This lesson is to allow students to explore the art of glass and how Dale Chihuly brought the art to life in America. The students will create a Chandelier or mural using clear plastic materials that are decorated and heated to warp and then pull them together as a collaborative piece. It will teach them how to work together and explore different avenues of success producing a work of art as a group.
10+ sessions; 50 minutes per session
1.SWBAT Work as a group to create a Chihuly like installation using heated plastic, structures for support, color.
2.SWBAT Experience collaboration in producing a work of art.
3. SWBAT gain knowledge in the life and work of Dale Chihuly.
4. SWBAT design a chandelier using the elements: line, color, shape and the principles of balance, variety, and unity.
1. Clear plastic plates and cups (Chinet Crystal works great).
2. Heat guns
4. safety gloves
5. paper/pencil/colored pencils or watercolor for the design part
6. depending on the structure you will need a frame work to hang the chandelier while under construction (I built a gallows style with wood and eye bolt) (mural needs heavy foam core for mounting)
7. heavy hook for chandelier with heavy tube like thing suspended ( I used found objects for this.
9. hot glue and guns or strong glue
10. apperature wire
11. fairy lights
The students will watch the video on Dale Chihuly and the teacher will show a PPT on the work of Dale Chihuly.
TSW will draw or watercolor a design for a chandelier.
TSW be instructed on the safety measures to be taken when working with a heat gun.
Demonstrate to the students how to color designs on the plastic plates and cups with sharpie markers. Emphasize the need for some clear areas to show but not much. Talk about how the molecules will condense as the plastic melts with the heat guns so that extreme detail drawing is not necessary. Tell them to keep it bright and colorful.
They must wear the protective gloves while using heat guns but those gloves are not fool proof against burning so to be very careful.
Monitor the use of the heat guns so that holes do not form and to keep moving the plates to prevent the holes. After all plates and cups are melted to floral type shapes, they are mounted with hot glue together on sturdy foam core. I displayed these with Command Adhesive Hooks and rope, high up where they could not be damaged by students in halls.
*note The second year (this year) we made a chandelier . Constructed a ‘gallows’ with eye bolt in top 8 ft tall. Found a plastic tube and drilled holes for dowels and wire. Found a 5 prong hook to hang from eye bolt at home depot. Wired tube to it and put LED lights down in it. Let the students start wiring plastic cups and plates in a random design and integrated more lights. Put large plates on dowels with hot glue in the holes we melted into them for the dowels. Designed as wanted.
Students were assessed via questions on their exam in relation to Chihuly and his work as well as the process they went though and products they used. The were assessed daily on their work ethic and how well they did their specific jobs i.e. heat gun, attaching to the structure, design, construction of armature etc. Students tended to enjoy certain things about the project more than others after experiencing them all and that worked out well.
This resource was an amazing experience for both myself and my students. We wrote to Dale Chihuly and he wrote back and sent a gift to my students for the interest in his work and commended them on their Chandelier! The chandelier will be hung in the art department for al to enjoy.