Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mesa Temple

Michael holding up his new Christmas present

  Among the several stained glass Christmas presents I made this year was a picture of the Mesa Arizona LDS Temple. With seven siblings it can be a big hassle to get everyone a present, so we rotate who we get presents for each year. This year we had my brother Michael and his wife. They were married in October 2009 in the Mesa Temple, so I decided to make them a stained glass picture of the temple.
 Almost all of the glass is recycled. The bumpy blue in the water, the bumpy green bushes and the opaque green grass are the only colors that were not recycled. The temple and the wavy royal blue in the sky is made of light sconces, the windows were made of a vase, and the rest of the colors are made of bottles.
 Here you can see the neat swirly patterns that come from the light sconces.  These pictures were taken just after the soldering was finished.  The zinc frame and black patina hadn't been put on yet.

 One thing about using recycled glass is that bottles don't produce large sheets of glass.  So, large expanses need to be broken up into smaller pieces.  This is why the sky and water were designed with a wavy style.
One thing that struck me when we attended the wedding was the extra warm climate.  It was above 80 degrees in October.  I felt like I had to incorporate the palm trees into the picture.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Recycle, Reuse, Reclaim, Salvage, Upcycle: Words to Live By

Because I am pretty new to selling glass art, I have been checking out other people’s stuff online to see what they are making and how much they are selling it for. I have seen a lot of cool stuff out there, but I have come to the conclusion that people need to use a dictionary when they are describing their glass art. So in this blog entry I will attempt to define several “green” terms that are commonly misused or misunderstood. Whenever you see my description of my glass products, you will know that I follow closely the following definitions:

Recycle – Recycling is the process of reclaiming materials from used products or materials from their manufacturing and using them in the manufacturing of new products.

"Bones"- left over edges from flattened light sconces
 When a plastic bag is recycled into a new plastic bag, it is melted down and reprocessed into a new bag.  It may not be the same color, size or other similar characteristics to the original bag. It may have even been changed into something completely different than a bag like plastic car paneling, or polar fleece. When I recycle glass it means that I take old used glass and change it into a new object. When I make stained glass out of bottles, I first cut the bottles, then fire them in my kiln, then cut them to shape and assemble them into the stained glass piece. When I make tiles, I crush the bottles into powder and then fire them into molds in the kiln. Some of my recycled glass jewelry is made by simply cutting out patterns from bottles or vases and using just that bottle or pattern in the jewelry.

Reuse – noun 2. the act or process of using again. -
“Often, the most sustainable option is to reuse materials and objects already manufactured, either for their original or new purposes, rather than recycle them into other products. This decreases further energy and materials use in recreating them into a new form.“

People will often reuse bottles or vases by gluing, cementing, or painting objects onto them. The glass objects retain their original form, but are just decorated. The bottle does not undergo any major changes or processing.

The temple was made from recycled light sconces, but the
 sky was made of salvaged glass a lady was getting rid of.
Reclaimed – verb 2. to recover (substances) in a pure or usable form from refuse, discarded articles, etc.

Reclaimed means it has already been thrown away. Objects may be reclaimed to either be recycled or reused.

Salvage - noun 2. the act of saving any goods or property in danger of damage or destruction

Salvage may or may not have been thrown away, but without intervention would otherwise be destroyed.

Bottle bottom boxes are upcycled because the new
product is deffinitly worth more than hte original bottles
they are made out of.
  Upcycle - The process of converting an industrial nutrient (material) into something of similar or greater value, in its second life.

Upcycle is a new phrase that I have seen used for items that are both recycled and reused. I believe that to be upcycled the object should be worth more after the alterations have been made.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Recycled Glass Ear Rings

It’s about time I posted again.  I have been very busy lately.  We had a craft fair at the local Elementary School, and four different stained glass Christmas presents I’ve been working on.  Because some of the recipients of those presents read this blog, I will not be posting pictures of them for a little while yet.  Instead I have a few pictures of some of the ear rings we sold at the craft fair.  I have to admit that these are some of the worst pictures I have ever taken.  They were taken with my iphone and I’m pretty sure the lens was smudged, probably by one of my snot nosed kids.

Some of these were sold at the fair and we still have some left.  If any of you are interested in buying some, I'm selling them at $15 per pair.  The hooks and wire are sterling silver.  These are made by cutting cross sections from bottles and then fire polishing them in the kiln.  I have many more of these in a variety of colores.  If you want something specific I can make them to order, just let me know what you are looking for.  Shown here are the more symetrical and matching sets if you want to see some of the more funky looking rings, just let me know.  Also, I am planning on taking more pictures with my "real " camera.  Starting with the new year these and many other products will be showing up on Etsy.  When that happens, I'll write another post to let you all know.