JOURNEY FROM A BOTTLE, TO WALL ART

DISCLAIMER:

This is a loose re-telling of the real life events of a bottle, that turned into a wall. REAL LOOSE.Image1HOW IT ALL BEGAN

The journey began with the simple idea of collecting used old glass bottles and turning them into economical building materials.

IN THE LABORATORY

Several combinations of soil, quarry dust, hay and lime were tried and tested until we found our “PERFECT MIX”. Bear in mind that every element in this step can be tweaked, depending on the site context, soil condition and judgement.

Listed below are our trials –

Image2.png

SCRUB IN, SCRUB OUT

We collected glass bottles of various colors and sizes, to give our wall a unique pattern. The stains from the outside and inside were removed, by soaking the bottles in water and the labels were scrubbed away.

‘The cleaner the bottles got, the messier we found ourselves to be.

Image3

PLAN AN ARRANGEMENT

A proper arrangement of bottles was planned in advance. This is especially important, if the bottles are of different sizes and shapes. How we place the bottles is crucial to the look, overall design and strength.

This is the arrangement we went with –

Image4

DOWN TO (MESSY) BUSINESS

The excavated soil is now sieved on a 45 degree sieve-mesh.

The “PERFECT MIX” (refer- In the laboratory) is prepared and stepped on continually. This helps the strength of the mix (and is whole lot of fun to do).

Also, we made sure to test the mix again, before building the wall. This is done by making a ball of the mix and checking if it holds its shape.

Image5.2

ONWARD, UPWARD

First, a layer of the cob mix is laid, forming the base. We kept a few balls of cob handy before starting out. The cob layer should be nicely beaten for it to gain strength and prevent cracks. Over this layer, the bottles are placed in the desired arrangement. To place the next layer of bottles, the gaps between the bottles in the previous layer are filled with mix. Nicely rammed and smoothened. The process then is continued in the layers to follow. A person needs to continuously make cob balls, as the mix shouldn’t dry out.

Image6

If built properly, these bottle walls can last decades without any sign of degradation.

In fact, the first ever bottle wall, constructed in Nevada in the early 1900’s, still stands in all its glory.

So don’t keep your enthusiasm of reusing BOTTLED up!

Untitled-1

Text by Neeti Ajit and illustrations by Varsha Raju

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s