Saturday, July 14, 2012

Art or Shooting Practice?

Is it art or shooting practice?

In my years of totem making, I've collected glassware that didn't make the cut. What should I do with them? They're still beautiful in their own right. But, they don't fit the criteria for totem-ness. After three years of crafting the crazy garden jewels, I've finally identified what works and what doesn't.


Alas! I saw this fabulous photo on the internet and my inspiration took shape. I began planning the materials. Thankfully, my husband finds some satisfaction in creating something beautiful, so he was in charge of the frame. I began choosing the candidates.


Beautiful, aren't they? The next step was determining their placement. I did this by lining them up on the table and playing with the order of colors and shapes. This became my initial plan (below).


Through the process, several bottles broke, so I did some rearranging of the layout later as I went. We had to drill holes in the bottoms of all the bottles so I first tried drilling them with a hand drill and "diamond bit." However, it took FOREVER to drill one bottle and it was a tense process-- not to mention, highly volatile. :-(  The crappy photo below shows one bottle propped in the drain of the kitchen sink. I was drilling and my daughter was spraying with water. It's imperative that you drill with a water bath because of the heat it generates.


Enough of that! We graduated to a drill press we borrowed from a friend. It took us a while to find a good drill bit that wouldn't break after 5 or 6 bottles. The winner was a diamond CORE drill bit. Once we found these, the process went fairly smooth. That's me squirting a water bottle while my hubby did the delicate work. He was compliant and wore safety glasses. He's smart.


Once the bottles were drilled, it didn't take long. Mark has already built the frame from copper pipe and drilled holes in the top and bottom pipe. We strung the bottle with clothesline cable (it's a plastic coated cable) and spaced each bottle by inserting 3/8" clear plastic tubing between each one.  We strung the cable into the pipe's holes and secured them with cable clamps at the top and bottom.


The finished product exceeded my expectations a hundred times. It's absolutely beautiful during every part of the day.


It's even beautiful on an overcast day (photo below). 


My only fear is that someone may mistake it for shooting practice. :-O











20 comments:

  1. Hi, I wanted to stop by and say hi and congratulations on a fantastic bottle wall idea. I saw your picture on Facebook and loved it and even posted it our Page Sisters Treasures, but wanted to give you thanks and credit personally for sharing such a great idea.
    Betsy of Sisters' Treasures

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  2. Love this idea!!! Hope you are staying warm and enjoying the snow...my sister lives in Kearney, just down the road a bit!

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  3. I made one similar to yours-we were sitting on the deck while my brother-in-law was visiting,he said" I could just sit here all day and shoot those bottles"
    I told him if it took all day to shoot those bottles-you're a bad shot!!!

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  4. Would be just wonderful to see the sun shining on them

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  5. Love it! Wonder if I could convince my husband drill the holes? :) I've done it, it's not easy.

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  6. Your piece said.they even survive. Nebraska winters. I am just a beginner and live in utah do you think I should put the glass in the garage in the winters

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  7. This is just beautiful!!! Had to comment...good job.

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  8. Just wonerfull to look at, love your color transitions!

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  9. Can you tell me where you purchased your diamond core drill bit? I have had trouble finding a bit that stays sharp after drilling several holes. I have been using 1/8 diamond drill bits. Can you also give me an approximate cost on a diamond core drill bit? Thanks for your help! LOVE your work!

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  10. I'm adapting this idea as a garden "fence" to keep my older dog out. He just needs a mild deterrent to stop him. I'm getting the blue bottles from local bars. Will be using PVC pipe (hopefully salvaged) between posts that were set years ago as a promise for a stucco garden wall that never got build. :(

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  11. I will be replacing some of the bottles this spring, as they have faded and the colors aren't as vibrant. I'll try to post the progress. Hopefully, it will go smoothly.

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  12. What did you place in between each bottle to keep them from clanging together? Can't see on the picture.

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    1. I used clear plastic tubing that I could cut any length I needed.

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  13. That is truly beautiful? I wish that I could find the words to explain how beautiful I think it is. You and your family are awesome.

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  14. Well, thank you. You made my Friday!

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  15. Beautiful assemblage. To save all that drilling of replacement bottles, have you tried any transparent glass paints? I know they will eventually fade, too, but think of all the drilling you can avoid, lol. We've used krylon spray on glass globes and they held up pretty well.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I like your suggestion of transparent paint and may try it. We have had only 1 bottle break in the 4 years I've had it-- rain, snow, wind, freezing, and hotter than hot! It's pretty resilient!

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  16. Use plumbers putty to make a dam to hold water while drilling bottom of bottles.
    Roll into a long cylinder shape, coil into circle, press onto bottle bottom, fill with water.

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