As some of you may be doing a Dry January we thought it rather apt to post an article based around what you can make with your empty wine and liquor bottles from December. Rubbing salt in the wound perhaps...but Amanda from Lighthows who specialises in making lamps from glass bottles, recently shared with us the background story and ethos of her business 'Lighthows'.
What is Lighthows?
Amanda's passion has always been to up-cycle anything that could be re-used, and this is how the Lighthows' story began a couple of years ago.
"Having always loved Lighthouses, I felt the name reflected that, and by adding the “hows” on the end added a sense of creation"
Why Glass Bottle Lamps?
"Up-cycling is very important to me, not only do I feel that I am making a positive impact on the environment, but I am also rewarded with creating something pretty and practical once each lamp is completed"
"My purpose is to inject new life into old bottles, and the best part is, anyone can Up-Cycle or creatively re-use them!"
"Look around you, there really is beauty in everything, especially if you think outside the trash!"
How do you make your 'Lighthows' Bottle Lamps?
Amanda carried out a lot of research to discover the best method to drill the holes in her bottles.
"Trial & error led me to use these core drills as previously I had used cheap imported drill bits and occasionally the glass “plug” remained inside the core and could not be removed meaning no more holes with that drill bit. Eternal Tools, Bottle Neck Diamond Core Drills have apertures which both allow direct access for water cooling whilst drilling and the ability to remove any glass plug problems should they arise"
"Glass drilling is a simple technique for my lamps but any kind of glass drilling holds an amount of risk, so please should you decide to try this make sure you take the necessary precautions, and that you wear protective clothing at all times. This includes good protective eye wear"
"I use a Dremel drill on the lowest speed setting and apply no pressure when drilling, the drill bit does all the work. The drill bit is kept cool at all times with water. Eternal Tools were the only stockist I found who could supply the best drill bits with the correct shank size for my Dremel"
What's next for Lighthows?
The lighthows.co.uk website has many examples of some of the lamps Amanda has created. Over the past few months they have also started selling them through a lovely shop in Redruth Cornwall called the 'Craft Collective'.
Craft Collective rents space for a wide variety of crafters to affordably show their creations, and being a visual product, this makes the Lighthows' upcycled bottle lamps incredibly popular in the store.
They also sell on Etsy and ebay and have a Facebook page
Lighthows have begun to create some lamps as special commissions, especially for the growing market in Cornish artisan gin bottles, and they would love to hear from you if you have a particular bottle you would like to have transformed into a lamp, just drop them an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
"So … if you’ve gotta lotta bottle, don’t put a cork in it, put some lights in it, and remember - A bottle is for life … Not just for Christmas!"
If you would like to drill a hole in a glass bottle with a Dremel rotary tool and a Bottle Neck Diamond core Drill please follow our infographic tutorial here: 'How To Drill A Hole In Glass Bottles'
If you would like to cut a glass bottle, please follow our tutorial here: 'Bottle Cutting - How To Cut A Glass Bottle'