4th graders are studying the work of Dale Chihuly – we worked really hard to make our own “uglies” with found objects – coffee filters and starch. See that success here.
Now we are on to the big collaborative piece of it – our water bottle sculpture that will resemble one of his many glass blown chandeliers. We studied and discussed 3D forms and a student’s father donated the use of his heat gun (which, I promise you, get very hot – I will have to man this task – I don’t need any accidents).
First task: collect bottles. I have been asking students to bring water bottles in since October. I would estimate to say we have about 500 bottles and we’ve just about cracked the surface for what I hope it will take to make 2 installations.
Second task: Prep the water bottles – as a collective assembly line, have students tear off labels, cut the bottoms off and secure the lids that we do have. This took a good 40 minute class period with both sections – but it was great. We got through about 300 of the bottles and I have 200 more on stand by.
Third task: Paint the water bottles. We are in the process of this now – first, we’re starting with warm colors not only to present a chance to learn about warm colors…or rather relearn again and again but to also approach the blending of colors in the most successful way. We will have a day with cool colors and we will use that as a chance to explore how come colors do not successfully mix not matter how close they are on the color wheel. We will finish the 500 bottles with a day using all colors so students can use what they learned to challenge themselves with what colors will mix outside of the obvious.
For painting, we used sponge brushes – this proved to cover the most space on the bottle and put up less of a fight when trying to put the paintbrush all the way into the bottle. Acrylic paint was most promising as it hardens and stays on the bottle even while being cut and heated.
Phase Two will be cutting and heating the bottles followed by Phase Three, the assembly of the sculptures! STAY TUNED! 🙂