Water bottle chandeliers: Ms. Hughes’ brilliant idea to save the environment

“The project was inspired by a goal to recycle materials used in art projects from the class. A lot of waste is typically made from different projects throughout the year.”


Supplied by Taylor Hughes

Ms. Hughes’ Arts of Crafts classes dive into the world of up-cycling.

 As you enter Ms Hughes’ classroom, you may notice a very unique piece of artwork above her desk. It appears to be some sort of chandelier, made of spirals in almost every shade of blue you can think of. But how was this masterpiece made, and what is it made of?

   Ms Hughes is one of Eastern’s wonderful art teachers. She has been teaching at Eastern for five  years, and teaches Art 1, 2 and 3, AP Studio Art, Pottery, and Art of Crafts. 

   Ms Hughes’ Expression 6 class, Art of Crafts, has been learning how to communicate and work as a team through their environmentally friendly up-cycling project. For this project, the class is split into two teams, and tasked with creating a colorful chandelier made of water bottles.

    “I think the project is a really interesting as a concept, and a great way to reuse materials. You just need a good group of committed people to make it beautiful,” said senior John Sharp.

 “It is extremely important for everyone in our group to contribute. A huge factor of this project is collaborating and team work,” said sophomore Selin Cagatay.

    “The project was inspired by a goal to recycle materials used in art projects from the class,” said Hughes. “A lot of waste is typically made from different projects throughout the year.” She was also inspired by the designs of Seattle glass artist Dale Chihuly’s chandeliers.

   Hughes collected water bottles from Eastern students and staff for about three weeks in order to have enough materials to use for the project. Chicken wire, string, and paint are used along with the water bottles in order to make these spirals of plastic into beautiful chandeliers.

   “I like that we’re using what would be considered trash to make art,” said senior Chloe Spence.

   Both teams have taken unique approaches to decorate their chandeliers, using different colors and techniques in order to create their artistic vision.

   “We are using a sunset gradient, with a mixture of yellows, oranges and reds,” said Sharp

   When asked about their thoughts on the project, this is how the class responded.

   “This project has seriously been a blast. I’ve had a lot of fun and I hope everyone gets a chance to take this art class and do this project,” said sophomore Braxton Brown.

   “I really like this project! It’s a good way to up-cycle something that’s otherwise really hard to reuse,” said senior Annette Kroes. 

   “It’s calming, it’s fun, it’s confusing, but all in all it’s pretty great. The difficult part is attempting to paint the inside of the bottle and it doesn’t want to spread,” said sophomore Alvaro Rea-Morales.

   Overall, Ms Hughes’ up-cycling project has taught her Arts And Crafts class how to work as a team and collaborate to create a gorgeous, environmentally friendly product. The photos speak for themselves, and I, for one, cannot wait to see what these young artists create next.