Known as a somewhat earthy and naturalist person, I love creating art from objects destined for the dumpster. After working many years with stained glass and machine-made glass with controlled compatibility for fusing, I decided to venture into the road somewhat less traveled – that of recycled glass. For me, that is bottles, bottles, and more bottles.
I get my bottles from friends, relatives, businesses and junk piles. Unfortunately, in these budget-cutting days, the cost of recycling bottles is prohibitive for most communities, so they go to the dump where they last about forever. My found bottles are sliced, chipped, crushed and ground into an endless array of shapes and sizes. They are then kiln-fired into recognizable designs to be readied for my mosaics. Through about 15 years of trial and error, many notebooks of notes and a lot of missteps, I have created consistency within the chaotic and incompatible world of bottles. By adjusting time, temperature and mass, I have developed programs to fuse, slump and mold pieces together. Many pieces are beautiful all by themselves, and others grouped together make beautiful mosaic art. Placed on old (recycled) window frames, the light dances through fish, flowers, and forests.
Living in Lillian Alabama, I soak up the melancholy environment of Perdido Bay to provide much inspiration, both from land and sea. Although the colors of most bottles are so much like the colors out here, it is a little like dancing on a flagpole at times. Colors may blend beautifully together to the eye, but be chemically so incompatible that they will not mold together without cracking in the kiln. It is a fun challenge, tho. Me and Mother Nature working together to create new art from old.
And of course, it’s all recycled!