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Color and light explode with brilliance in hand-blown glass! Design an elegant sculpture reminiscent of Dale Chihuly’s spectacular, luminous creations.
The art of glassblowing involves heating glass to a very high temperature, where it begins to melt. The glass blower then blows air through a long metal tube while turning the hot and heavy molten glass. This requires a great deal of skill, strength, and patience. Dale Chihuly, a well-known glass sculptor, explored the team approach to glass blowing. Invite students to research Chihuly, his life and artistic career. Provide text resources as well as teacher-approved web sites for students to view.
Chihuly’s art is usually based upon forms found in nature, particularly flower forms and sea forms. Organize students into small groups. Each group will select a focus for their glassblowing projects based on Chihuly's work.
To create a sculpture which includes bright colors and organic form, ask students to look closely at living natural forms such as flowers, seaweed, and sea creatures. The Internet will have a large amount of these photographs to view. Then have students use white Crayola® Model Magic® to make several shapes that these forms inspire. Air-dry overnight.
Students cover their work areas with recycled newspaper. Tear brightly colored tissue paper into small pieces. Mix equal parts of glue and water in a small bowl to make a glaze.
With a paint brush, students moisten a small part of the sculpture’s surface with the glaze. Use the paintbrush to pick up a piece of tissue paper, and apply it to the moist surface. Coat the tissue paper with more glaze. Overlap tissue paper slightly. Air-dry overnight.
Students compose a summary paragraph which includes insight into their learning about Chihuly, his life challenges and professional work. Display student artwork and writing in a school hallway for display case for peers to view.
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