Working with Curved Bottle Glass-Glass With a Past

Published: Thu, 02/13/14


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Recently, I posted a tutorial about using Glassline pens on bottles before fusing.  There were some comments about the difficulty of working with curved bottle glass.
Using bottle glass as is does sometimes present a challenge.  I began a new series of work that simply can't be done with curved glass.   So, I did some experimentation and found a solution that works very well for my projects. 
I'm sharing it with you in the hopes that it can help you too!
I began with bottles that I had cut the top and bottom off of.  Then I cleaned the middle section and cut it in half top to bottom.  I repeated this process until my kiln was full.

Space your bottle halves so when they flatten they don't overlap.  You can measure each one and then measure the kiln shelf, or you can just do what I do and roll the pieces toward each other and make sure they don't touch when the cut sides are close to the shelf.
Then fire using this schedule:
300 F to 500 F - hold 10
500 F to 1260 F - hold 8
0000 to 1060 F - hold 20
The result is this:
For compatibility, make sure you keep the two halves of the same bottle together.  For large bottles, this will give you two roughly 6" x 6" squares of compatible glass.  For smaller bottles, more like 4.5" x 6" rectangles.
Now, it is very important that you don't use the full fuse or slump firings to flatten your bottles.  Bottle glass has a very limited number of firings it can go through before it gets stiff and devitrifies.
Using a very low temperature to flatten the pieces extends the firing life of the glass.  These pieces will respond the same way as unfired curved bottle glass.
New on the website:
Stripey Sushi Plate tutorial - use strips of bottle glass to make a fused sushi dish
Bottle Glass Votive - simple tutorial about using bottle glass to make votives
February Kiln Carving pattern - Pot o'Gold pattern for the leprechaun in your life.
And, as always, let me know if you have questions, I'm happy to help!

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