Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Kids Cafe Art Lectures: Dale Chihuly

I have been fascinated by Dale Chihuly ever since I saw his chandelier at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. My last roommate in undergrad took a glass blowing class so I know how hot it can get in there and how easy it is to shatter the glass (as I tried it out once). I never got to see his exhibition at the Desert Botanical Gardens, though he's been there twice. So getting to research him for this Kids Cafe presentation was pretty amazing, and I learned a lot. The kids had a lot of fun with activity (which is one of my favorites we have done so far), though it took way longer and they weren't nearly dry enough by the end of the session, so if I did it again, I would definitely start earlier. 

Kid’s CafĂ©: Dale Chihuly
·         Today we’re going to learn a little about the artist himself
o   Born September 20, 1941 in Tacoma, Washington.
o   1965 - First melted glass and blew a bubble using glass melted in his ceramics kiln and a metal pipe
o   1968 - First American glassblower to work in the Venini factory on the island of Murano.
o   Has founded many glass studios.
o   Lost the sight in his left eye due to a car accident in 1976.  At this time, he had to give up full control of his glass making due to loss of depth perception (the visual ability to perceive the world in three dimensions - 3D -and the distance of an object).
o   In 1979, suffered a dislocated shoulder due to a body surfing accident, and lost the ability to gaffer his work – others must blow the glass for him now and he makes drawings to show what he would like them to create

      • How Chihuly creates an actual glass-blown work of art

        • His art is created by blowing your breath down a metal tube, forming a bubble inside a molten blob of glass
        • He uses fire, gravity, heat and centrifugal force as his main tools to  shape glass
        • Produces artwork in series
        • Vibrant colors
        • Influences: Organic forms, Native American Art

      • Show glass blowing video on Dale Chihuly [wasn't working, so had to use intro portion from Chihuly at the V&A on glassblowing and how he got started]
      • Show examples of his work
        • Sea forms
          • Amparo Purple Seaform Set with Jonquil Lip Wraps (2000)

          • Pink and Opal Seaform Set, 1981

        •  Towers
          • Fireworks of Glass, 2005-06

        • Chandeliers

        • Otto Stelle Chandeliers (2007)  and V&A Chandelier (2001)

        • Niijima floats
          • Look like lava bubbles
          • The Sun and Black Niijima Floats (2010) and Float Boat (2007)

        • Macchias 
          • Italian for "spots", Chihuly created the spotted colors by rolling the molten glass in small shards of colored glass
          • Divine Blue Black Macchia with Marigold Lip Wrap, 2007

    Thames Gray Macchia with Kingfisher Blue Lip Wrap, 1982

    Spanish Orange Black Macchia with Sable Lip Wrap, 2006
      • Chihuly's advice for aspiring artists: "Surround yourself with artists and see as much art as possible. Go with your gut and creat something that nobody has ever seen before ." 

    ·         Activities: Creating Our Own Chihuly-Inspired Macchia
    o   Supplies: white coffee filters, markers, liquid spray starch, plastic cups to hold macchia, rubber bands, posterboard circles
    o   Students thought about their color plan, putting lighter colors down first and making the spots on top of that layer of color. This actually follows the way the Chihuly team applies the colored spots (or jimmies) after the main part of the piece has been formed. We used regular Crayola watercolor markers and a coffee filter.
    Next, students wrapped their coffee filter around a cup and fastened it with a rubber band. This is a step where neighbors can help neighbors. The last step is to spray starch the whole thing and let it dry. 
                  Taken from:

    My art examples: The red/yellow one I did first, but I prefer the blue/purple/pink one.  I added the posterboard circles as a way to hold them up after they finished drying; also easier to transport this way. They can write their names on the circles instead of inside cups. 

    No comments:

    Post a Comment