Dale Chihuly is an American artist known for his fanciful, organic-shaped glass sculptures. Here is a group art project inspired by Chihuly’s ceiling installation at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Our project turned out so well I installed it on my art room ceiling!
basket-type coffee filters, various sizes
watercolor markers (such as Crayola)
assorted plastic cups and bottles for drying
newspaper or other table covering to protect drying surface
The Art Project:
Students colored their coffee filters with Crayola markers. We did a quick review of the color wheel before coloring: students should select analogous colors, or use warm or cool color combinations. Avoid complementary color choices – the colors will muddy when sprayed.
Students DO NOT have to color every inch of the coffee filter! Leave some white space – the colors will run together when sprayed with starch.
Spray and Assemble:
Cover a table with newspaper. Set up old plastic tubs, bottles, etc. Invert coffee filter over the tubs and spray with spray starch. The colors will run and blend. Let dry over night.
Hot glue the flat bottoms of the dry coffee filters to a sheet of tag board. I punched holes around the edge of the tag board, and used T-pins to pin the artwork into my acoustic ceiling tiles.
(Guess what? My ‘Bellagio’ ceiling didn’t set off the motion sensor alarm. Hurray!)
Give your snowflake project a colorful twist – ‘tie dye’ them! Sixth grade just finished their tie dye snowflake collages, made with coffee filters and painted with tempera cakes. This lesson was inspired by this post at A Faithful Attempt blog.
Sixth graders cut and paint coffee filter snowflakes, then use them in a collage. Allow two 40-minute classes.
We began by viewing all the excellent student examples on the Faithful Attempt blog. Next, we folded our coffee filter rounds and cut our snowflakes using this method. NOTE: DO NOT OPEN THE PAPERS AT THIS TIME! Students painted their folded snowflakes with tempera cakes, then clipped on a numbered clothespin.
Students were allowed to make multiple snowflakes, so long as the folded flakes could fit stacked up in a single clothespin. One student was able to fit three painted snowflakes in a single clothespin. I let the papers dry on a sheet of cardboard.
Label each snowflake with a numbered clothespin. If you have multiple classes, use a different colored number for each class.
The sixth graders carefully opened their papers. THEY LOVED THE RESULTS! They mounted the snowflakes on construction paper using glue stick (tip – glue down the center first and carefully work your way out to the edges).
I was going to stop the project at that point, when someone asked me if she could double-mat their work. Then someone asked me if he could make a decorative border. I pulled out the ‘fancy’ scissors and the scrap paper bin, and gave them free rein. Our snowflake project turned into a collage project!
Don’t you just love a beautiful surprise? The third grade made Japanese fans from this post on ARTASTIC! . So much fun! After they dried, I opened the folded paper and discovered these:
This happy accident occurred because the students
1) completely colored 1/2 the round with watercolor marker
2) probably sprayed a lot of water on the folded filter paper (I let the kids spray their own papers. Not only that – I had a 3rd grader supervise the spraying process!)
3) used white crayon selectively as a resist for clouds, snow and fish scales
4) used new (wet!) sharpies for the black lines
I’m thinking symmetry or reflection project for next year.
Check out all the instructions on Kati Oetken’s ARTASTIC! Blog.
Have you had a beautiful surprise result? Do tell!