Dante’s Infernal Journal Workshop


Devil Baby of Bourbon Street

­It is said that in the late 1700's the Voodoo Priestess, Marie Laveau gave the serial killing socialite Madame LaLaurie a baby to raise (the reason is somewhat obscure, but in some versions, Marie Laveau curses the child of Madame LaLaurie). The child soon perished but returned as a devil child that brought havoc to the French quarter.

In this class, we will modify a book or book box (those sneaky boxes that look like books on the outside). You’ll have a few options in this class. The first option would be to take a book box and modify the exterior and then turn the interior into a shrine or 3d map of the nine rings of Hades…or the nine rings of the French Quarter or wherever. The other option of working on just the exterior and modifying an existing book or journal and thus making it a usable journal. Either way, one thing is for sure…we’ll have a hot time in the ole town tonight.

Workshop Gallery

About the Instructor

Michael deMeng is an assemblage artist from Vancouver, Canada who exhibits throughout the United States. As an educator, he has been actively involved with VSA Montana, providing art education and encouraging participation in the arts to people with disabilities. Through these activities, as well as his artwork, deMeng fosters community awareness, and offers creative methods to explore the human experience.

In his art, he addresses issues of transformation. Discarded materials find new and unexpected uses in his work; they are reassembled and conjoined with unlikely components, a form of rebirth from the ashes into new life and new meaning.

These assemblages are metaphors for the evolutions and revolutions of existence: from life to death to rebirth, from new to old to renewed, from construction to destruction to reconstruction. These forms are examinations of the world in perpetual flux, where meaning and function are ever-changing.

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Paint, Glue and Clay Supplied by Michael

  1. Exacto Knife
  2. Book Form: Two Options
    Exterior Only – A hardback art journal or hardback book (could be a copy of Dante’s Inferno) that you want to modify. The innards will be untouched.
    Interior and Exterior- A book box (the boxes made to look like books)
  3. Foam Board or Matte Board (only necessarily if working on the interior)- enough to cut 8 or more pieces the same size as the book
  4. Books, Magazines, and other paper ephemera
  5. Various small found objects: not a bad idea to bring a small cigar box full of watch parts, decorative elements etc.
  6. Brushes – small to medium bristle brushes and few detail/liner brushes
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