Students were introduced to the artist Dale Chihuly. We talked about the principles of design of form and movement. We looked at the Mayo Clinic's collection of Chihuly's art in the Gonda Building. Many students were excited about this because they had seen these in real life. We also talked about abstract art and what this meant. We had a short discussion about Chihuly and his team. I asked students if they thought Chihuly was a real artist if he has other people make his work. This created a great discussion/debate about the difference between an artist and a designer.
Students then took a plastic bottle (some chose the same one from their drawing). I told students to choose a bottle that wasn't too thick. The really thin and cheap water bottles worked best. AVOID the gatorade, ICE, and thicker milk/juice bottles. I had students write their name on some masking tape and stick it to the bottom of their bottles. Students then used coarse sand paper to sand their bottles down. This helps the paint stick better.
I used elmer's glue, neon paint, and a small bit of water to create the paint mixture. After students sanded, they immediately painted their bottles. I allowed students to use more than one color and they could also do a design like stripes or polka dots. I told students that it was okay if the paint was thicker in some places than others. Once they were painted, we left them standing up right in the cupboard to dry.
We reviewed form, movement, and abstract art. I did a quick demo on how to the cut the bottle in either a spiral or flower design. I numbered students off 1-2. #1 did a spiral. #2 did a flower. Students cut the bottoms of their bottles off and then cut their design.
I created wire cages with christmas lights in advance. I used string to hang the wire cage from the ceiling. We attached the bottles by tying with string/wire at the opening of the bottle and attaching to the wire cage. I did most of the tying to the cage as it got too chaotic to have all the students at once trying to attach their bottles. Some of the paint flaked off a bit, so we did quite a bit of sweeping. Students who finished early were required to clean up and help students who might have been a bit behind. Once we had them all attached, we lit it up and turned the lights off....there were A LOT of "oooohs" and "aaaaahs". The last part of class we watched a 15-minute Video on Chihuly Chandelier's and Towers and how the glass is blown.