Upcycled Mosaic Candle Shelters are Perfect for Earth Day

Mosaic Candle SheltersCelebrate Earth Day with beautiful upcycled mosaic candle shelters. Don’t throw those bottles in the trash, make something meaningful with them instead! Turn your trash into treasure and light up the room while you are at it.

Make this awesome upcycled project using the g2 Bottle Cutter, some old wine bottles, glass tiles or nipped glass bottle pieces and terra cotta pot bases!

 Download instructions for this great upcycling project here. Check out our Creative Corner for more fun upcycling projects and to find the G2 Bottle Cutter in store near you, visit our dealer locator.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter by April 21st  to win your very own G2 Bottle Cutter here. 

7 Simple Tips to Help Your Bottles Separate

craftmdIn honor of Earth Day, coming up this Monday, we are bringing you our best advice for using one of the most popular upcycling tools out there, the Generation Green (g2) Bottle Cutter!

There’s not a parent or a pet owner out there that does not understand the term “separation anxiety!”  Well, in my Upcycling quest, I have come across a group of people who have put new meaning to this term – those afraid to score and separate bottles.

Well, fret no more Dr. Lauren (I’m not really a doctor, I just play one in this blog) is in the house. To get over your “bottle separation anxiety” here’s what you must do:

  1. Practice good bottle hygiene. Make sure that you remove the entire label from the bottle you want to cut. Even the smallest amount of sticky residue will interfere with the scoring process. We recommend using rubbing alcohol to get most labels off, but if you have a really stubborn label try nail polish remover with acetone.
  2. Always keep your cutting wheel oiled – this is a big one. The better you oil the wheel, the smoother your cut will be – a lot of theDADBOTTLE-WEB separation issues I hear about are quickly resolved when the wheel is oiled – bonus – the more you oil the wheel the longer the blade will last!
  3. Remove stress. Remember a good cut doesn’t require a lot of pressure. Most people think that the bottle will separate much better with a deep cut, but that is the opposite of what will happen. When you score deeply, the glass will splinter and run up and down the line you actually want. A light score is best when trying to separate a bottle – bonus – the less force you exert on the cutter the longer the tool will last – a lot of crafters break their tools because they are simply using too much force.
  4. Not all bottles are created equally! Keep this in mind when you are cutting. Some bottles, especially recycled ones, have an uneven wall thickness which can really ruin the separation process.
  5. Textured bottles are really cool, but you just have to avoid them. They are really impossible to score and the uneven surface makes for a difficult separation.
  6. When you are first starting out, practice on beer bottles. They are easy to cut and easier to come by.
  7. I use and recommend the hot and cold water shock method to separate our bottles for a good reason- it’s the safest and most efficient way to separate the bottles. Please use this method before any other to get the best separation.

Bottle Art KitsI prescribe a healthy dose of practice, practice, practice as often as you can. This should alleviate any further “bottle separation anxiety” symptoms!

P.S. I don’t make house calls!

Are you in need of a g2 Bottle Cutter, find one at any of these fabulous retailers or win one along with our four fabulous Bottle Art Kits by entering our Earth Day Contest, check out this post for all of the details!

Win 1 of 3 G2 Bottle Cutters at Craftbits!

G2-Package-LeftWho doesn’t love winning? Crazy question right…

This month you can win and help save the Earth! In addition to the contest we are running here on our blog, Diamond Tech has partnered with Craftbits to give away 3 Generation Green (g2) Bottle Cutters! The Craftbits contest runs from today, April 15th until May 15th.

With the G2 Bottle Cutter you can create awesome upcycled home décor like vases, sculptures, terrariums and fun and functional glassware too! The g2 bottle cutter is made from recycled aluminum, so you are keeping more than just glass bottles out of the landfill!

What are you waiting for… enter the Craftbits competition here and don’t forget about our contest ending April 21, enter here!

Create Glass Cloches with Wine Bottles!

Glass ClochesApril is the perfect month for green crafting! Earth Day is near, so we decided to share a project that makes use of three bottles that would otherwise be headed to the landfill!

Glass cloches are perfect for parties; display your hors d’oeuvres without letting the bugs get to them before your guests have a chance to snack.

Make this pretty green project using the g2 Bottle Cutter, some old wine bottles, etching cream, twine and buttons! Download instructions for this great upcycling project here. Check out our Creative Corner for more fun upcycling projects and to find the G2 Bottle Cutter in store near you, visit our dealer locator.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter by April 21st  to win your very own G2 Bottle Cutter here. 

How to Use Upcycled Glass Bottles in Glass Art

G2 Bottle CutterEarth Day is near and what better way to celebrate than to incorporate upcycling into you next glass craft or art project!  There are plenty of ways to be green when it comes to creating fabulous mosaics, stained glass panels, fused projects and more.

One of our favorite ways to upcycle is by using the G2 Bottle Cutter to create functional home décor like vases, candle shelters, and drinking glasses as well as fun and funky art! Did you know that the G2 Bottle Cutter is made from recycled aluminum, so when you use one to make fantastic bottle art you are being twice as green! Not only are you

Bottle Necklacekeeping bottles out of the landfill, you are keeping aluminum out too!

Not satisfied with making vases, candle holders and drinking glasses? Well the fun doesn’t stop there; glass bottles make a great medium to add to fused glass, mosaic and stained glass projects!  How so you ask?

Rings cut from bottles can be fused to make bracelets, pendants, and napkin rings. Or use a wheeled glass nipper to cut rings into  squares to make glass tiles. Cut the top and bottom off a bottle to make a large glass tile! Just keep in mind, the COE or Coefficient of Expansion is unknown on bottles so to be safe, only fuse pieces of the same bottle together.

Cut squares from rings to make mosaic tiles, the slight curve from the bottle adds great dimension to a flat mosaic surface, better yet, mosaic a rounded surface like an old vase or candle holder with multiple bottle colors! If you don’t want a rounded texture, you can always
TrinketBox-WEBBottles make great additions to stained glass pieces too, create hinged trinket boxes or stack multicolored rings to make a fun lightshade. Incorporate rings and bases into panels to make a fun and modern panel!slump nipped squares to flatten them.

We can’t forget about mixed media projects either! Upcycled bottles can be used with upcycled wood to make fun coat racks or jewelry hangers. The possibilities are endless!FleurDeLis-Hook-WEB

Are you in need of a g2 Bottle Cutter, find one at any of these fabulous retailers or win one along with our four fabulous Bottle Art Kits by entering our Earth Day Contest, check out this post for all of the details!

Win a Generation Green (g2) Bottle Cutter and All Four Bottle Art Kits

Bottle Art KitsEarth Day is right around the corner, how will you celebrate? We are celebrating by giving you a chance to win a Generation Green (g2) Bottle Cutter and all four Generation Green Bottle Cutter Kits!

Whoever said it isn’t easy being green? Stop tossing those glass bottles in the trash and start your Earth Day Crafting by upcycling! It’s simple with the Generation Green (g2) Bottle Cutter. Made from recycled aluminum (making it Earth friendly too), the g2 is lightweight and allows you to easily score and separate discarded bottles and wide-mouth jars in 3 steps. Using the g2 Bottle Cutter you can celebrate Earth Day all year round by turning old glass bottles and jars into glass sculptures, vases, lamps shades, drinking glasses or votive holders.

Create the ideal environment for growing and watering any type of plant with the 3-in-1 Plant Keeper, for all the keepsakes you treasure – a special photo, a dried flower, concert or theatre tickets, vacation trinkets, cards and letters keep them close at hand and inside a unique Keepsake Bottle, add a dancing glow and a warm ambience to any room or outdoorG2 Bottle Cutter space with a Glass Luminary or create colorful and whimsical Wind Chimes from recycled bottles and jars.

Enter our Earth Day Contest from now until April 21, 2013 by leaving us a comment on this blog post telling us what you plan to create with the g2 Bottle Cutter, go to our Pinterest page and check out our Creative Corner to find some great ideas! We will pick a winner at random on Earth Day, April 22, 2013! Exciting news like this is hard to keep to yourself, so feel free to pass this contest on to your friends.

Get to Know Scott Bouwens: Inventor of Bearfoot Tools by Studio Pro

801000-EMS-3-SLEEVES-WITH-BOX-WEBHave you ever seen something so inventive or ingenious that you said “Not only do I have to have this, but I must meet the person responsible for it!”? That’s what a lot of lampworkers are saying these days about the Bearfoot Tools by Studio Pro Line and here is your chance to get the inside scoop on the creative mind behind Bearfoot Tools.

We are so excited about this line of lampworking tools because it not only showcases the pure creativity of the artist who created them but Diamond Tech’s versatility as a tool manufacturer. The Bearfoot Tools by Studio Pro line consists of a line of fatigue reducing, productivity increasing Electric Mandrel Spinners, marvers, hand stabilizers and the cross functional Powder Vibe.

Scott_Daniels Deal

Scott and Monica Bouwens, owners of Bearfoot Art Studio, have long been known in the lampworking industry for their 14 years of contemporary lampworking, bead making, jewelry design and tool construction.  In August of 2012 a creative collaboration occurred between the Bouwens and Diamond Tech International where in Bearfoot Tools; the Bouwens line of lampworking tools was purchased by Diamond Tech.

Take a moment to get to know Scott Bouwens, the inventor of Bearfoot Tools and take a look at this fantastic line.

  • How did you get started in lampworking?

02_Scott_BouwensI was first introduced to Lampworking in 1996. My girlfriend, now my wife, Monica was managing a bead store in Wenatchee Washington. The owner of the bead store gave Monica an appreciation gift of a bracelet that was made with simple lampwork beads she had created herself. I think that is the first time I ever heard the term lampwork. I remember being quite taken with the idea of working glass in a torch. It must have been obvious because Monica gave me a book, Making Glass Beads by Cindy Jenkins, a torch, some glass, and some basic tools as a gift for my birthday present that year. I don’t think she had any idea how directly that gift would end up shaping our future. I think she simply expected to get some cool free beads from me to use in her jewelry. She got a lot more than that as I seemed to have a natural talent for lampworking glass beads. Not long after I started making beads, we started to do local shows selling jewelry made by the two of us. I traveled to sell at “Bead Shows” and Ebay was getting going at that time as well. I found I could sell things as fast as I could make them. I was a self taught newbie practicing my craft and selling the beads that I was learning from. I liked what I was making and it blended so well with what my wife was passionate about that eventually we made the switch to being full time artists.

  • How did you get started inventing tools for lampworking?

I started making tools for working glass right from the beginning because my nature is to invent. I look at a need I have and I lampworkcuffbraceletinstinctively design a process or make something to answer that need. With glass the needs I had fell into three main categories; Spinning, Marvering and Hand Control. Most of the tools I designed fell under one of those headings. I found them incredibly helpful to me and I started to show and sell them at the bead shows I was attending. Others started to use them and I got a reputation for my good designs and the quality of my work. Well, for someone like me, I am off to the races inventing more and more at such news. I like to help others and I like that I have found a unique way to use my natural talent to do so. “See A Need-Fill A Need”

  • How have your other interests/ hobbies/ career influenced your glass designs and inventions?

I used to be very deep into model airplane building, the RC kind. I would build them, fly them, crash them, fix them and fly and rebuild and fly them some more. Needless to say I spent a lot of time and money in hobby stores back then. Many of the designs for Bearfoot Tools include materials that I became familiar with back then. I got more than knowledge of good materials from that hobby; I learned about electronics, physics and I fell in love with science too. I pursued what I was interested in and followed it to the end and beyond. I do that with my glass designs too. I get an idea, try it out, if I like what I have then I keep working it over and over until I get it right how I want it to be.  I do that in my designs, my glass art, and my life to the best of my ability.

  • What inspires you? 

I am inspired by nature, science, experience, and story-both the hearing and telling of.

Pict0465

  • What makes your work different from everyone else’s? 

 I use a lot of silver in my work and I have developed a technique for creating many color effects with it.  Not very many people know how to do what I do and those who can choose to make their own style of bead.   So I would say it is a cooperation between myself and other bead artists, each of us striving to be uniquely our own, that makes us all different.

  • Who’s work, glass or otherwise, do you most admire? 

Kerri Furr, Glass beads & Jewelry – Alex Kargopoltsev, Fine art painter–

  • Do you sell your work? If so, where? 

I own Bearfoot Art Glass Studio, a retail store in LaConner WA.  We sell beads, jewelry, gifts, and Bearfoot Tools by Diamond Tech there and on our website.  We are also selling on Etsy, and we are looking for Galleries to show our Bead Creature lines like our beaded Dragons or Caterpillars.

  • What are some upcoming exhibits / shows are you excited about? 

I am looking to get back into shows more as we transition from being a tool manufacturing company that also makes beads to being a full time glass artist that also invents and sells tools.  I am not sure what events I’ll be at so there isn’t anything specific for me to be excited about right now, but I will say that wherever I go I will be excited to see some of my old friends from the bead show circuit.  They are great people.

  • What advice would you give other artists? 

Follow what you are passionate about and try to do that to the best quality you can.  Look for opportunities and obstacles.  And when you can, turn obstacles into opportunities. 

Tulip Fields in Skagit beadCheck out some of Scott’s work or get in touch with the Bouwens using the links below!

Website: http://www.bearfootart.com/

Blog: http://bloggingbearfoot.blogspot.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bearfoot-Art-Glass-Studio-Lampwork-Beads-and-Tools-by-Scott-Bouwens/138751361232?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BearfootArt

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/bearfootart

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/bearfootart

Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BearfootArtGlass

Ebay Shop: http://www.ebay.com/sch/bearfootart/m.html?_ipg=50&_sop=12&_rdc=1