Saturday, February 3, 2007

Beach glass update


Following up on our surfeit of wine bottles problem and consequent attempt at re-use, I've been tumbling glass all week.

After five days in the four-pound tumbler with some very coarse grit and some plastic pellets (to prevent the glass from shattering and chipping), I have some smooth and rounded pieces from what were once deadly shards.

But though they be smooth and rounded, they also be ugly.

I can no longer see the pretty amber and green colors (can you?) because the pieces are so heavily frosted (i.e., dulled) from the coarse grit.

Huh.

So the troubleshooting begins:

1. I can try re-tumbling with some fine grit in the hope of polishing the glass. (A lost cause?)

2. I can try again from scratch with new shards of wine bottles, using a finer grit from the start.

Since I have no idea what use I am going for, it seems a little silly to get too particular--or too disappointed. Clearly, whatever it is I have just produced isn't going to work for jewelry or art (which was one of my original goals).

So, if I can't bring back the sheen on this batch, I was thinking of just dumping it in an empty flower bed as a kind of funky xeroscaping...?

Onward!

Advice from glass-tumbling boffins would be most appreciated.

3 comments:

Stephanie said...

I obviously have no advice, but I think they have a velvet like texture in that photograph. Very pretty, if not want you wanted.

Elizabeth said...

Steph, you are a very, very nice person.

debbe said...

I am also just starting to look at making beach glass so I found your experience helpful. A much finer grit should give you a finer finish. And odd though you find it..I have to admit as a mulch in my garden pots no one would expect it. That appeals to me no end. The colors are not as vibrant as i would have thought...but as a mulch I think they would be perfect. Thanks so much for the idea.