Friday, June 10, 2011

Chihuly Inspired Plastic Sculptures


     I just love the glasswork of Dale Chihuly and have wanted to do some kind of a lesson on him for a few years now.  I ordered a heat gun this year and made the goal to finally figure out the studio work for the kids to do. We just barely fit it in before the end of school, but I figured it out and we did it!  The 5th graders loved Chihuly (like I knew they would) and they were so excited to make these cool sculptures.

     To make them, each student got an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of transparent shrink film and two clear plastic to-go-type dishes that I picked up at a local salvage store.  They cut-out shapes (and punched holes in them) and then colored them with Sharpies.  Then boy did the new heat gun get a work out!  We shot the individual pieces unevenly so that they warped into unique 3-dimensional shapes.  The students strung them onto Twisteez wire and some used sections of straws to give the plastic pieces some space between them.



















6 comments:

Art at Chesterbrook Academy Elementary School said...

Absolutely beautiful.

Lauren Newman said...

Amazing! I've seen a lot of Chihuly lessons, but this one definitely takes the cake!

Anonymous said...

how did you use the heat gun or get the plastic to be manipulated for the kids? I would love to do this with my advanced art class or Exploring the Arts classes if possible without burning them. not understanding the process from your notes but love the outcome!

Mrs. Tannert said...

Anonymous,

Thank you thank you! The shrink film and the other plastic pieces really manipulate themselves when shot with the heat gun. Some of the re-purposed plastic pieces needed a little poking here and there, but certainly the shrink film just warps and bends and does its own thing when you aim the heat gun in different areas. Because I was working with 5th graders, I worked the heat gun for ALLLLLL of the pieces but I would think older students could probably be more independent with the heat guns as long as they were well monitored. Good luck and I'd love to see the results!

Mary said...

Gorgeous sculptures!

Kathy Young said...

I love this idea. I'm going to use it next month in my art class. Thanks so much for sharing!