The beauty of having more than one type of cutter is that it can give you a greater range of options in terms of bottle cutting heights and diameters. A few small bottles have been too narrow in diameter to fit onto the Ephrem’s cutter, but this is where the G2 cutter steps in nicely. One such bottle that I’ve been waiting to start on, when I finally emptied it, was a Sarsons Worcester Sauce bottle, which has a narrow neck with a lid ridge at the top, and an almost flat shoulder above a cylindrical body. I thought the neck and shoulders would make a great base, and that the body would be fine on top of it.
Firstly, the bottle was soaked to remove the label, and the drip lid was removed with the point of a screwdriver. The bottle was then cleaned thoroughly with hot water to remove the last of the sauce remains prior to cutting. The round of the shoulder of the bottle actually forms a clear step-in of less than 1mm onto the cylinder of the body, which gives it a distinctive line, but also makes it slightly awkward to cut. You don’t want it much lower, as it might make the base foot look odd, but too close might add risk to the cut as a good score line is especially important on a small bottle, and I noticed there was a slight variation in the bottle on a test spin with the cutter. I pushed it as high as I could, and hoped for the best. The scoreline was good, though close to the change in angle, so I took plenty of time to run the cut with the hot and cold water. I warmed the bottle slowly around the full diameter, and then quenched it under the cold. On close inspection, It had ran cleanly and fully, and separated perfectly on the next warming. The body of the glass was surprisingly thick at around 3mm, and more substantial to work with than most beer bottles.
The clean breaks were gently arrissed down in 3 stages with increasingly finer grade diamond pads, and then scrubbed clean and dried. The base was then UV glued onto the neck top. Though the base was largely embossed with numbers, they actually didn’t hinder a central position for the narrow neck. The UV torch was used initially for speed, but as it was clear glass, I left it in the window for the day to fully cure naturally.
The narrow body with it’s internal opening diameter of about 42mm is a really great fit for most tea-lights. All in all, a very nice little bottle to work on with an attractive end result. The neck and shoulders really make it work. It goes to show that you should keep an eye on all your glass containers for potential use, including sauce bottles and jars, and not just the more usual beer and wine bottles. I’m looking at all the condiment bottles and jars when shopping now.
A very inexpensive and simple type of bottle that has turned out very useful has come from something I actually drink myself – j2o orange bottles.
I started with the original size bottles, with the longer necks, but actually the smaller party pack sized bottles are proving to be even more useful than the regular ones, and at something like around £5 for 12, give me a good number to have a go at.
The labels virtually float off invisibly after only a few minutes soaking in hot water, and the bottles are instantly sparking with just a quick dry on a tea-towel , proving them to be very easy to prepare! They are great size to roll on the Ephrem’s , and cut really well.
Though they feel very smooth to touch, it’s when they are clean and cut that you really notice the attractive ripple effect in the glass as the light refracts through the bottle. I’ve kept some of the short necks from these bottles for using as bases for green beer bottles in the mixed colour effects, but they are quite attractive just on their own, and seem to be popular with people I’ve shown them to so far. I’ve passed some of them on to friends and family, who are using them with tealights.
Following on from the accidental success of the blue glass bottle bottom on a green neck, I carried on with switching bodies and necks over. Though it’s a matter of personal taste, I think mixing the colours can make them even more effective, no matter what the size or shape.
As coloured glass is more effective than clear for tealights, adding a pleasing tint to the flickering flame and the light radiated, I put a shorter green beer bottle bottom on a clear stubby neck. For a design that would perhaps be to show things off better .eg. for a cut flower vase, a decorative or carved candle , potpourri, coloured beads etc , I put a tall clear body, on a longer green neck.
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: