Glass Bottle Walls…

Two weeks ago Gadora, along with fellow BVers, spent an afternoon at East Austin’s KIPP school for a well-coordinated Service Day. Our first assignment: pack and number, then organize each of the more than 75 boxes in the Middle School’s library—effectively dividing the collection in half. The High School would soon have their new space. After lunch, and an emotional chant from the Middle schoolers, we set out to help finish up the rain garden and surrounding grounds. The final task: shovel a mound of recycled glass mulch into the walk-ways and flower beds. Sparkling and bright, it felt good to find a purposeful new use for beer bottles. We’ve been collecting our own, the BFF and I, as North Austin doesn’t take them at the curb.

Glass mulch in Soul of the Garden

At days end, I texted the BFF that we HAD to HAVE glass mulch in our yard! Surely it’s expensive I imagined, it’s soooo beautiful, and someone with deep pockets must have donated the mound to KIPP. Right? A little research and the BFF discovered Austin gives the stuff away. The possibilities are endless…

Charles McClure's glass garden.

Turns out, you don’t even need to turn bottles in to get your mulch. Got Gadora to thinking…what else might one do with glass bottles? Bottoms-up and sandwiched in between cement they make a non-uniform wall like this one at The Pink Taco. The precariousness of the odd-shaped bottles makes me happy. I can do that!

Glass bottle wall at the famed Pink Taco, Los Angeles location

Johnsen Schmaling Architects created this partition for the (sadly) now defunct Milwaukee Blatz Brewery. Held in place by a “thin web of precision-milled neoprene rings that are suspended between the members of the aluminum frame,” each partition pivoted and rotated around its axis…and provided spatial flexibility.

Johnsen Schmaling Architects partitions...

More uniformed patterns: Daniel Maher stained glass from recycled glass bottle bottoms. Might take some skill, but can be done!

Daniel Maher stained glass...

If organic is more your thing and you’ve got as many bottles as we have in our collection (ok, not that many!)… check out this 6-million bottle home in Buenos Aires, by artist Tito Ingerieri. Took him two decades to create.

Recycled home by artist Tito Ingerieri, Buenos Aires

Perhaps we’ll start with the mulch. Then… who knows. Indeed, the possibilities are endless.

• • •

ApartmentTherapy ~ A little story on Austin’s delightful Aviary.

Building REsources ~ “San Francisco’s only source for reusable, recycled and re-manufactured building and landscaping materials.”

Enviroglas ~ Texas-based purveyor of glass terrazzo floors, EnviroSLAB counter tops, and more.

How to make your own Glass Mulch ~ In 8 steps or less.

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