Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
‘Slumped’ bottles are part of Waverly family’s creative flair

Dec. 15, 2008

By Teresa Jagodzinski

Chris and Jeremy Cardinal of Waverly have found a unique way to recycle old bottles and make money doing it.

For a year now, they have been creating slumped bottles in their kiln. The heat in the kiln causes the bottles to melt together and form a flat surface.

When the bottles are done, they can be used as cheese boards or for decoration, and the ones made with a mold can be used as dishes.

Chris explained that her mother-in-law, Jan Cardinal, told them about slumped bottles she had seen, so they decided to “give it a shot” and try making them.

Because they weren’t exactly sure how to make them, the first ones didn’t turn out, but with a lot of practice, they were able to figure out the process.

“It took a long time to perfect it,” Chris explained.

They gave the slumped bottles they made last year as gifts, and this year they decided to try selling them.

With family, friends, and even the Blue Note giving them old wine, beer, and pop bottles, they have created many different unique items.

Chris explained the process they have to go through to get the best results with their bottles.

First, the bottles have to be washed really good and dried thoroughly. There can’t be any water or steam in them.

Any paper labels have to be removed because they would burn in the kiln. Labels that are painted on will stay on through the process, but they may turn colors.

The bottles can’t have any chips or cracks in them.

The next step is to fire the bottles for three hours in the kiln.

Because the Cardinals don’t have a thermometer on their kiln, they aren’t sure what temperature they heat the kiln to.

“We just wing it,” Chris explained.

They do know that the color of the bottle makes a difference as to how hot they need to heat it to get the best results.

Their kiln has a little peephole they can look through to see the bottles while they are in the kiln, but Chris explained that the bottles only look red when they are in the kiln during this step.

Once they are done firing, it’s another three or four hours until they can open the kiln doors to see how they have turned out.

After another two hours, the bottles are cool enough to touch.

“It’s interesting to see how they turn out,” Chris explained, because they don’t really know what to expect until they see the finished product.

If the bottles don’t heat and cool properly, they will have a dull look to them instead of a shiny look.

Any bottles that don’t turn out, are put in a recycling bin to be picked up.

The Cardinals will process special bottles provided by customers with the understanding that they won’t know how they will turn out unti they are done.

The price range of their slumped bottles is between $10 and $20.

The Cardinals live in Waverly with their two daughters Ana, 4, and Olivia, 1. They can be reached at (763) 658-2118.


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