Fused wine bottles or any other type of glass bottle is a great way to recycle and it adds a nice touch to your home decor. If you fuse the bottle flat and add a hanger in the top of the bottle, you can hang it on the wall. You can also put it on your stove to use as a spoon rest or just for decoration. The flat bottle can also be used to serve cheese rolls or butter. Just use your imagination for other uses for the flat bottle.
First thing you need is a bottle, which is easy enough. Find a bottle you want to slip and have fun drinking the contents! If you do not drink wine or alcohol, but know a bottle that you want to slip, check with friends or just go to a local bar and ask them to save one for you. Many places are very happy to save bottles for you.
Wash the bottle very well, inside and out. Remove all labels by heating the label with a heat gun, which melts some glues, but not all. If you can not heat the label off, you'll have to soak the bottle till the label comes off. Sometimes you may even need to use a razor to get the label and glue off. Depending on the glue, some of which can be very stubborn, you may even need something like goo Gone to get the residue completely off. If you have to use a solvent to get it off, be sure to fully wash the bottle again to get the solvent off.
Allow the bottle to completely dry. You may want to put some devitrification solution on your bottle, especially if the bottle is blue or amber in color. This will prevent a scummy layer from forming. Some bottles are more susceptible to this than others, so as an option you can test fire to see which ones really need it. If you want the option of hanging the bottle, this is the time to add a hanger. I use copper wire.
Now you need to prepare your kiln shelf with kiln wash or you can use thin fire shelf paper. Lay the bottle on the kiln shelf. I add two small pieces of fiber paper on each side of the bottom of the bottle to prevent the bottle from rolling. This is important for a couple of reasons. First off, if your shelf is not perfectly level, it can help keep the bottle from rolling off the shelf. As an added precaution, I also place kiln posts on the edge of the shelf to protect the kiln. Second, if you are using a bottle with an enamel label, such as Gray Goose Vodka, it will make sure that the bottle stays in the exact position that you want it during firing, so that the background comes through the clear area in the front .
I fire the kiln to 1150 degrees at 300 degrees / hour and hold for 30 minutes, then heat the kiln to 1250 degrees at a rate of 200 degrees / hour and hold for 30 minutes. The previous steps help prevent bubbles from forming. At this point, I fire the kiln to 1440 degrees at a rate of 600 degrees / hour and hold for 30-45 minutes or until the bottle is as flat as you want it. Cool the kiln to 1030 degrees and hold for 2 hours (this step is called annealing). Cool to 700 degrees at a rate of 60 degrees / hour. Turn off the kiln and let cool until room temperature.
All kilns are different, so you may need to experiment with the firing schedule. If the bottle cracks after coming out of the kiln, then you may need to cool off the kiln at a slower rate. If the bottle cracks while it's in the kiln, then heat and cool the kiln at a slower rate. What I've found is most critical for bottle firing is a slow annaning process.
Enjoy your new bottle!