I’m really enjoying combining the copper-foil stained glass techniques with some aspect of bottle cutting to make something a bit more unusual. I wanted to make something a little bit smaller, but liked the look of the larger protruding wine bottle centres, so the next thing I wanted to use as a centre was a mini wine bottle end. I had a lightly blue tinted clear mini wine bottle, so decided to use that one to see how a clearer centre would look in a coloured square.
I cut the mini wine bottle at a height of about 20mm, to give the centre a bit of depth. It separated well, and was flatted to allow for a good gluing surface onto a tightly cut circle of 3mm clear glass. I had a square of turquoise/blue/white bullseye glass which looked good and suitable for the centre, so I cut it to the cross template I’ve made for suncatchers. Sadly, one piece broke off along a seam of white, which is always a potential problem with streaky glass of several colours. Working around the problem, I cut two new squares of a complimentary blue and white streaky glass, and set them as opposites, like in a harlequin style. I soldered the suncatcher very carefully and neatly with K-grade solder, and cleaned it up leaving a nicely shiny end result. It looks great in the light, and is going to a friend in Norway, where it should look great in the long summer evening light.
I’ve had two green beer bottle centres made and ready to use for a couple of months, so it was time to get them used, in between other panels, before the copper foil oxidized.
Yellow worked well with the green centres before, so I picked a sheet out of the glass box and set to work, using the cross template I made previously to make a perfectly aligned square. I wanted to add another colour to it for contrast, so rather than cut into the squares, I tipped them off with 20mm triangles using a violet cathedral glass , as pictured. Because I preferred the square to hang on it’s diagonal, I had to make a longer legged hanger which soldered to both the violet and the yellow glass for strength.
The second green bottle end was identical to the first, but this time I wanted to keep the whole suncatcher green, to be hung in the newly installed kitchen of a relative, complimenting the green painted walls. I used a green cathedral glass, and just kept the square simple and small, to hang nicely in the short fixed pane of the window. The finish was again left silver, and polished up well as I used K-grade (60:40) solder on a very neat tip. As is often the case with simple designs, it works really well.
There are a good number of attractive real ale type of bottles on the market, many with imaginative label designs that appeal to the eye, but most are made of a pretty poor quality paper label, which is a shame as they could be so good if they were more durable. I got a whole load of beer bottles given, but only one had a durable, high gloss vinyl type of finish that would be good to survive the water-based breaking process and subsequent use. The labels are usually large, so it limits the cut line to the top shoulder, but this makes for a deep pot with a number of uses. One thing I’ve found lately is the number of brewers who are switching from inkjet ‘best before’ dates to engraved ones. The later remain obtrusive on the bottle , whereas the ink-jet ones will come clean off with the help of a sharp blade, leaving a much cleaner look for a bottle cutter’s end use! This one had the engraved date right on the same shoulder, but it didn’t cause any difficulty in the cutting and cleaning up of the edge. The end result of this Dent Brewery Aviator bottle is perfect, and will be used as a desk pen pot. Very simple, easy to do and much nicer looking and greener than a plastic piece of desk clutter from a stationery shop. One for a real ale fan maybe.