Upcycle Presentation

My project has gone through many iterations in an attempt to stick with the purpose of reuse. My idea has centralized around using a wine bottle since I go through many of those and have many sitting around my house.

Originally, I was set on making a wine bottle wind chime. This wind chime was inspired by those sold at beaches by my house when I was growing up. Since I am from California, I often saw these made out of things that were found on said beaches such as driftwood and shells.

My intention with the project was to replicate this aesthetic with the objects that I could find around me in Colorado. I thought that this array of found objects would remind me about my time in Colorado while calling back to my childhood in California.

There ended up being a few problems with my idea. First of all, I was not prepared for the preparation of glass. I tried to cut the bottle using the string and water technique (lighting a string on fire using acetone and then quickly dropping it in cold water) which did not work. I then tried to score the glass but had no luck. I also wanted to get a few bottles from the liquor store with different shapes and colors to mimic seaglass, however, I could not do this due to the fact that I ended up having my purse stolen on the Thursday before this project was due. Finally, I waned to collect sticks and stones and other things from the ground as I was walking around Boulder, however, the weather had other plans and covered the ground in snow.

This is where my plan changed. I was looking around my apartment for ideas when I opened up my crafting box and found an old set of lights that had exposed wire. I thought that this would match with the wire that I had bought when thinking about the first project. My plan changed to create a bottle with wire wrapping that could hang on my wall and the lights would be contained inside.

I began by hammering a nail through the cork of the bottle. I was then able to thread the wire through that hole to hold it in place and then wrap the wire around the bottle. I used superglue to hold the wire in place on the bottle and then used a second piece of wire to create a loop that could hang on the wall. I put the wire lights into the bottle and used the cork to hold them in place and then plugged it in in my kitchen.

I really liked how it turned out. It gives my kitchen a warm glow, due to the tint of the bottle, and adds a cool aesthetic. In the future I hope to add another bottle next to it, preferably one that held red wine, next to the bottle. I also considered hanging the bottles above my kitchen table, however there is a fan there now. I still want to look into buying a chain and hanging the bottles from my ceiling, although I think that would require some electronic work so every lamp doesn’t have a separate plug.

The overall aesthetic of my design is industrial. The exposed wire of the lights inside as well as the gold wire on the outside show this aesthetic as compared to the smooth flowing shape of the bottle itself. It also calls back to wire wrapped gems using the thick gold wire randomly wrapped around the bottle.

I ended up with something that I really like and adds a nice touch to my kitchen. I will definitely reuse this idea when I move out, although I may not keep the components together since it is somewhat easy to recreate with different shaped wine bottles. I also hope to someday add beads and other aspects to the wire.

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7 Comments. Leave new

Taylor I wish I could’ve seen your presentation. Your project looks great and I like the upcycle creativity you put behind the project. The bottle with the scattered lights creates an interesting aesthetic. I like the functionality however I hope the fixture to the wall is durable.

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Ambrogino Depolo
February 25, 2019 4:44 am

I hope you decide to keep this project around. I thought it was a really cool use of the materials at hand. Your results were very cool. I wonder if there was a way to make this wireless? Not that it would be considered an upcycle project or anything but it would certainly be cool. Great work!

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Taylor, your final piece looks great and I think it fits well with your aesthetic. It’s nice to see projects that were put to use after their creation. I liked the use of the gold wire but I think it would’ve added more to the project if you placed it around the bottle in a cleaner way, maybe with a pattern or just wound closer together.

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Brittany Callin
February 17, 2019 8:46 pm

I love the final look of it! I also love how you’re actually using it in your home! I am concerned by how bright it might be. Have you considered using a darker/more tinted wine bottle for this?

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Taylor, your bottle looks very nice! I like the Colorado theme you mentioned with the beer bottles and I think it’s just as good that you chose the wine bottle route. The “Twinkle” lights you used with the gold wire a definitely a good match. It is very good that you iterated with the designs by trying the gold wire on the outside and then on the inside to see what was better.

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Ibrahim Alhajji
February 11, 2019 2:22 pm

I really liked your idea and the end result. I like how you hanged the bottle and using it as light source. Although you said the light was not bright, the pictures you posted had light glare. I suggest taking other pictures for your final report.

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I really like your project! It looks great, and I love the aesthetic of metal, glass, and lights. It feels like a modern take on a lantern. I agree with some comments made during the presentation, that you could go further with the lantern idea and make it a more hang-able fixture. Great job!

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