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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How To: Celebrate with a Lampwork Bottle of Champagne

lampwork-glass-champagne-bottle-bead-focalLet's get this party started!  Nothing like a bottle of champagne and all those cute little bubbles tickling your nose, as you sip away.

How about making your own champagne with no grapes, oak barrels or fermentation needed?

This bead is about 1.5" tall.  I used a 1/16th mandrel with Dip 'n Go Blue Sludge bead release.

I always start at the "bottom" of my beads.  I'm left handed and work right to left across my mandrel.

Using Moretti sage green, I made a modified bicone and rounded up the center.  The bottom of the bottle is a truncated shape.  I didn't need that end of the bicone to be long and slim.    You could also build a barrel and let it round up in the middle a bit and marver the top end of it into shape.  As I don't have any champagne at home, the sale section of the Sunday newspaper had a good photo in a liquor store advertisement for reference.

So now we have the green bottle part and it's time to add the white neck.  Pretty simple once you break the bead down into shapes, isn't it?  Now you build the long white neck as a very slim barrel. Either a commercial or hand pulled white stringer will make it easier.  

To add the cork shape on the very end, I just make a small donut shape on the end of the barrel. Then I very gently roll and marver it down into shape.

Towards the end, I use my gold aventurine hand pulled stringer.  It's stiffer than the white glass, so keep that glass just barely warm, so it doesn't mush around on you.  Just make a few wraps and add as needed to get it the right thickness.  This covers your connection between the white and green glass and makes it look more finished.  Then I heat the surrounding area just a bit to marver it into shape.

My last step is to add the label onto the front.  I make three dots with the largest one in the center and two smaller ones on either side.  I gently flatten them to make the "gold" part of the label.  Then I add a white dot to the center over the top, to mimic the label on the original bottle.

These champagne bottles are great to make for gifts for friends.  Whether it's a wedding, baby, new relationship, (end to an old one?!), or even a new pet, there's always something that can be celebrated.

I'd love to see the ones you make.  And please, feel free to sell them too.  It's fun to share some of these shapes and if you make something based on this free tutorial, please send me a photo so I can enjoy it too.  I can see someone specializing in some of the bottle shapes and having a line of them to sell.  Wine bottles, champagne, beer...I bet there are customers out there for all of those.  (If you make them out of recycled glass, it could be a win/win situation too!)  It would be fun to see some of the wine and champagne glasses with this line too.

Meanwhile, if you have a moment, pop by my Etsy shop to see my latest offerings.  I add new ones daily.