Welcome back to AMA Staying Inspired! We have something great in store for you today! Have you ever been able to travel back in time? Well, today we’re going back thousands of years, all the way to Ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians were the oldest and largest civilization that existed then, and there is so much we have learned from them.
One of the reasons we understand so much about their lives now is because they made art to tell us about them. The art made by the ancient Egyptians tell us what they wore, how they looked, and details about their culture. Their pictures are kind of like a map of their society.
Did you know the Egyptians made their own paper?
The word “paper” actually comes from the word papyrus. Because of how the Egyptians used it, it will always be closely related to writing and art. Here is an example of what they created right here! Notice the texture of the paper. Does it look smooth or rough?
This is a page from a book full of hieroglyphics and art. Hieroglyphics is a writing system that uses pictures and symbols instead of letters and words. It is most often associated with the ancient Egyptians. The whole book and each page in it is made of handmade papyrus. How cool! Anything can be transformed into something else. That’s a huge part of making art. Ask yourself, how can I turn something simple into art?
Hannah Israel is an artist featured in AMA's current Cut & Paste: Works of Paper Exhibition. She takes paper and transforms it into all kinds of things, just like the Egyptians!
In this picture, you can see how she turned paper into art that mimics other materials. Some of it looks hard, like rocks or iron, and some of it looks soft, like grass.
Papyrus Paper at Home!
You can be an awesome artist too from right where you are!
Want to learn how to make your own papyrus paper? Just like The ancient Egyptians and Hannah Israel, we can take ordinary things and transform them into something super cool!
Make sure to get a parents help before doing the activity!
Here’s what you will need:
1) A brown paper bag
3) liquid white glue
4) A box of crayons
5) A small bowl of water and a spoon
First, take your brown paper bag and rip it up into small strips. Or, with the help of a parent or guardian, you can use the scissors and cut it into strips.
Take your small bowl of water and pour in an equal amount of white glue and mix it together into a thin paste. Next, take your strips of paper bag and dip them all the way into the mixture. Once they are wet, ask a parent or guardian to help you crosshatch your strips into the pattern in the picture above. A crosshatch is a pattern that you can create when you weave your strips together.
After that, let your paper dry in a safe place and come back to it later. Once it’s dry, you can draw whatever Egyptian art you want on it. Don’t forget to sign it!