Empty bottles filled with purpose
Creating the unwanted into something wanted
I’ll tell you a secret. I have an obsession with empty bottles. Whenever I see a bottle of juice, water, or just about any container holding a liquid I am mesmerized and inspired! How can I transform the bottle’s life into something with meaning? Is there a way to rescue bottles from the trash pile? Their lives are brighter than they may possibly think. I enjoy bringing out the goodness they may not see at first glance. An empty bottle does not mean an empty life!
When I go out with friends and they are drinking from a nice shaped bottle, I will ask if I can have their bottle. It is my mission to nurture the soul of a bottle. Despite their emptiness, the bottles are vessels filled with promise and a purposeful life. They can be whatever they want to be despite their current emptiness. I enjoy saving bottles from dire straits. All they need is a little support and encouragement. The repurposed bottles are so happy when a person adopts them into their family as a new creation. It is satisfying to help one bottle at a time to achieve their dreams of becoming more than candidates for the dumpster. Just think about when they were sitting there destined to be tossed into a trash can or even worse, tossed as litter on the side of a road. I shudder to think of those bottles out there crying out to be transformed into something wanted instead of shoving them into a dark, smelly garbage receptacle or weathering the elements on a roadside.
It is fantastic to help something unwanted become something wanted and cherished. The bottle’s lives become meaningful and they will always be there to bring you a smile as a sculpted piece. The transformed bottles don’t take their lives for granted. They are some of the most grateful and happy sculptures out there because they know what it’s like to be so close to the trash pile.
What is involved in bringing an empty bottle to life? Creatively thinking outside of the box or outside of the bottle in this case. Sometimes I will sketch out an idea for a bottle sculpture before beginning any sculpting. If I am in a creative rut I will ask friends and family for possible ideas to create. Then the creative fun begins using foil and/or a foam ball for shaping the head of the sculpture. An important part of creating the head is including the ears. Often I will cut out a paper ear template with a scissors to measure up against the actual head to determine if the size of the ear is right. Next I will cut out the canvas fabric and patterned fabric with a fabric scissors and attach them to the bottle sculpture’s head. After the ears are carefully attached I will begin sculpting over the entire bottle piece with clay and imprint designs and/or words into the soft clay surface. Once the sculpting is completed and the clay has completely dried I will start to paint the bottle sculpture. When all of the painting is done I will add a coat of antique gel stain and a coat of varnish. And finally one of the most enjoyable parts is embellishing my bottle sculptures to really bring out their personality. Many times I will create a fancy necklace or a spiffy bowtie for my bottle sculpture characters to wear. I will cut a length of ribbon or lace with a scissors for a necklace to go with a sparkly embellishment. Or I will cut out some fabric to create a no sew bowtie for my happy little characters to wear. They always look so fancy and dapper wearing their necklaces and bowties proudly.
Creating repurposed bottle sculptures is very fun and rewarding. Will you ever look at a bottle in the same way again?