Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Celebrating Creativity Dale Chihuly

The Students always love Dale Chihuly's glass work... and it is hard to miss it at the Joslyn!


So for our first Celebrating Creativity Night we created artwork inspired by him.  

Students started by coloring "Chinet Cut Crystal" Clear Plates with permanent markers.  


We then laid them on top of the kiln.  Then we "hit them with the heat."  I use my hubbys professional heat gun, but my small scrap booking one from hobby lobby also works... just not as fast.  We let them fold and bend as the heat says to.  This year I did a few "tweaks" at the very end.  I love them!


It can get a little stinky if you are not working in a well ventilated area... so make sure you are!

While they students were waiting to melt their plates we also created some large "Chihuly Inspired" drawings.


And thanks to my student teacher (that is him above in the red) we even have the display done.  





15 comments:

  1. Yesterday I bought a new heat gun and today I bought the plates to try this and I must say this is great! I used to do it with material that was like transparency and boiling water (you can check them out on my Artsonia at http://www.artsonia.com/museum/gallery.asp?exhibit=417412) but this is way easier and better looking! Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. I loved the edges of your designs. I had the best luck laying the plates on top of the kiln (or any surface that can withstand the heat) and blowing the heat down on them. Some were slumped over the kiln stands. Also make sure your gloves (oven mits would work) can withstand the heat as they are warm when you stop heating them.

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  2. Students started melting their plates today - here are the few that did it so far: www.artsonia.com/westfield5 - Needless to say, the students loved the way they were turning out and asked to take more plates home to color to do for extra credit which is amazing for middle schoolers. One another note, I did notice a bit of a smell so of course one student was like my sister is a chemist and says we shouldn't burn plastic because we can die from the fumes. Do you know if these fumes are toxic at all? Last year we set off the school fire alarms melting crayons so of course I want to make sure I do everything correct this time!

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    1. Melting plastic can put off a toxic smell so I make sure to do mine in a well ventilated space with the ventilation fan running but I don't believe that you can die from it :)
      I am glad that they like them so much. I checked yours out and they look awesome!

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    2. Those turned out BEAUTIFUL! I love the concentric designs on them.

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  3. Those plates are awesome. Did you use Sharpies?

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    1. Sharpies would work but we use some cheaper permanent markers. They are broad tip so they cover quicker. You just want them to be permanent markers so the color doesn't keep "lifting" off.

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  4. I am a volunteer art teacher at a residential rehab for teenagers. I have just seen the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Oklahoma City Art Museum. Fabulous! I bought a DVD about him to show my students. I want to do this project with my students.

    I need some more detailed instruction. What kind of heat gun do I need? How long does it take to bend each plate (the students will not be permitted to operate the heat gun, but can watch, I guess). Can I do it outside on concrete? Will the plate stick to the concrete?

    Any specifics from someone who has done this would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks, Jane from Mississippi

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  5. I use two different heat guns... a small scrap booking one that students could easily do themselves and my husbands industrial heat gun that I use.

    It depends on which gun I am using... the small one takes about a minute. The big one, about 30-45 seconds (once it is warmed up). You could easily have the kids wear heat resistant gloves and after you have heated up the plate they would have a few seconds to hold the plate in a specific shape... otherwise the plate folds and bends on it own.

    Outside on the concrete would help with the smell and no the plate will not stick... they curl up and re-harden quickly. I would recommend doing a few for yourself just to get the hang of it. It really is easy but you can also burn through the plates if you aren't careful.

    Email or message me if you need more help!

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  6. Love this idea, thanks for sharing. Do you have any good resources for teaching the kids about Dale's work? I am teaching in Germany and want to bring as many American artists to our classroom as possible.

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    1. I have an old video but youtube has some better video's out now. I would look them over to see what you want to focus on. That is about all I use.

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  7. Would this work with a hair dryer as well? With 25 children in each art class and only 1/2 hour to do our work, it would be wonderful if we could have several hair dryers going at the same time.

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    1. I don't know that a hairdryer will get hot enough. You could try. I have done it with small scrap booking heat guns but they don't heat a large enough area.

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  8. What grade is this? Looks great!

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