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How to Fuse Recycled Glass Bottles

How to turn recycled glass bottles into fused glass art using a kiln

Also see our Bottle Molds and Glass Shape Molds

Preparing a Recycled Bottle:

Clean and disinfect the bottle. Cleaning is critical! Fill your sink with very hot water, add 1/2 cup baking powder and 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Fill each wine bottle with hot water, place into the sink and let soak for 10 minutes. Add 2 cups of white vinegar and gently roll the bottles to mix in the vinegar. The vinegar will cause the water to bubble for a few seconds. Continue to soak bottles until the labels start to lift off.

Rinse the bottles well inside and out. Turn the bottles upside down to ensure they will completely dry inside and out before cutting or firing.

How to make a glass square from a round recycled glass bottle:

  • Measure your bottle's diameter at the widest point. This should be the same measurement for most of the bottle and this is the section we will use. Measuring can be accomplished using a simple string around the bottle. Mark where the ends of the string meet and measure the string against a ruler. You can also use a tape measure to determine the diameter.
  • Take the diameter measurement and divide it by 2. Example: if you have 9 inches / 2 = 4 1/2 inches. This will become the size or your square: 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches (minus about 1/8 inch of shrinkage during a full fuse).

Now you are ready to cut out the portion of the bottle you want to use: (See our Tips and Tricks on glass bottle cutting Techniques)

  • First cut off the bottom of the glass bottle (See More How to ... below)
  • Measure from the Bottom straight edge up the bottle (where it is the same diameter) and mark the 4 1/2 inches, this will be your next cut line.
  • Cut on the line and remove the top portion of the bottle. Now you are left with an open glass cylinder.

Now Prepare the Texture:

Put down your thin fire (You must cut it to be at least 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches square.) and/or kiln wash on to the kiln shelf. Make sure the edge of the preparation is at least 3 to 4 inches from the side of the kiln shelf as the glass will spread out when fired in the kiln.

Place your partial bottle, glass cylinder, on its side, centered over your fiber paper or mold.

Optional Recycle Bottle Design Techniques:

1. Instead of thin fire, consider using a thicker fiber paper or use it on top of the thin fire. You must cut it to be at least 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches square.

Design 1: Cut random rectangles, circles or designs out of the thicker fiber paper to create your own texture and place them on the thin fire.

Design 2: Cut the thicker fiber paper into strips and lay then in a pattern, weave them, cross them or place them in a V or X design.

Build this fiber pattern right on the treated kiln shelf or thin fire paper and place the glass cylinder, open ended bottle, in the center of the fiber paper.

2. Instead of cutting out your design with the thicker fiber paper, try using a textured mold to create the texture. Make sure to use proper amounts of kiln wash on the glass mold before fusing the glass.

General Firing Schedule for Recycled Glass Bottle Projects:

Full fuse firing schedule: 2 layers bottle glass

Recycled Glass Bottle Kiln Fire Schedule
FahrenheitCelsius
Ramp Rate -Temp Hold -Time HoldRamp Rate -Temp Hold -Time Hold
300/hr - 500 - 15 min150/hr - 260 - 15 min
250/hr - 1100 - 10 min120/hr - 593 - 10 min
1000/hr- 1050 - 20 min1000/hr- 566 - 20 min
50/hr - 950 - 0 min10/hr - 510 - 0 min
100/hr - 745 - 0 min38/hr - 396 - 0 min
Turn off until at room temperatureTurn off until at room temperature

Other Tips:

See our How to Slump recycled Glass Bottles.Click Here to see our Bottle Art Book with over 61 projects.Click Here to read the manual.

9th Jun 2018 Ann Sanborn

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