Posts Tagged ‘Arts & Crafts’

Romance in a Glass

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Love it or hate it – St. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. While many people might be surprised about this holiday’s less than cherubic origins (martyrs and massacres – oh my!), this holiday is met with equal parts excitement and anxiety every year. Luckily, Friends of Glass has put together a last-minute Valentine’s Day itinerary for those procrastinating cupids, or those looking for a special way to treat themselves. Use any of these glass-inspired ideas and you’ll be making that special someone swoon in no time!


1.       Set the Stage

No Valentine’s Day celebrations can begin without some decorations to get you in the spirit. Take a cue from The Daily Haley and fill glass vases and jars with red, white and pink candy. Tie a pretty red ribbon on it and feel the love all around you!


 2.       Relax with a Classy Glassy Cocktail

This seductive Cherry Fizz cocktail by Style Me Pretty is a perfect way to relax and begin the evening. Not drinking alcohol? No problem! Just replace the champagne and brandy with your favourite citrus-flavoured soda for a bubbly non-alcoholic version. Add a fresh cherry to the rim of your glass to show how much you care.


3.       Romantic Dinner

No matter what level your cooking skills are at, any dish you serve will look like a masterpiece if your table is set well. Gather inspiration from A Womens Club blog for special table setting designs for your sweetie. Use glass as accent pieces to really make your night feel elegant.


4.       Gifts for Her or Him


This homemade Valentine’s Day gift is a perfect way to give your honey a secret message that’s a lot more fun than a traditional card. Follow the simple instructions at My Sister’s Suitcase and you’ll have a unique and thoughtful gift for a loved one in no time!


5.       Decadent Dessert

No Valentine’s Day is complete without a sinfully delicious dessert. These sweetheart cupcakes by Foodie are a sweet and special way of saying ‘I love you’ with chocolate. Try pairing them with strawberry milk in glass bottles for an extra special treat!

What are your Valentine’s Day plans this year? Let us know on Facebook, or share with us on twitter at @GlassFriendsEUR!

Glass Garden

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Remember those great summer moments, outside, in your garden or a park, surrounded by flowers and so much green? Now, with autumn here already and winter just around the corner, the world is about to turn golden, red, and then white – and less green.

But there is a way to prolong the greenness! Did you know that glass, a natural material, can be used to make a great, thriving and easily manageable garden of your own? Glass is a perfect solution for your plants during this season!

Terrariums are an excellent way to manage your house plants during the cold months, preserve their natural strength and beauty, while also making them into a great piece of decor. And – if done correctly – they are easy to look after as well!

All you need is a glass container – like a jar, or a simple vase – where your plants can thrive throughout the seasons, as well as stones, moss, soil, and whatever plants you wish to have in your home! The glass acts like a natural home for the plants, protecting and keeping them fresh and alive.

Follow these simple steps from the Design Sponge blog (or these on Martha Stewart’s website) which will take you through all the steps involved in making a glass garden at home. What do you think? Will you be making one of these for yourself?

Murano, Venice – Glass Tourism Hotspot!

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

It’s always nice to get away for a while, see the world, learn some new things, explore, or just relax.

So, in honour of World Tourism Day on September 27, we thought it would be nice to profile a place in the world which encompasses all afore mentioned aspects of a great trip away!

Murano, a series of islands just off the coast of Venice, can be said to be the birthplace of glassmaking. Having been established as a hub of glassmaking in the 13th century, the islands have embraced this history well throughout the years – and, even today, is still one of the most populated areas of niche experts when it comes to many forms of glassmaking.

Did you know that glassmakers used to be considered the islands most prominent citizens in the 14th century?

Learn more about the history and process of glassmaking by visiting the Glass museum or a Venetian glass-blowing demonstration. Or, if that’s not your style for a holiday, treat yourself to a nice glass (or bottle!) of wine and enjoy the view! The beauty and intricacy of the islands is reflected in the glass that’s produced – and boy, is it stunning.

Upcycling Glass Coke Bottles Creates Treasure

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Since Coca-Cola’s contour bottle was first introduced almost a century ago, it has become a design icon and closely associated with the Coke brand. In parts of the world such as Asia, the glass contour bottle is still in use. As they are made of glass, the bottles are collected, washed and reused over and over again.

But what can you do with the bottles which have deteriorated from extensive reuse? While the usual response would be to recycle them, for Oki Sato the answer was upcycling. Director of Japan’s nendo Design Office, Sato saw an opportunity to utilise traditional artisan techniques to create a new product using only the contour bottles which were ready for recycling. That product is Bottleware, a set of five beautiful pieces of glass tableware.

Bottleware was first exhibited at DESIGNTIDE TOKYO 2012 and is now on sale at a range of exclusive retailers in Japan, and via the Bottleware site. Using a technique used to create traditional handicrafts in the Aomori region of Japan, the tableware replicates many of the details of the glass contour bottle such as the colour and thickness of the glass. Sato’s design for the tableware also replicates the ridges found at the bottom of the contour bottle.

As each piece is handcrafted, the Bottleware range is very expensive. But there are much simpler ways to upcycle your used glass Coke bottles – some of which you can try at home. Simplest of all is Photojeanie’s candleholder – just give the bottle a rinse and stick in a candle!

Wind chimes are another popular way to upcycle glass bottles and many types are available from handcraft sites such as Etsy. You can even upcycle your own glass bottles to make a wind chime at home if you have access to glass cutting tools. They make a delightful tingling sound as they are blown by the breeze.

Have you upcycled your used glass bottles or jars? We’d love to see your creations on the Friends of Glass Facebook page!

Water from Maple Trees Wins Innovation Award

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

The Water Innovation Awards recognise the best packaging for bottled water in a range of materials. While one of the twelve categories is dedicated to glass bottles, the remaining categories see glass bottles compete with a range of other materials.

As well as Best Glass Bottles, glass packaging won two of the other categories on offer: Best Still or Sparkling Water and Best Label.

The Best Still or Sparkling Water category was won by Eau Matelo (Canada) for De L’Aubier. Unusually for bottled water, the source of this water is maple sap from Eau Matelo’s own trees.

Traditionally maple syrup is derived by boiling off the water in the sap. As the sap is about 98% water, the process is long and energy intensive.

Rather than waste this valuable resource, the producers began to pre-filter the sap to remove about 85% of the water. That ‘waste’ water is now bottled and sold as De L’Aubier. The reducing process for the syrup is also faster and less expensive as a result. The glass bottle helps to preserve the delicate sweet flavour of the water.

The De L’Aubier glass bottle was also a finalist in the Best Label category. The label design features the stylised rings of a maple tree to emphasise its natural source.

Winner of the Best Label category was Aigües Minerals De Vilajuïga (Spain) for its Aigua de Vilajuïga. Founded in 1904, Aigua de Vilajuïga is a naturally sparkling mineral water which comes from a spring in Catalonia’s Cap de Creus Natural Park.

Water Innovation Awards – Glass is the Winner

Friday, January 11th, 2013

The 2012 Water Innovation Awards were presented during the recent Global Bottled Water Congress in Barcelona and glass is the winner again!

Organisers of the event received 75 entries from 19 countries for the 12 awards on offer. Overall winner of the Best Bottle in Glass category was Krusmølle Kilde from Denmark.

The bottle attracted the attention of the judges with its slightly cheeky label, but received its award to the overall elegance of the bottle. The judges agreed that the bottle was: “A perfect representative of Danish life and design.”

Krusmølle Kild has a natural freshness which its makers believe is down to the short distance from the natural spring to the bottle. Krusmølle Kild is can be purchased throughout Europe or via the company’s website.

Glassy, classy eye-catchers

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012


Sybille Homann

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o far more with old glass packaging than simply take it along to the bottle bank because it can be re-used in all kinds of different ways.

Sybille Homann has come up with the innovative idea of recycling old glass packaging into beautiful new home accessories.
Take a look inside her “Kunst und Gemüse” (“Art and Vegetables”) studio shop to see all the wonderful things that can be made from old glass packaging. It stocks conventional glass bottles that have been transformed into fabulous gifts such as classic vases and beautiful glass carafes for favourite wines. Sybille uses bottle necks to make unconventional towel holders and coloured glass bottles to make decorative bamboo-like lamps. “All the bottles are old glass that I have been given by friends, neighbours and restaurants,“ confirmed Sybille Homann. And the results are amazing! Sybille has even tackled large scale projects, creating stunning bar counters and room dividers made of old glass packaging. “It’s fascinating to work with these materials, incorporate them in unexpected items and settings and give them a brand new lease of life.“


Sybille Homann

Sometimes she designs objects for specific buildings, such as restaurants or wine bars. If you’re curious to see the glass eye-catchers that Sybille Homann has designed, check our her website at or take a look at one of the online shops that sell her works of art. However, there’s no better place to see them than Sybille Homann‘s own studio shop in Hamburg!

What can you make out of old glass packaging? Tell us about it here!

And, by the way, even glass that ends up in the bottle bank is eventually given a new lease of life because, being a natural material, it isn’t just very environmentally friendly, it’s also 100 percent recyclable.


Help Save Tuscany’s Glass Blowing Heritage

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Five years ago, glass artist Isak Lystad moved from Seattle (US) to Tuscany (Italy) to practice his craft and learn from the masters. But when he arrived in Florence he found that many of the glass blowing studios in Tuscany had closed down. Today there is just one left.

With only one glassblowing factory left, learning on the job is no longer a sustainable method of transferring this traditional skill. No independent schools or public glass studios exist.

In order to ensure the continuation of an 800-year tradition of blowing glass by hand in Tuscany, Lystad and his fellow masters have started a campaign to raise funds for a new glass blowing school. Known as the Infinity Vetro Project, the school will ensure that traditional skills can be passed on to local glass blowers. It will also provide a place where visitors can learn and practice the craft of glass making.

The Infinity Vetro team are looking for support of any kind, but particularly financial assistance to establish the school. To donate please visit the Infinity Vetro Project and you could be helping to rescue a tradition going back more than eight centuries!

ABSOLUT Vodka launches 4 million one-of-a-kind bottles

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

ABSOLUT Vodka are known for doing things a little differently when it comes to setting their product apart from the competition. But the company’s new ABSOLUT Unique campaign is a first for glass packaging. Under the slogan ‘One of a kind, millions of expressions’ ABSOLUT have released a limited edition range of bottles which are truly unique.

Each of the almost four million bottles produced for the campaign has its own spray-painted finish which is ultimately decided by the splash guns and colour generating machines. The machines could randomly choose from 38 different colours and 51 patterns. Each bottle comes with its own label showing a unique number, ensuring every single bottle is truly one-of-a-kind.

Is a Quirky Milkmaid the Milk Jug of Tomorrow?

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Founded in 2009, Quirky is a website where designers can submit ideas for new products and gain valuable feedback from the public. A few months ago Quirky, together with GE, launched a competition to find inventions which improve everyday life.

The winning entry is the Milkmaid – a smart glass milk jug which can alert you when the milk is about to go off! You pour your milk into the Milkmaid and place it into your refrigerator. pH sensors in the SmartBase change the LED lights on the front from green to orange as the milk quality deteriorates. The base also contains a weight sensor and can alert you by text message when you need to buy more milk.

The glass bottle holds around a litre of milk and provides the optimum storage conditions. And we think it also looks beautiful! Would you give it fridge room? Let us know via the Friends of Glass Facebook page or by tweeting us at @GlassFriendsEUR.