On the first day, I showed students YouTube clips of Dale Chihuly's work. I also showed them the glass blowing process...which they adored! Students started sanding their bottle with sandpaper and then painted their bottle using acrylic paint. Our inspiration for this Chihuly-inspired sculpture came from his work "Fireworks of Glass" pictured at the right.
On the second day, students cut apart their bottles and used wire to attach the bottles to a chicken wire frame. I inserted Christmas lights I bought on sale after the holidays to add lights to the inside of our sculpture. When students were finishing, I gave them three options for what they could do when they were done:
-Draw our sculpture using colored pencils
-Write about an artwork by Dale Chihuly
-Make another plastic bottle to add to the sculpture
Most students chose to make another plastic bottle to add to the sculpture! I loved how it turned out with all of the bright & interesting colors. Look below for more inspiration and pictures.
This has got to be one of my favorite projects to work on with my middle school art students. The project goes relatively quickly (2 class times) and my students love to learn about the glass artist Dale Chihuly. The sculpture in the picture above is made of 200 plastic bottles. Each bottle was donated by a student or staff member at our school. We started collecting bottles about 3 weeks before we started the project. Each student selected a bottle & painted it with acrylic. Acrylic paint works much better than tempera. Next, each student was assigned a style for cutting the bottle apart (star shape or spiral shape). Some students modified their styles slightly for a more unique design.
I am a 5th year high school art teacher in Rochester, MN. I have taught middle school for 2 years and high school for 3 years. I truly enjoy working with students on a daily basis. I also enjoy teaching real-world skills such as problem solving, using technology, and the power of teamwork and collaboration. My joy is sharing my passion for art with others!
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