Make a Light Lab

Experiment with colours and shapes using glass jars, coloured water and torches

The Idea

Keiko Mukaide Light of the North Installation at Tate

Keiko Mukaide Light of the North installation at Tate © Keiko Mukaide Photo: Tate

Keiko Mukaide is a Japanese-born artist who lives and works in Scotland. She creates small glass sculptures and large glass installations.

She created the Light of the North Installation using shards of dichroic glass lit by a beehive lighthouse lens. Dichroic glass is glass that has two colours.

Kids with light lab

Kids with their Light Lab © Tate

  • Three glass jars – each filled with coloured water – one blue, one red and one yellow. Use food colouring or paint to colour the water
  • Two or more torches
  • A large a piece of white card (as large as possible)
  • Crayons, coloured pencils, pastels
  • Tightly seal the lids of the jars.
  • Bend the sides of the white card and set it up as the background.
  • Place the jars in front of the white background.
  • Experiment with shining the torches through the glass jars to see what light and colour effects you can get.
  • Cross the beams of light from the torches.
  • Try to create other colours by shining the torches through more than one jar.
  • Use your pastels and crayons to create different landscapes with the images you have made. Think weird and wonderful, dreamy and fantastic or maybe other-worldly and alien.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment, try different ideas and combinations of colour and light
  • Try bringing in other reflective surfaces like mirrors, prisms or sunglasses and see what happens when you shine your torches through these

See it!

Tate Light Lab made by kids © Tate

Tate Light Lab made by kids © Tate

Tate Light Lab made by kids © Tate

Tate Light Lab made by kids © Tate

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