Chihuly’s Macchia Bowls – Paper


Chihuly’s Macchia Bowls

First grade learned about world-famous American glass artist Dale Chihuly. They made their own version of his Macchia bowl series using coffee filters! They used markers to add COLOR to their filters. Then we sprayed them with water to blend all the colors together. Finally we draped them over paint bottles and sprayed them with starch to help them hold their new shape.



Students will use coffee filters to draw radial designs with markers. The coffee filters are then sprayed with water to blend the designs and additional color is applies with liquid watercolor.  The colored filters are then draped over plastic cups and sprayed with liquid starch to hold design.


  • paper for planning design
  • Coffee Filters
  • waterbased markers
  • spray starch
  • cup or bottle to use as a form
  • construction paper or tagboard for mounting

Coffee Filter/Diffusion paper version:

  • Show powerpoint on Chihuly (I didn’t spend as much time on this as I did with the older grades)
  • Pass out paper circles, have students write names with sharpie and scallop edges using scissors.
  • Students draw on circles with markers, thinking about colors blending.
  • Spray circles with liquid starch.
  • Drape over cylinder shapes to dry. I used bottles of tempera paint.
  • When dry,  nestle shapes together and glue onto a 6X6 piece of black paper

Assessment will be teacher-created reflection sheet (see handouts at the end)

Watch Video

Students then planned their piece of sculpture using colors and spontaneous drawing the way Chihuly does.


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