Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dale Chihuly Inspired Sculpture




(Playing around with composition)
















My Mini Modern Artists took a look at the work of Amercian glass sculptor, Dale Chihuly. His amazing installations can be seen around the world. Closest to our home is Fiori di Como in the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. Commissioned by Steve Wynn, it took over 100 architects, engineers, shippers, installers and glass blowers to create this 2,100 square foot installation with over 2000 pieces of glass. It's a spectacular piece that looks like a mass of dream-like flowers or sea creatures. Originally I had intended for each child to create their own design to take home. But I thought that collectively, they created a wonderful meandering composition more in the style of Chihuly. And as an added bonus, I get to keep it! Each child will get a mounted photo of their collaborative project.



I bought 8x10 sheets of Shrinky Dink paper (can you believe most of these children had never heard of them?!) I had them create a design with permanent markers, encouraging them to keep it simple and repetetive. Each sheet was put in the oven where it contorted to a unique shape. I randomly glue gunned the pieces together (managing to burn myself only once!) and threaded a small hole in the piece with fishing line and then a simple wire hook and hung it from my ceiling. It looks beautiful spinning slowly with all the interplay of colors, forms and shapes. I plan to do this project again on a smaller scale so each child can have their own mini Chihuly inspired sculpture.











29 comments:

  1. ohh. thats great and looks so cool!!!

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  2. This looks very cool. How much oven space is needed to create the shapes?

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  3. Patty,

    With 2 oven racks and 2 large sheet pans I could do up to 4 8x10 sheets at a time. (The directions say to lay out a brown paper bag on the sheet pan before baking)I didn't want the shapes to shrink too much, so I watched them closely before I took them out.

    Thanks!
    Mary

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  4. Oh MY! I LOVE THESE! I might have to try this at some point with a class at the museum-if I can get it to work. If I do I will surely link to you! I work at the OKCMOA and we have the most comprehensive collection of Chihuly glass in the world. We try to plan lessons around our collections and exhibits. His work is amazing, but so is this project! Kudos!

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  5. Erin, thanks for letting me know about the Chilhuly collection at the OKCMOA. This could definitely be done on a smaller scale for the museum. It would look incredible with many small decorated pieces combined together.
    Thanks very much!
    Mary

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  6. I love this! I live in Columbus OH and there are 2 big Chilhuly exhibits going on here at the art museum and at the Franklin Park Conservatory.

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  7. Thanks for sharing, this is such a super project and medium!

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  8. fantastic. fantastic! just come through from the crafty crow! chihuly is my favourite artist and we'll def be doing this soon.

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  9. Just beautiful!! I have the S.D. paper, now I'm off to buy colored permanent markers!! Thanks so much for this idea!

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  10. Love this so much!! We plan to make another visit to the Glass Museum in Tacoma this summer, and this project would be a great way to practice our own Chihuly inspired designs.

    I've featured this on my blog's weekly Tumblr roundup:
    http://www.camilledawn.com/2010/06/tuesday-tumblr-3.html

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  11. I enjoyed this project too. I worked with Team Chihuly installing an exhibit at the Dayton Art Institute. I just wanted to add that I used an embossing heat tool to contort the shrinky dink material. I could get more control that way and the kids loved watching it happen right in front of their eyes. It was much easier to do them in the classroom this way.

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  12. I love this idea. I plan to write a grant proposal for the Education Foundation Innovative Teaching Grant for my school district. Hopefully I will have project pictures to post soon!

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  13. Very Cool! I love how it turned out! :) Think I am going to have to order some SD!

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  14. Beautiful!

    You can also do this w/recyclable plastic salad bar containers, (I think it's #5 or 6) I got my local supermarket to donate them, saves the budget!

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  15. These are AWESOME! I love Chihuly and started a ceramic flower garden using his concept of mixing art with nature. Fantastic idea with the Shrinky Dink paper. Which vendor did you purchase it from?

    Lauren Taylor
    www.sgpart.blogspot.com

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  16. I love love love this idea...so much so that i copied it with my children and blogged about it (giving you all of the credit of course, and linking back to your site ;) thanks for the cool project idea!
    http://thelittlethingsjournal.blogspot.com/2010/10/our-own-chihuly-sculpture.html

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  17. You can also you a heat gun and have more control.

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  18. Fantastic stuff Mary! Another suggestion for a cheaper alternative to those on a budget is to use the bottom scalloped ends of soft drink bottles.

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  19. Mary--
    Would it be alright if I shared this with other Art Adventure parents on our volunteer website?
    Thank you,
    Annie
    Art Adventure Specialist
    MIA

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  20. Of course Annie. That's fine with me. :)

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  21. apparently you can use #6 plastic too... http://www.curbly.com/users/chrisjob/posts/2252-diy-shrinky-dinks

    could be a fun way to tie in professional artists and recycled artwork into the curriculum...

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  22. I also did this in my classroom of third graders. I cut the plastic in half and let the students each do two. A hole was punched in the corner of each piece before baking. A toaster oven was used so each student could watch as their sculpture took shape. Each classes sculpture was threaded on a thin wire. The plan was to hang each classes "string" of sculptures separate, but when I picked up seven classes of Shrinky Dink, they looked so beautiful all clumped together. One giant sculpture was hung with about 168 pieces, it was beautiful. I still have it and each student was able to take home the other sculpture they had created.

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  23. You don't actually need Shrinky Dink paper...you can also use plastic wine glasses from the Dollar stores and colour with permanent markers and then put them in your oven to melt....oven set around 300 degrees and watch them very carefully. Make sure you put aluminum foil on your cookie sheet, and then place the coloured plastic glasses, stem up...we have made jewellery like brooches and we plan to use these melted pieces of art for the centerpiece for beaded necklaces for Mother's day, too, this year...they turn out GORGEOUS and I do this with 3 and 4 year olds!
    JBB

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  24. I am in Europe what exactly is shrinky dink paper I love the idea but dont know what this is?

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  25. I tried this with clear plastic cups and a heat gun. Each student added color first with permanent marker. The cups melted down into colorful discs. I then used a hole punch and string to hang. The clusters of colored plastic looks amazing. I'll try the shrinky dink sheets as well. Kids love this project! Thanks for sharing.

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  26. I'm an art teacher in the seattle area (where Chihuly is from). I can't wait to do this project with my group! I've been wanting to focus on a local artist and this is just the ticket!

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  27. Very cool idea! I have wanted to do a Chihuly inspired project with my students. This is perfect! Thanks for sharing!

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