This project began with a desire to make the space more interesting and engaging for the students.As a new school, there a number of spaces that have yet to owned by original artworks from the students. One such space was the atrium space above the eating area.
As students were already exploring the properties of color, as well as the transparency and texture of plastic, this project fit in perfectly with their units of inquiry. Inspired by Chiluly’s approach to making sculpture, students explored the properties of plastic, and worked together to create a large artwork for their space.
We began by collecting hundreds of bottles and painting the insides a range of blues, greens, and purples. Then we made single spiral cuts along the body of the bottle and used a heat gun to stretch out the pieces and harden them (older students and teachers helped with that bit).
A big part of the project was making sure the students could be involved in as many steps as possible in the construction. To accomplish this, I built a form with pop-riveted bottle caps on it which allowed young students to screw the bottles on.
Working in teams, the students assembled all the pieces into the large sculpture. Perhaps the most exciting step was watching the installation of the sculpture by a group of workers. Each stage of the process required many hands working together.
The final piece hanging above the eating area in the Junior School.