles and make pigments with bugs, and each participant will walk away with a tube of lab-made paint!

During the workshop, you will:

  • Dye textiles with cochineal
  • Make cochineal pigment
  • Paint out the cochineal pigment with different binding media

Event Information:

Tickets to the event must be purchased from Eventbrite. Refunds are available up to 7 days before the event. This event is hosted by Genspace

This event is organized by Naomi Rosenkranz, the Project Manager for the Making and Knowing Research Cluster