A multi-colored chandelier made out of recycled plastic water bottles now hangs in the Mason County Public Library for all to see as they enter the building.
The piece was made by several area children as a part of the free Chihuly art workshop hosted by the Ohio Valley Artist’s Guild in Washington Hall. On Saturday, the children helped to hang the piece above the computer station in the center of the main area of the library.
Dee Werline, who was in charge of the program, said the artwork, made from 450 plastic bottles, was inspired by Dale Chihuly, a glass sculpture, who currently has an exhibit at the Biltmore in North Carolina.
“They’re seeing all of the ads for his exhibit on television, so now they can associate what they did with his work,” she said. “They asked me if I thought they were as good as him and I said, ‘absolutely.’”
While the children worked on the piece Thursday and Friday, Werline gave the children information about Chihuly, including how he lost his eyes to hot glass.
“He was blinded by the hot glass,” she said. “That’s one of the reasons we’re using plastic. We can’t use the glass like he does.”
Werline said Chihuly is an artist who employees up to 50 people to help him with the artwork.
“All of his art is made out of glass,” she said. “When he sends his artwork to a museum, if a piece is broken, he sends extra pieces. Every time his pieces are installed, they’re never the same because the pieces aren’t numbered.”
In order to put the exhibit together, the students met at the Washington Hall on Thursday and Friday. They started with gathering the materials and painting 450 water bottles in different colors. On Friday, the children spent the day cutting each of the bottles in order to put them all together in the shape of a chandelier.
On Friday, Arabella Prater, 8, explained the process of putting together a piece for the library.
“We’re recycling plastic bottles,” she said. “We painted them, cut the bottoms out and we’re cutting them into swirly things to make a chandelier to put in the downtown Maysville library.”
Prater said she enjoyed making the artwork.
“I’ve had fun,” she said. “I’m glad we’re doing it.”
Kyleighanne Mcpherson, 10, said she thought it was a fun way to show people how to recycle.
“We’re finding a new way to recycle by using the bottles to make a chandelier,” she said. “It’s a fun way to reuse our trash.”
Others involved in the project included Mariel Wenz, 9, MaKenna Hampton, 14, Maddie Stanfield, 8, Hunter Coffey, 9, and Makayla Kearney, 10.
On Saturday, after the project was completed, Werline said she was proud of the work.
“I think they did a fantastic job and they had fun doing it,” she said. “We wanted to show people a different type of artwork and I think they did a great job on this.”
MCPL Director Steve Parrott said he was pleased to have the chandelier hanging in the library.
“I like it,” he said. “When they started talking about hanging it here, I told them to pick a spot. They wanted to hang it right as people walked through the door, but we were afraid people would knock it, so they decided to put it in the current location and it’s a perfect spot. I love having art in the library; just whatever gets people’s attention.”
Parrott said the piece will hang for as long as ORVAG wants to leave it there.