Monday, June 18, 2012

stained glass water towers

Tom Fruin creates stained glass structures all over. What I like about these is, of course, the play of light through them during the day and night, but what is also very cool is that he builds the whole structure with the colored glass or plexi. He doesn't limit himself to window shapes. Tom also uses reclaimed pieces of colored glass to create his structures, so he has the whole earth friendly thing going for him too:)

The 2nd grade students and I looked at this recent piece that was just installed in Brooklyn.

We talked about how he transforms ordinary structures into art by changing the materials they are built out of and how both 2d and 3d geometric shapes are present in his work.

Students and I then drew our own water towers inspired by Tom's. We drew out our pictures with a big cylinder and cone, as well as rectangles and squares. We then traced the legs of the tower with marker and filled in the front of the building closest to us. Color was added to the buildings- dark in the front and light on the ones far away.

Then I gave everyone a sheet of clear plastic, in this case old overhead projector sheets, and we traced just the cylinder and cone of the water tower. We then flipped the plastic over and added color with sharpie markers. I had them flip it to keep the markers clean.

We then cut out the "stained glass" tower and glued it in place. The kids got a kick out of the textural difference between the tower and the rest of their image.


  1. Nice! I want to do this next year, thanks for blogging I really enjoy your lesson planning and connection to real live artists. You are a go to resource.

  2. Way cool! Great idea using the OHP sheets : )