Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I've been wanting to experiment with glass cullet in my glazes so I decided to attempt to make my own. I collected about 150 or so brown beer bottles, Shiner bottles to be precise...gotta be indigenous. Rather than peel all the labels off I stacked them in the gas kiln and fired them up to 7-800 degrees to burn them off and then pulled them out hot and dunked them in water to craze them so they'd break up into tiny little pieces easily. Piece of cake.

The first 30 bottles. Next I'll start running this stuff through a ball mill.

Here is a unbroken but crazed bottle so you get the idea.



cookingwithgas said...

one of the old timers from the mountains - Berlin Craig used old soda bottles for his glazes. He had a long stick set up that he used to crush the glass. He used water power to run the whole operation and the stick - I say stick but bigger was always going.
Think Dew drop bottles.
This does sound interesting- how will you use the glass?

Ron said...

Right on Brandon! That set up Meredith is talking about is shown in the book Turners and Burners by Terri Zug.
Nice to see you in your summer gear.

FetishGhost said...

You really know how to kick off summer season.
This is all new to me but it looks like a whole lot of fun! I have no idea what a glass cuttlet is, but I'm game.

Gina said...

Great idea for getting the paper off and breaking up the bottles! I hope you'll share the results of your glaze experiments with the glass!

Tracey Broome said...

Definitely want to see results! You should have done a little raku while you were at it :) I think the set up that was mentioned of Burlon Craig's can be found in a video somewhere. UNC TV did a feature on him and showed his water powered glass crusher. Doesn't Matt Jones also have one of those?
Would like to see a blog post on your process making the glass cullet, have no idea about this

Mr. Young said...

Definitely sounds like an interesting project.

brandon phillips said...

Thanks for the info about b. craig...i'll look into that. I really have no idea what i'm doing, just experimenting.

Ron-It was in the upper 90's...lucky for you guys that i even had a shirt on ;)

Z-cullet is just crushed/ground up glass. Powdered glass can be used in glazes.

Lori Buff said...

I have to remember this when I need new beer bottles for homebrew. Firing them to 800 degrees would sanitize them as well.

Peter said...

Having to drink all that beer to get the glass must be a real chore... the things potters have to do! You should be able to claim the beer as an expense against your income tax!
Useful tip about heating and cooling them to burn off the labels and to break up the glass. It will be interesting to see how it works out as a glaze.

Scott K Roberts said...

Our recycle center here in Durango has piles and piles of crushed glass for free. Maybe there is one close by. It still has to be ground some more or the fines sifted out. But it does work.

jbf said...

Shiners! Nice! Got some in the fridge right now. Good stuff. Good job recycling.