Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"glass blowing" like Dale Chihuly

It felt like I waited FOREVER to get to this lesson. I just knew the students would go crazy over it and I wasn't disappointed ;). I don't think I could ever hear enough of "This was the BEST art class I have ever been to!!".

I don't do a lot of lessons where we paint or draw "like" an artist because I'm not sold on how beneficial copying another artist's style is. I do see the value however in material usage and trying to emulate how a material is used.....like glass blowing.

When I thought about diving deep into an artist I chose Chihuly not only because his work is intriguing for both adults and kids but also because we have a Chihuly museum near us. I believe that discussing/viewing an artists work in class, working with the same materials and then being able to SEE the work in real life is a very rich learning experience. So, to all my parents out there, take your children to the Chihuly museum!! It's small so not overwhelming and it's a great experience!! You can also buy a ticket to the Hot Shop to see actual glass blowing being done.

When I created this lesson I found this on a blog from another art teacher (terrific blog!!)
and I modified it a little from hers. The bones of it stayed the same though- what an inspiring lesson!! We talked extensively about Chihuly's use of color in his sculpture and how he puts glass together in a variety of ways. I also explained to them how glass is heated and formed. Here is one of the pieces we discussed...

They each got a sheet of plastic #6 (I used Graffix shrink film), loads of paint pens and Sharpies so they could add color to their pieces, scissors, a wood block drilled with a hole (thankfully my husband helped me prep all of those!), a dowel and glue to glue it all together. We used heat embossing guns to heat the shrink plastic.....or in our case "blow the glass". They were HOOKED!!!! It was complete wonderment.

I'll post the Kindergarten version in a few days.

Happy "glass blowing" LP ;).