When I am at shows, people often ask "how did you do that"? It is a wine bottle but melted? I thought I would share how the bottle slumping/melting process works. Also, why I started doing it.
A friend and co-worker came to me and asked if I could melt a wine bottle because she knew I did pottery and I had a kiln to experiment with. To be honest, I had never even considered it... a kiln is for clay, right? But my philosophy is that crafting is all about experimenting and finding new fun things to make, so why not? .
After doing some research, I found that glass is an interesting material to work with and very fragile. I have even heard some say that they experimented with melting bottles in a campfire. To be fair, with a hot enough fire, I’m pretty sure you could melt a bottle. The results, however, would be a bit unpredictable to say the least. The kiln is a much easier and more predictable way to do it.
With lots of trial and error, I found that it takes about 1500 degrees to melt a wine bottle and/or a liquor bottle and get them to drop. If you put something underneath the bottle before firing (that can withstand that heat) it gives it a shape.
Once you put the bottles in the kiln...you close it up, program it and off you go! Even though it is very tempting, absolutely no peaking or opening the kiln until it is back down to under 100 degrees. Usually this takes an easy 18 - 24 hours. When the kiln is all cooled down, you can see how the bottles turned out. Kiln opening is the best part of the process because it is like Christmas, you never know what you are going to get!
Voila! The before and after of up-cycling bottles in a kiln!