Turning discarded bottles into something new, useful and beautiful is Barron resident Tricia Molls’ newest endeavor. And things are just heating up.
“I love bottles and I’d always wanted to try melting them, said Molls, “so my husband surprised me with a glass kiln for Christmas.”
That was two Christmases ago and Molls has been melting down bottles and working with glass ever since. Well, not quite ever since.
“I waited for a few months. We were on vacation, and my husband said, ‘you know what, it’s time to start.’ Cause I was really scared, said Molls. “He said ‘when we get home from vacation, you’re going to start doing it.’ So I threw the first bottle in and ruined a whole bunch, and kinda got it figured out.”
Not only did Molls get the melting bottles figured out, she’s expanded to cutting and drilling glass for her windchimes and bottle lamps too.
Molls said she always loves to try new things, especially if she has a new mold that she “gets obsessed with.” “My favorite is the dragonfly, said Molls.” “Everyone loves dragonflies. It’s one of the most popular ones.”
Other molds she uses are a stamped “It’s 5 O’clock somewhere,” a floral mold, a three-bottle form and a Christmas tree form.
After prepping the mold with a special kiln wash so the glass doesn’t stick, bottles and form goes into the 1,340˚ glass kiln.
The bottle sits on the mold and as it melts, it conforms to the mold, so the shape of the mold is indented into the glass. The design is actually on the bottom, leaving a smooth, crevice-free surface on top.
The entire process for one bottle takes about 18-20 hours from start to finish.
While Molls has her favorites, she’s not opposed to special requests. She said she’s had parents bring in a bottle from their kid’s wedding to be melted down into a cheese tray or other decorative piece. She’s also honored custom requests in the forms of windchimes and lamps.
She made a Grey Goose lamp for her tax guy who loves the French vodka. Lamps are the newest thing for Molls. “I’m really having fun with those.” I learned how to drill a hole in the glass, which doesn’t always work.”
Molls said she’s tried drilling into a
Jack Daniels bottles multiple times, but at a certain point, the glass just shatters.
Molls gets her glass from people who know of her new endeavor. “Sometimes bars will save them for me. Friends will save them. I have a bottle room downstairs. It’s a disaster. My husband says no more.”
Last summer, Molls sold her items at the farmer’s market in Barron every Thursday. But this year, she has signed up for the Pine Lodge in Chetek on Saturday mornings, beginning June 8 and continuing through August. Molls said she’ll likely be there most Saturdays. She also said she will attend other craft shows too this season.
But customers don’t have to wait until Saturday or another craft show. Molls just opened a site on Etsy to sell her wares. Visit www.etsy.com/shop/BottledTreasuresShop to see current inventory and order online. Shipping is $12.
Bottles make a unique gift for weddings and showers, birthdays and housewarming gifts.
Find Tricia’s Bottled Treasures on Facebook for more pictures and information or call 715-418-0919.