Recycled Glass Cheese Boards – Part 3

This is the last post in the Recycled Wine Bottle Cheese Board series. In Part 1 I wrote about preparing bottles for the kiln. In Part 2 I wrote about the firing schedule I use. In this post, I will share some of the other things I’ve learned along the way.

Recycled Wine Bottle - Too Many Bubbles
Recycled Amber Wine Bottle - Too Many Bubbles!

First, let’s talk about bubbles. While some bubbles are inevitable, I do strive to minimize them. I am still tweaking and testing my schedule to see if I can further reduce the amount of bubbles. Part of the challenge in this is that wine bottles are not all the same. Some are heavier than others, some are thicker than others. I have found that the light amber bottles are usually lighter in weight than the green bottles. These amber bottles end up with more bubbles than the heavier green ones. Up until now, I have mixed different types of bottles in the same firing. In the future I will do the amber bottles in a separate firing and try a slower ramp time, and/or longer hold time in segment two.

Recycled Wine Bottles - Devitrification
Recycled Wine Bottles with Devitrification

Some bottles will get cloudy (devitrification) no matter how well I clean them. I find this happens more often with the dark amber wine bottles.

I have the most consistent results with green cabernet bottles. These bottles have their own characteristic look. Cabernet bottles always get a bubble right below the neck. I am not a scientist, but I do have a hypothesis on why this happens. The broad shoulders of a cabernet bottle traps the air as it heats up and tries to move out of the neck. A bottle with tapered sides makes it easier for the hot air to flow out. To test this theory, I drilled a tiny hole in the shoulder of a bottle and then fired it. There was still a bubble, but it was significantly smaller. Drilling holes in the bottle to prevent this bubble is definitely not practical. Besides the bubble makes an excellent place to rest a knife on!

I love the way the botanical have remained visible after flattening.

I’m trying out all sorts of bottles. Champagne bottles are thicker than wine bottles, and the extra weight of the glass seems to help squeeze out any air bubbles. The Champagne bottles come out great. Tequila bottles with all of their heavy embossing come out interesting. I’ve also flattened a Bombay Sapphire Gin bottle. The color is great, and it retains the botanical imprints after it is fired. I even tried a blue three-sided bottle. That one left a very long bubble in the middle. Not useful, but it was interesting to see how the air got trapped.

Please leave a comment and let me know how your wine bottles are turning out, and share any tips or tricks you might have.

Recycled Glass Cheese Boards – Part 1

Recycled Glass Cheese Boards – Part 2

Other posts you might be interested in:

12 Responses to Recycled Glass Cheese Boards – Part 3

  1. I saw a couple of the wine bottles in a glass shop and can’t wait to try it. My daughter is trying glass fusing and I have done ceramic firing. So, my question is, with a regular ceramic do I use a cone? And can I stack shelves in the kiln?

    • Carol – I don’t know much about ceramic kilns. I do know that you can use them to fuse glass, but I have heard it is best not to stack shelves. But once you’ve figured out a schedule, I’d go ahead and try it. It’s the only way to know for sure. Also I don’t know much about how cones work. I did come across this website while I was researching how to slump wine bottles. Maybe it will help. The one thing I don’t like about the schedule they use is it doesn’t have much of a hold time at the anneal temp. Be patient. You will have to do a lot of experimenting. I am still tweaking my schedule here and there. Be sure to come back and let me know how it goes.

    • I haven’t tried that, but I have used Bombay Saphire gin bottles so don’t see why you couldn’t use a whiskey bottle. Give it a try! Let me know how it worked out.

    • Sorry, I have never done that. I like to be able to put my cheese board in the dishwasher. My guess is that a decoupage medium (like mod podge) is used to put the label on the back.

  2. I’ve just started slumping wine bottles. My larger, thicker green bottles flattn nicely, but the clear ones the bottom seems to melt inward so the bottle at all. I have used molds and the same thing happens where you have a nice bowl-shaped but the bottom of the bottle is all folded in on itself. Any advice to help with this problem?

    • Alycia, The way the bottom ends up depends on the shape of the bottle. The ones with the deep indent end up with what is often referred to as monkey lips. The flat bottoms usually just fold over. There isn’t anything you can do that I know of.

  3. Can anyone give advice on the best way to re-attach / glue the label to the bottle after it’s been slumped? I want to be sure it doesn’t come off. How can the label be sealed to protect it during washing? Thanks for any / all suggestions.

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