Cava vase

I obtained a heavyweight Cava bottle, deep olive in colour with a corked neck and a punted bottom.This would have made a great hanging light, but because of the shape, I wanted to make another cut flower vase, as I had done earlier with a similar shaped wine bottle. The extra weight would make for a particularly sturdy vase. This would require only one clean cut, so not exactly taxing or imaginative, but I want to use the bottle to it’s best possible re-use.

Cava vaseI wanted the cut to be well up the curve of the neck to help emphasise the curving nature of the vase shape, hopefully leaving an opening of around 40-50mm diameter. I selected my point, using the G2 bottle cutter to see where I could get a clean clearance on the cutting wheel without fouling, and set up to get a clean score line. The glass was pretty flawless, with a reasonably clean seam, so scored well. I used my regular hot water method to run the score, and as the glass was thick, I kept the water temperature quite high around 80 degrees celsius. I gave the bottle at least five full revolutions to ensure the glass was really warmed up well, and I could feel the heat coming through to my grip at the bottom of the bottle. A quick revolution of the bottle under the cold tap ensured the line of break was fully complete and visible under reflection in the light. A second pour of hot water separated the neck with a pretty clean edge, sloping inwards as is the case when cutting on the curve.

The glass was up to 6mm thick, and I took almost an hour to very carefully finish the edge using the diamond blocks, as I wanted another perfect example. the opening size was around 50mm, so was a tricky fit for the pads, but care taken ensured a great end result, with the one edge pit eliminated, and the inward sloping edge retained. With the great colour, heavy weight, and good surfaces, this bottle became a great looking yet very functional vase.


Blue bottles

I was keen to get hold of some blue glass, so was pleased to get a Blue Nun wine bottle from a friend. Blue glass bottles look particularly good, and there’s a lot less of them around than green, clear and brown. I removed the neck sleeve, and soaked it in hot water to remove the label and soften the glue enough to remove the last traces with a flat, sharp blade. 

On examining the body prior to cutting, to look for the best approach and place to set the score, I noticed that these bottles were particularly rippled, which you could easily feel spinning the body around in your hand. The bottle was also quite off-round too. I scored the bottle quite high up, intending to make a vase/candle holder using the bulk of the body cylinder on it’s own neck. The first cut skipped about quite a bit on the rollers, so it wasn’t surprising to see it start to run off. I stopped the heating process, to leave it as strong as possible for another cut and inch or so down.

Despite extra care the second, third attempts to repeat the process also failed as the bottle ran off – a mixture of the bumpy process, the off-round shape and a bit of inexperience on my part of cutting such bottles. I thought I was going to lose the entire bottle, which would have been a shame as it was quite hard to get hold of a blue. The fifth cut finally proved successful, leaving a much shorter body of about two inches – something at least. It didn’t look right on the same neck, with the proportions all wrong, so I just finished the edges off nicely then left it to one side to think about what to use it for.

I begun playing around with the odd few bits of spare necks and bodies I had cut, and started to place the blue remnant on all of the necks I had. One in particular, the Kronenburg 1664 neck remnant kept from an earlier project, looked great in combination with it – almost like a strange looking flower. As both were previously finished, I got the UV glue out and bonded them together right away, taking care to make sure this one stuck centrally and was balanced. It is by far my favourite piece so far, partly because of the work done to salvage anything from the blue bottle, but also because of the chance combination of two good looking colours whose shapes work well and create a flower.

A very pleasing end result:

Blue and green 'flower'