Frank Lloyd Wright Bubble Window Project

panels on the window
Welcome to all who are viewing this project from Pinterest! I hope you check around the blog and then subscribe for future projects. If you are interested in additional 20th Century artists, you may be interested in my Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 or Grade 8 plans in ebook format. You can click over and read the details and find lists of artists covered in each year plan. 

It is funny how things work out. After posting our Tiffany Glass project a few weeks ago, Dana at School For Us posted a comment about how they used the Tiffany Glass project to follow-up on their study of Frank Lloyd Wright. I thought they did an excellent job and so when I was paging through the Great American Artists for Kids book, I was pleasantly surprised that there is a project for FLW as well! The Bubble Window project looked like something fun to try.

We gathered the materials and waited for some free time to explore his glass art and to complete the project.

Again the Great American Artists for Kids book came through with a project using simple materials we had on hand.

  • Clear contact paper
  • Colored art tissue (Thanks to a stash from my daughter Amanda at Hearts and Trees!)
  • Black Sharpie marker and/or black electrical tape
  • Ruler or yardstick
  • Scissors
  • Circle templates (jar lids or cups worked well for us)

circle template
We started off viewing some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s art glass and getting an idea of how he used shapes and colors. It was a little different than Tiffany did in his artwork.

art tissue

My sixteen year old and I decided to each make a separate panel that we could hang together on our schoolroom window. We measured the length and and cut a piece of contact paper without removing the backing to get started.

We started off by cutting circles and squares out of tissue paper. We used cups and plastic container lids as circle templates.
messy table

Before we pulled the backing off the clear contact paper, we placed our design down to get an idea of how we wanted to stick the tissue in the final pattern.

planning the design
After we had our basic design planned out, we each decided on different ways to complete the project.

adding sharpie detail
My son decided to pull off the backing, lay down the tissue, and use a Sharpie Marker on the sticky back to make the black lines.

I opted to pull off the backing, lay down the tissue, layer the other piece of contact paper, and then use a Sharpie and black electrical tape to make my lines.

So now here are some things we want to say about this project:
1. The Great American Artists for Kids book rates this as a 2-star project. I think it definitely needs to be a 3-star project since I would never expect a child to complete this project without a lot of adult help. I would absolutely say to do this project independently the child would need to be a mature middle schooler.
2. We had trouble with the tissue paper sticking where we did not want it to stick. Sometimes we were able to remove it from the sticky paper, but sometimes it was just plain stuck and we had to incorporate it into the design. 🙂 The tissue paper also blows from the table and onto the contact paper like it has static.

sharpie and ruler
3. Use a ruler or yardstick you don’t mind getting Sharpie Marker on during the process.

bubbles
4. Expect bubbles and wrinkles when you layer the contact paper. There is some room for smoothing it when you are done but for the most part, once it is stuck together you are left with wrinkles and creases. I think it just adds to the uniqueness of each panel.

5. When you use the Sharpie marker on the sticky or the non-sticky contact paper, it will smear until it is completely dry. We tried to work from top to bottom with the Sharpie and that helped.

6. If you use black electrical tape for the black lines on the edges like I did, you need to make sure not to pull it tightly as you lay it down. The tape is a little stretchy and it will curl your panel up.

close up of As design on the window
I loved this project and I would like to do it again sometime. The biggest thing I would change would be to make my panel much smaller so it will be easy to work with. The size of our project was hard to handle and we had to fight to get the top layer of contact paper to lay straight and not have huge bubbles and creases.

Finished panels
My son and I worked on this project for over two hours start to finish.

Isn’t it pretty? Even on a rainy day it brought some nice color into our room.
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