Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Melted-Bottle's By Donna Davis Taylor

Donna Davis Taylor is the proud owner of her own business.  It's called Melted-Bottle and you are just going to love her work.  She takes wine bottles or other beautiful colored bottles and either turns them into planters for (Succulents) or melts them for other uses such as beautiful cheese boards, spoon rests or anything else you can think of.  Before I forget please make sure to check out her Facebook page and  her web site for more photos and information on purchasing.

Melted bottles are unique

Originally Donna went on vacation (8yrs ago) with her Mom.  She purchased a melted wine bottle to give her cat sitter as a thank you gift. Donna looked at it and thought, "They must do that in a kiln".   So when she got home she did some research and found out that it was indeed done in a kiln. She had a kiln for a along time for other crafts that she does (ceramics and porcelain doll making).  Her grandmother had a kiln and many of my family members all have kilns so it was not too hard to begin experimenting.

Melted bottles, planters, spoon rest

It took her about a year to perfect the bottle melting to what she considered a quality gift.  Donna is quite a a perfectionist and will not sell something if she doesn't think it meets her standards. If it is not melted correctly you get hazy or "vitrified" finish on the bottles instead of a shiny pretty bottle. Once she perfected her technique she gave one to a friend. Then three of her friends wanted one so she made more and sold them all . Next thing she knew she was signed up for a craft show. Her first craft show was a HUGE success!

Melted bottles ready for anything

She does about 10-15 craft shows per year. But after a few years her customers started asking for new products so she started experimenting with different things to make with wine bottles. Two years ago she added wine bottle necklaces made from cutting the top of the wine bottle off with a special glass cutting saw.  (Sorry I don't have a photo but you can see them on her web site).  She then slumps them in her kiln to round and soften the cut edge of the glass.   Once this is done she wire wraps it with sterling silver wire to create the necklaces.  Last year she modified her slumping molds to make bowl shaped wine bottles with dividers.  She also made narrow bottles for olive trays.

Melted bottles cut for planters

She needed a new product for 2013. Over the last 2-3 years she had been cutting bottles with a huge amount of broken and rejected bottles. Unfortunately the saw she used to cut the necklaces was too small to cut the larger part of the bottle so she had  to experiment again. Donna tried scoring the bottle and tapping it, tying string on the bottle and lighting the string on fire and shocking the glass with cold water.  Using various saws always led to a high breakage rate making it not worth doing.  Finally she found a mostly successful technique for cutting the bottles.   It takes a special saw, a very expensive blade and patients. She still gets about 10-15% breakage but the more she does the better she gets!

Even hanging melted bottles

 Once cut she then has to hand sand the sharp edges with special and again expensive sanding block. Donna says that when it comes to cutting glass there is no cutting corners! You have to buy quality tools to get a good cut. Knowing that succulents are popular she decided to plant the cut bottle with a variety of succulents.  She then posted a picture on her Facebook page and on a Facebook group where you can post items for sale. The interest in the bottles was overwhelmingly popular as you can imagine. 

Melted bottles with succulents

I saw Donna's bottles at The Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Show and Sale in May of this year.  I wish I had purchased one so I think I will have to pay her a visit.  When I get one I will show you what I do with it!  They would also make fantastic gifts!  Make sure you visit her Facebook page to get great planting ideas and other photos.  And don't forget her website at in case you would like to make a purchase.

Have a great week everyone and remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day


Gerhard Bock (Bamboo, Succulents and More) said...

Great post and photos! I hope Donna will bring her fantastic bottles to a future SCSS meeting.

Becc said...

Very interesting post, can you still purchase wine with a cork? They are becoming very rare here in Western Australia

Sheila Zanella said...

Amazing history and the way you tell us is the best!!!

Kisses from cold Ireland in summer :)))

Candice Suter.....Sweetstuff said...

Yes Becc you can but they are starting to be more scarce.

And thank you Sheila! Kisses back at ya!

Cassidy said...

These are amazing! I totally want one!

Anonymous said...

We met at the Fanatics hotel get together after the Fri 2012 Extravaganza and BBQ, and the next morning for breakfast. Thank you for the cuttings.

I love this post and have ordered several bottles from Donna. Of course, I gave you credit for the recommendation.

Hope to see you and other Fanatics in late Sept at the Extravaganza.


Candice Suter.....Sweetstuff said...

Hi Marilyn!
Thank you so much for the comment! I hope to see you at this years Extravaganza and BBQ. I am so glad you like the post and know you will love the bottles! Donna is a great gal and does super work!

Hope the cuttings are growing!

See you in September for a great time!