Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chihuly Macchias

In Art class, 4th graders learned about the sculptor
Dale Chihuly. He is from Washington and is still making art today! He makes huge glass sculptures of chandeliers and towers. We even have a Chihuly artwork here in Green Bay, at the Weidner Center!
Students created art like Chihuly by making mini Macchias out of coffee fitlers, markers and starch! Students had to use warm or cool colors while making their Macchias.
What’s a Maachia? Here is the story:

Chihuly woke up one morning and said, “I’m going to use all 300 colors of glass that are made, in as many combinations as I can.” He called this new series of artworks Macchia (MAH-key-ah) which is Italian for “spotted”.

For these pieces Chihuly mixed up all the colors in different ways, like a collage, to create all sorts of multicolored, spotted Macchia. With so many colors, some people thought his new creations were ugly at first, but Chihuly loved them and kept on making them. Today they are displayed in museums around the world!


  1. They are BEAUTIFUL! Please share the process with the starch.

  2. I was wondering the same thing. I have been experimenting with this lesson and diffusible circles. I would like to try it soon. I love how yours turned out!

  3. Thank you! I love how this turned out as well. I think next year I will have each student in the school make one, so it is a really large piece!
    To make them:
    Each student colors a large coffee filter w/washable markers, how ever they want. The more colored in, the darker the tie dye look will be. They also wrote their names on them w/sharpie. Next they brought them up to me. I laid them over a small plastic bowl and I sprayed starch on them. The same kind of starch you use for laundry. The colors blended and when they dried they stiffen up a bit :O) I hot glued each one onto a piece of clear plastic. Kinda like a piece of lamination. I have a huge roll of that stuff at my school I usually use for table covers….hope this helps!

  4. I love your art project and its connection to Chihuly. Wonderful! Lovely!
    By the way, thank you for listing me as one of your favorite blogs! I have a new blog address, different from the one on your page, so let your readers know this one will work best:
    Thank you so much!
    Oh, and lots of free art ideas on my website, too -- from all of my books.

    ~ MaryAnn F. Kohl

  5. I'm going to have my life skills students try this, I think they will love to see the colors bleed.

  6. Although very few folk here in the UK have heard of Dale Chihuly I was overwhelmed to see his Venetian Ceiling in Naples, Florida. I think my kiddies will love making this project and hope I can find the starch here. Thanks for the wonderful new take on Chihuly. ps. Look on Dick Blick Art supplies website for how to make acetate sheets into Chihuly sculptures.

  7. How did you keep kids from messing with it hanging in the hallway?