The Science of Making a Recycled Wine Bottle Cheese Board

Recycled Glass Cheese Board
Recycled Wine Bottle Cheese Board

The first title I considered for this blog post was “The Art of Making a Wine Bottle Cheese Board.” But truth be told, I don’t consider flattening a wine bottle in my kiln “art.” In fact, it is more science than art. More than once I had a flash back to my high school science class. Remember studying the scientific method? I repeated the Hypothesis – Experiment – Analysis cycle many times before I had a system that worked for me.

I originally started flattening wine bottles because I thought this would be an inexpensive way to learn about glass, fusing, and my kiln. This, however, turned out to be flawed thinking. The glass that wine bottles are made out of behaves nothing like the standardized glass that is available for glass fusers. Results aren’t always consistent. Different shapes, colors, and brands of wine bottles can have different results. But heck, it was fun anyway!

So here is an overview of what I learned in the last year.

  • Removing wine labels is a pain.
  • Bottles have to be absolutely clean.
  • Some bottles have a tendency to get cloudy (called devitrification).
  • Bubbles are inevitable.
  • It takes time experimenting with firing schedules.
  • All your friends will want one.

Look for future posts where I will go into more detail on the steps involved in making recycled wine bottle cheese boards.

Recycled wine bottle cheese boards are available in my Etsy shop

4 thoughts on “The Science of Making a Recycled Wine Bottle Cheese Board

  1. Cary Million says:

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your articles on how to reuse wine bottles. Am getting ready to take my first fused glass kiln class and hoping one day to afford my own kiln. Wondered if you know how or where to direct me for cutting wine bottles into rings and then firing into a chain link pattern for wind chimes? Keep up the articles and love your website!

    • Margot says:

      Oh boy! Your first fused glass class. Better start saving your pennies. Once you get started, there is no looking back. I just go back from several days at the Glass Craft and Bead Expo in Las Vegas. I took three days of classes, and will be blogging all about it.

      On cutting bottles into rings, I have a tile saw that I use, but it is difficult to get even slices. You can get a relatively inexpensive one at Lowes or Home Depot. I got mine on an online garage sale from a do-it-yourselfer who decided not to do it after all. I put a diamond blade in it which cuts the glass better. There is also a bottle cutter that you can find online or sometimes the craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s carry them. I have never actually tried those but they look interesting.

  2. chaniarts says:

    i’ve gotten it so that i don’t get any bubbles at all. try elevating the neck a little with a piece of fiberboard or a U shaped piece of stainless steel and going pretty slow 1150-1250. i had a piece of 3″ steel bent into a U shape, 1″ on each side.

    the elevated neck also gives you a better handle.

    • Margot says:

      Wow thanks for sharing this. I had wondered about raising the neck. I actually tried the back of a spoon once, but I didn’t use enough kiln wash, and it stuck to the bottle. Oops!

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