Nina Nightingale's Charm School is in session.
From silhouette portraits and hair reliquaries to postage stamp flirtation and suffragette tea parties, join curiosity artist and host Nina Nightingale in exploring history's most fascinating disciplines and their hidden origins! During each hour-long virtual live show, Nina will guide you through the basics of a specific craft, tell you about its often surprising importance in the cultural landscape, and take any questions that might come up along the way. Part Home Ec, part AP History, Nina Nightingale’s Charm School won't teach you how to be more genteel, but you’ll learn why crafting was never that polite anyway.
In this episode, Nina is looking into on the curious history of Victorian Hallowe’en! Celebrated in that era as a romantic holiday to rival Valentine’s Day, it marked a time for courting parties, divination games, and love spells. You’ll learn a simple DIY technique for creating your very own divination mirror starring your true love as well as mock Daguerreotypes, using household and recycled items. Love has never been so spine-chilling.
Class Supplies, if you wish to work along:
- black and white photographs laser-printed on regular printer paper to turn into a mock Daguerreotype no larger than 4x6, and/or a photo of your true love that fits in your mirror (strong contrast with lighter backgrounds work best)
- clear packing tape
- a bowl of water
- x-acto/craft knife and cutting mat
- a bone
- folder or credit card
- a soda can
- an iron and surface safe for ironing
- a mirror worthy of turning into a Victorian Hallowe’en decoration
- optional: matte brown paint, mod podge
Hello! My name is Nina Nightingale and I am a professional fine artist practicing the very rare art of SILHOUETTE PORTRAITURE, in which I cut your likeness from paper with no writing instruments—simply freehand drawing with scissors. This art of "shadow cutting" was popular before photography was made affordable. Silhouette portraiture is one part history and one part how-does-she-do-it?
Once registered, you can access the Zoom room for this experience through your confirmation email or Eventbrite account. Atlas Obscura online experiences are recommended for attendees age 13+. Following the experience, we’ll send you a recording of your Halloweek experience, which you’ll be able to view for up to five days after the event. Head to Atlas Obscura to see more of our upcoming online experiences.
This event is one of Atlas Obscura’s Online Experiences. At Atlas Obscura, our mission has always been to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. Now, more than ever, there’s a need to stay connected—not only to our sense of wonder, but to each other.
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