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Mixed Media Bottles

Greg Sandberg uses wood, glass and ceramics to make charming and natural bottle-shaped pieces that would enhance any collection.

His dad was an artisan, and he's been working in art since he was in school. A man of many trades by day, in art, Greg Sandberg also does it all — he works with wood, glass and ceramics. His small bottles incorporate all three of these mediums while maintaining a charming and consistent look and feel. The piece is really more the suggestion of a bottle, since it is a shape and not a functional piece. It has clay feet supporting a wood and glass body, with a carved wood neck and driftwood stopper.

Sandberg starts by cutting off a cross-section of a pine tree branch. This then has a hole cut out of the center, leaving a doughnut-like shape. The wood is sanded on the front and set aside. The glass will fill that hole, so a mold must be made for the glass to be slumped on. Sandberg makes that mold out of clay, which he throws on the wheel and trims to fit tight. He also carves the feet of the bottle from a block of clay. All the clay is fired at once for the first time, despite their different purposes.

The fired clay mold is used as a form onto which the glass is slumped. He arranges the glass and sets that aside for the next firing round. The clay that has been carved into feet is glazed in a spray booth to be a close color match to the wood. Both elements are fired one more time; the glaze sets and the glass slumps. While that is happening, Sandberg cuts another hole out of his branch section on the top, for the bottle stopper, and carves the neck of the bottle out of another piece of wood by hand. This is shaped and sized to fit into the top hole perfectly. A topper is picked from driftwood pieces he picks up on the beach.

At this point, all the elements are ready to be assembled. The feet are screwed on, the neck is adhered with silicone, the driftwood topper is attached to a dowel and then put into the neck to serve as a stopper, the glass is fit into the hole, and the piece is complete. The bottle is a charming and natural piece that would add new depth to any bottle or art collection.

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