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  #1  
Old 2013-02-02, 9:47am
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HannahRachel HannahRachel is offline
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Default Pulling Cane from Recycled Glass - Upcycled Glass Beads

Hi again! I promised this tutorial over a year ago and its super easy, but for some reason I only got around to it this week.

Upcycled Glass Bottle Beads are super easy to make, but I've had loads of questions about how to deal with the shards of glass without them shattering when the flame hits them. I tend to pull them into cane to store them and I preheat the finished cane in a kiln when I'm ready to use them.

Remember, these bottles might not all be the same COE, so I tend to make them into single-color beads. So, your first thing to do is to get some bottles!

Lets take a look at some of the ones I like to use.

BROWN BEER BOTTLES
Brown beer bottles tend to make pretty scummy cane. They boil a lot. I still really like them because the finished beads look rougher, which makes for some nice "upcycled texture."


GREEN BEER BOTTLES
Heinekein beer bottles are great to pull into cane. They are smooth to work with and don't shatter easily when you reintroduce them to the flame.


WHITE WINE BOTTLES
White wine bottles come in a whole range of color, but I like these light olivine bottles the best. They are super creamy to work with and just have a wodnerful color to them.


RED WINE BOTTLES

These also come in a whole range of colors. The darker ones just read as black when you make a bead. I don't use these a whole lot. The clear bottles get really scummy in the flame.


SAPPHIRE GIN BOTTLE
LOVE this color bottle for beads. It can be a little shocky to work with though, so I make sure to pull canes and then preheat the canes in the kiln.


SKY VODKA
Makes a clear, good cobalt blue bead. This is the glass I'll use for this tutorial.

--------
edited to add - because of a few people from this thread, I'm adding Bud Platinum, which I've never tried, but apparently works out beautifully.
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Last edited by HannahRachel; 2013-02-05 at 7:13am.
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  #2  
Old 2013-02-02, 9:59am
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So... you got your bottles, but you know, they are a little big to work with directly. So, get yourself a box and a set of glasses and dust mask and a good metal hammer. Head outside. Put your bottle into the box, slip on your dust mask and glasses, and give that bottle a couple of good taps. I actually set my bottle into the box, and cover most of it with the box flaps. I leave just enough to see what I'm up to. You want some shards that are about 4."

Grab those shards - throw the rest of the box away. Its full of glass dust. Remember, the edges are really sharp!

Throw those shards into a kiln and ramp it up. I work at 950, and I just ramp up at full, but if you are worried about the shards cracking, you can ramp it up at a slower rate.



Once the shards are at full temperature, you'll pull them out with tweezers (or hemostats) and attach them to a punty. I use a 1/8" mandrel. You'll need to heat the punty to glow and also the shard. You can actually make a bead directly from this shard, and lots of times I do, but its sometimes easier to do detailed shapes when its in a cane.


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Last edited by HannahRachel; 2013-02-02 at 12:29pm.
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  #3  
Old 2013-02-02, 10:00am
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Next, you'll be heating that shard until its all gooey and starts to flop around. I actually fold it up on itself, but its really important to not let air get caught in it, otherwise your finished cane will be super shocky. If you do get bubbles in there, you can super heat that area until they rise to the surface and pop. Continue to heat until you have a good blob. You're going to need to add a second punty, so you can actually do that at the beginning, so you have more control over your molten glass.

Heat your glass until its all glowing. If you haven't already added that second punty, now is the time to do it. You want it to be evenly glowing and a good round or oval shape.



Pull your glowy molten mass out of the flame and wait for a "skin" to appear on it. Start pulling, slowly and gently. When the cane reaches and thickness you like, you can blow on that area to "set" it. Since heat rises, you'll be able to tip the hotter area upwards and continue to pull until you have a cane. The one I'm working on here is pretty short, but its a good starting point for you.

As a side note, it looks like I'm pulling this in the flame, but it actually isn't. Its all in front of the flame.



Break off the punties and either immediately use your cane or place it in the kiln while you make others.

Here, I'm making a bead from my blue cane (remember to hold it with hemostats or tweezers since its just come from the kiln)... You can see where my cane has cracked a little. This is because I was waving the whole thing around too long while I fussed with the camera.



And here are some finished recycled glass beads! The first beads are done "freehand." The second set were done using a zoozii large gem press.



HAVE FUN! Now, lets see what you've made!
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Last edited by HannahRachel; 2013-02-02 at 10:43am.
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  #4  
Old 2013-02-02, 10:25am
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Thanks Hannah.....How cool is that!
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  #5  
Old 2013-02-02, 11:12am
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Thanks, Hannah!!!!!
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Old 2013-02-02, 12:18pm
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Inspiring! Thanks Hannah.
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Old 2013-02-02, 12:25pm
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Great tut, Hannah! I've put out a call for lovely coloured bottles

Thanks!
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Old 2013-02-02, 4:42pm
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I have a couple of Blue Sapphire gin bottles waiting to be smashed and melted but i wasn't sure the best way to do it. Excellent tutorial Hannah thank you.
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Old 2013-02-02, 8:32pm
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Thanks for all the kind words! Have fun, and please photograph your finished beads in either this thread or the one in the gallery.

Has anyone noticed my little studio snail? I got him in Prague, Czech Republic years ago and he's made out of stoneware, but I keep trying to remake him in glass... He's in the corner of several of my photos...
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Last edited by HannahRachel; 2013-02-03 at 7:56am.
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Old 2013-02-03, 3:02pm
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Holy Hannah, that is cool! I have a few cobalt blue wine bottle that I will have to try this on,

Thanks!
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Old 2013-02-03, 4:20pm
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I took a recycled glass class with Bronwen Heilman and she has some excellent tips about finding which types of bottle glass are compatible to work with together. I am not sure if she is on LE but I am sure you could Google her about an upcoming class or perhaps she would be willing to share. Hope this is helpful - Di
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  #12  
Old 2013-02-04, 8:16am
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Hi Di:
I would love to take a class with Bronwen, but actually I think I probably won't ask her to reveal her secrets to me for a freebie tutorial. Some things are really worth paying for, you know?
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  #13  
Old 2013-02-04, 8:36am
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What a doll you are for sharing this tutorial with us Hannah. I think I'm definitely going to try this. I love the blue one. I also have a ton of scrap glass from stained glass projects I've done in the past. This would be a good way to melt that glass too and pull into cane.
Thank you so much for sharing.

J.
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Old 2013-02-04, 9:03am
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Thank you for sharing this. Do you have any idea about an annealing schedule?
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Old 2013-02-04, 9:06am
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I'm excited to try this! Thank you Hannah!
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Old 2013-02-04, 9:30am
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Default Just a thought to save glass

I use the bottles several ways:
1) I first cut the bottle and make a glass cup for drinking out of it - You can either heat the edge or sand the edge to make sure it is not sharp
2) The left over portion of the bottle is to make shards - I use a cloth over the glass and break it
3) The top portion can be used as a funnel, broken for bead making as in number 2, or as a part of a wind chime, or anything else you can think of

Just like to recycle as much as possible
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  #17  
Old 2013-02-04, 10:29am
Robin Passovoy Robin Passovoy is offline
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I've been playing with bottle glass for the past year or so--the stuff is ideal for hollow beads! I've found at least 30 distinct shades so far. I've also found that broken glassware from Pier 1 (if they are willing to sneak you treasure from their breakage bin on the sly) is a great source of material, and stained glass scrap is great fun. You can also get great results from aquarium gems--yes, those little glass pellets used to make your fishtank less boring until the algae devours them all. The glass used for the gems is very soft most of the time, even softer than 104 in some cases, but the colors are great and there is an enormous range of them. Beware of the oranges and reds, though: Those are all striking red at different stages of the striking process, and they tend to go opaque if overworked. Similarly, that sort of misty white/seashell pink transparent strikes white if you look at it cross-eyed and practically has to be worked over a votive candle.
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Old 2013-02-04, 10:54am
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Yeah, I know what you mean Hanna. Her class is really worth it. I took a 3 hour class with her at Bead & Button last year and it was great.
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Old 2013-02-04, 11:09am
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Be sure to clean out your bottles first. Burning beer smells horrible in your torch. Ask me how I know...

laura
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Old 2013-02-04, 4:53pm
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Laura: Omg, yes!

Check out this thread - Michelle just added a pretty shamballa-style (but you can't call it that on Etsy) bracelet using Bud Platinum bottles. She pulls cane differently than I do - she's awesome at it!
http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=194559
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Old 2013-02-04, 5:01pm
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yes, Bud Platinum bottle is my favorite so far. These photos don't even do it justice but give you the idea at least. I found that using the shards directly off the hot plate they were not shocky at all, but if I pulled cane (and even if I annealed the cane using my standard 104 schedule), the cane turned out somewhat shocky. Weird.

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Old 2013-02-04, 5:32pm
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YAY!!!! Thank you so much, Hannah!! How super wonderful! NOW I have an idea of how to pull cane (though I bed I'm going to need TONS of practice!!). This is wonderful! Now I will be able to use all of the chunky bases of the bottles (they are all just sitting in a bowl, right now...!).
I used to think that the green of a red wine bottle was all the same - now I know how many different of hues of green there are! How wonderful that you shared your experiences with all of the different bottles. Thanks!
Very much looking forward to playing around!
Take care,
Annie
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Old 2013-02-05, 6:51pm
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Nice snail.Great tut.

Karen
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  #24  
Old 2013-02-05, 7:54pm
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Thanks everyone!

I missed a question earlier from alcyon about annealing schedule. I ramp up at full to 950, keep the kiln at that temperature while I work, and then just shut the whole thing off. My kiln takes 4 hours to cool down to 200 degrees, at which point I'm either sacked out for the night and it cools naturally or I crack the kiln until it reaches about 150 and that seems to work fine plus it saves on electricity a tiny bit. If yours crashes more quickly, you might want to slow the ramp down a bit.
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Old 2013-02-08, 8:05pm
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Thank you for sharing. Your method is much simpler than the one I was creating in my mind. I will be asking friends and coworkers for bottle donations. And I have a beautiful blue wine bottle saved for up cycling
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Old 2013-02-08, 10:55pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Savina View Post
What a doll you are for sharing this tutorial with us Hannah.
J.
I agree, what a doll

Thanks for the tutorial, useful information.
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Old 2013-02-09, 4:53am
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When I want to make marbles from bottles I break the bottles up in a paper bag, one bottle at at time. Then I place the shards into a small, 1 - 2 inch, clay flower pot that has several coats of kiln wash on the inside. I then put the flower pots into the kiln and run it up to 1450 for about a half hour then back down to 950 for an hour, then down to 725 for a half an hour then down to 600 and off. This makes a nice puck to form into a marble. I have found that in this case it is much more efficient to make a batch of pucks than it is to try to melt it all at the torch. Electricity is cheaper than oxy. I imagine you could also pull the puck into rods if you wished.
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Old 2013-02-09, 9:52am
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That is really interesting way to recycle the bottles, Dragonharper. It reminds me of the vitrigraph method, sans the hole. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 2013-02-09, 2:10pm
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I played around with this about 2 years ago and have a ton of bottles saved up but haven't gotten back to it.

For extra decoration ... you can use 96 COE furnace glass frits in the 5% rule on your beads or add silver leaf, foil ... wire, etc. Just like you do on your 104 COE glass bead designs!!
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Old 2013-02-13, 12:15pm
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I've been doing this too! Loves it. I didn't know about that blue Budweiser! I hope we have it locally!!! LOVE the color.
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