Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Celebrating Creativity - Dale Chihuly

The Joslyn in Omaha has an awesome Dale Chihuly sculpture that definitely made an impact on the kids.  Today they were super excited to do their Chihuly inspired projects. 

In honor of Mr. Chihuly's Macchia Bowl series we created coffee filter bowls.
Dale Chihuly's Macchia Bowls
Original coffee filter

use watercolor to paint, spray with spray starch, put over a bottle to dry...

our Macchia Bowls...

and the leftover from the painting... can you say happy accident!

In honor of Dale Chihuly's Sea forms we made melted plate sculptures
Dale Chihuly's Sea Forms
cur plastic plates colored with permanent marker... color solid (not like this one)

melt plastic plates with a heat gun... round and round we went

our sea forms hanging suspended on an old piece of plexiglass.
And in honor of the big sculpture at the Joslyn we made melted pop bottles... that Mrs. Carlisle still has to put together into the sculpture.   
pop bottle with the end cut off and the inside painted.

after adding heat!
It was a fun day... and I learned a few things.  Use big coffee filters for bigger bowls.  Non-Sharpie permanent markers work best as the kids get a more solid color.  Paint when left to dry overnight falls off the pop bottles as they are heated.  Plexiglass is not fun to hang from a tiled ceiling.

*photo credits are linked but I have to say thank you to all the bloggers who had Chihuly inspired lessons.  I learned a little from each of you to come up with all these ideas. 


  1. Beautiful - what wonderful ideas. Thanks!

  2. Just found your site from a Pinterest post! Great stuff!!!

  3. I wanted to let the students come up with a group design and create a sculpture using colored and melted pop bottles. How can I put them together??? Or do you have any ideas about how I can do this?

    1. we ran them together on a coat hanger but it wasn't the most awesome thing every. I don't know if super glue would work. The coat hanger had all of them going one way and we never did anything to fix it. One thing I just thought of was drilling holes in to a 2x2 and using upward facing dowel rods (like a wine bottle tree for your backyard). You would only have to build the post once and could use it multiple years.

  4. Just Saw this post and I love it! I'm thinking chicken wire could work. Mold it into whatever shape you want, poke some wire through the middle of the plastic plate or around the neck of the soda bottle then attach to the chicken wire. You could even get a simple lamp kit and drop a light in the middle.

  5. Use fishing line to string the soad bottles together in clusters of various sizes and hang from the ceiling. To color the bottles, try a mix of ModPoge or white glue with food color--- don't know if it will take the heat better, but an inexpensive experiment. (ModPoge can be heated on glass in an oven at 200-250F to heat set it.) Or purchase heat-setable glass paints at the craft store. These can be used on glass and baked, or use them on the plastics and distort away with the heat gun. Did you think about putting holes in the centers of the plates while still soft?

  6. Is it safe? Aren't harmful chemicals emitted when burning plastic? I'd love to do this but am worried about the safety and wondered if you knew...