As hard as it is to motivate myself to fire up the kiln and add to the already excruciating heat, I was inspired by this gorgeous thing: Read more
Archive for Bottle Glass
This is a longer, extended version of a newsletter from last fall. This topic turned out to be one of the most popular newsletters ever, and is still generating questions, hopefully, this extended version will answer those!
The downside of fusing with bottle glass is that it arrives at your studio curved. Sometimes that’s okay, some projects can accommodate the curved glass. Some projects, however, must be made with flat glass.
Making your bottle glass into flat pieces for fusing is relatively easy, there are a few steps: Read more
Welcome to Q & A Monday, where I answer reader questions. Today we also have a reader contributed tip, AND a question I don’t have an answer for. Hopefully someone out there will be able to help us! Personal details have been omitted for privacy reasons. If one of these questions is yours and you’d like a back link, let me know. If you have a question of your own, feel free to send it on over.
Q: I LOVE your sense of humor, esp. about clumsy relatives, ha! I was SO excited to accidentally stumble across your website yesterday!! I signed up for your email immediately. I have saved wine and other pretty bottles until they’re spilling from the house onto the patio and deck. I KNEW there had to be other crafts to make besides circles for wind chimes. My question is, how do I cut the remaining bottle cylinder evenly in half vertically; after the bottom and neck have been removed? Do I have to buy a tile saw or other type of saw or can I score both sides, tap, and hope they separate relatively evenly at the same time? Read more
It’s been a few months since we had a new kiln carving pattern. After nearly 3 years of drawing these, I hit a creative slump and just couldn’t think of anything new and interesting to do. After a couple months off though, I have ideas! Here’s one for May, and June’s is already in progress. Read more
Stainless steel has a bit of a mythical place in the glass world, it’s great for molds, difficult to work with, expensive as all get out.
Some of these things aren’t true. Stainless can be easy to work with, and a very useful thing indeed. A few years ago, I had a client that wanted custom made recycled glass tile for her bathroom. The tile would be made with the wine bottles she saved up, which would be ground, filtered and the frit custom mixed to make colors, and then fused into tile shapes. Which meant I needed a bunch of custom sized tile molds. I had experimented with ceramic tile molds, which worked well, but were time consuming to make. Read more
Recently, one of our readers, Beverly Frey conducted a series of experiments making bottle glass frit using her kiln and cold water. She shared her results with us on facebook and has generously agreed to share her results in a blog post as well. Read more
Flash back Friday! Here’s a post from the archives that is still pretty entertaining! (Post was first published on 2/8/2010)
One of the things about recycled glass that everyone who uses it knows is, you have to test everything. Twice. And then do it all over again, since your results could have been a fluke and the worst time to realize that is after you’ve spent a very long time on something.
So. In preparation for some cast sculptural work that’s coming up, I decided to do some potmelt (crucible) casting tests. The factors I need to isolate are: glass particle size, aperature size and temperature.
The most obvious way seemed to test three aperature sizes and three glass sizes at the same temperature. This would allow me to isolate one factor at a time. Read more
Well, th e Monday’s keep marching on by don’t they? I have to admit, Monday’s aren’t my favorite, but I’m trying to reframe them as a positive experience! Maybe as a new start in the studio? Meanwhile, you all have questions, and I may have some answers. If you have a question about fusing and slumping recycled glass, send it on over and I’ll see what I can do. (names and some details have been omitted for privacy reasons)
Q: Thank you for your tutorials please can u advise me how I can join cut beer bottle into a wine glass ie what kind of glue or technique can I use to do this?
A: I wish I could! There is one company in the U.S. doing this right now, and their technique is a closely guarded secret. It looks like they use a torchwork technique, but I have no more information than that. Delphi Glass has a fun little plastic bottle stem, which is like a cork with a flat bottom that will seal your bottle neck so it can be used as a wine glass.
Q: I have some glass scraps lying around and was thinking about positioning them in a mold of some description and then heating them with a propane torch until they either slump into the mold are viscous enough for me to push them into the mold with a rod/spatula of some description. Thoughts on the advisability and/or the mechanics of this idea?
A: Wow, you’ve certainly given me a lot to think about. Here are my concerns:
- it will be very hard to keep all of the glass the same temperature across the entire mold, so as one section gets hotter, the others will cool very rapidly. Those cooling pieces will thermal shock with determination. I would expect there to be flying bits of quite hot glass.
- I’m worried about the molten glass being pushed or dragged across mold release. Molten glass will quite easily pick up kiln wash and stick, both to the mold, and to the kiln wash.
- Annealing is an issue. As glass cools, internal stresses are created, which must be relieved, typically by cooling the glass back down to room temperature over the course of several hours. Glass that has been improperly annealed (or not at all) tends to crack and be quite brittle.
- mold integrity is also an issue. Ceramic molds don’t like to be thermal shocked either
- and then there’s the kiln wash/mold release. Most kiln washes and mold releases are rated to 1850, some to 2000. Molten glass exceeds that temperature, and will cause the mold release to fail. (this is a problem I see frequently and still haven’t solved)
Now, if you were making small things, like beads, there may be possibilities. I have only taken one bead making class though, so I’d suggest a bit more research before taking that on.
Good luck, it sounds like you live an exciting life!
This photo appeared in a long ago blog post, and a lovely reader asked for a tutorial, so, at long last, here it is! These little dishes are made from float (clear), cobalt and forest green bottle glass. We’ll be doing some small dishes from bottle glass, additional shapes. Read more