If you're not familiar with the work of glass artist Dale Chihuly, get familiar. He's totally incredible and very dynamic to watch. I found a DVD of him "In the Hotshop" on eBay for about $10 and I was enthralled watching his team (he's lost the use of an eye and his shoulder, so he can no longer blow glass himself) blow asymmetrical glass objects. Stunning.
I can't take credit for this idea. I found it here first. The photo shows a finished installation of many students' works.
But I had just been to the Chihuly Exhibit at the Frist Center and I thought it was too good NOT to integrate into my curriculum somehow. So lucky 2nd grade, who are studying North American Art this year, will get to try this project. The idea is to use cheapo plastic glasses, add decorative details, and melt them in a toaster oven set to broil. I thought, surely I'll set the house on fire. Surely it will smell revolting. SOMETHING WILL GO WRONG! But it didn't.
I found margarita glasses in packs of 20 for $8.99 at Party City (buy one get one free! Woo
t!) and brought home a couple packs to test this out. I didn't have my rainbow assortment of sharpies at home, so I just used black for the test run, but here's what came out of my toaster oven. I only set my oven mit on fire a little bit. :p
So I will definitely be dragging the toaster to school and trying this with the kiddos.