Thursday, February 5, 2015

Chihuly Chandelier

This year fifth grade students learned about Chihuly and made sea-form bowls out of clay inspired by Chihuly.  To learn about the American glass artist Dale Chihuly check out this other blog post from when we made clay Chihuly bowls!

Each year, fifth grade students create a collaborative piece of art to donate to the school.  This year I decided to tackle the Chihuly Chandelier project with the kids! Here is a picture of one of Chihuly's glass chandeliers!

We started by coloring around 140 plastic bottles with permanent markers.  The kids were asked to design each bottle however they wanted as long as they were using only one color family:

Warm Colors: Red, yellow, orange, pink
Cool Colors: Blue, green, purple

After the bottles were colored, each class cut their bottles into spirals.  We started by "nipping" a hole at the bottom of the bottle and then spiral cutting up the side.  We cut off the bottoms and tossed them. If the spiral cut turned out too thick the kids went back and cut more parallel spirals which turned it into a double spiral... or more depending on how many spirals were cut! 

After cutting spirals we made 5 bottle strings grouped by color family.  We screwed the caps onto the sting to make connecting them easy!

I drilled holes at the top of a 4 foot PVC pipe for hanging...

I also drilled and stitched through some holes at the bottom of the pipe (kids helped with the stitching).

We tied a couple strands of 5 bottles to each level of pole string.  Once we got thought the first few stings on the pole we started simply tying the strings of 5 bottles around the entire diameter of the pole and pushed them down as we went until we had all the bottles attached!

I just had to post about this before it hangs in its final place!! Great work kids!!

Learning Goals: I can...
- Work collaboratively with others to create art for my school community 
- Create art in the style of Chihuly
- Created recycled art
- Use a warm or cool color scheme


  1. Amazing! This turned out great! A few years ago, Chihuly was out at Frederick Meijer Gardens and I took the kids to see his work. He is a fantastic artist to have as a role model for the kids. You are such a talented art teacher, thanks for all the work and time you give to the kids at Forest Grove!

  2. I'm an art teacher too and I'm having a hard time with this. How did you get the water bottles sooooo vibrant?