Glass Bottle and Insulator Art
Have you ever seen a bottle tree? I know that when I saw one for the first time I was amazed. What an art form.
You see the bottle tree is a form of folk art. In fact the trees were erected out of fear and superstition in that the bottles were believed to be able to capture bad spirits.
As I dug deeper I found out that the roots of the bottle tree come from Congo culture. As many of us know, the slave trade spread African blacks all over the world. They took their beliefs with them and once arrived in their new home they would set up these blue bottle trees in order to ward of evil spirits.
As the story goes, when the evil spirits see the magnificent colors generated from the sunlight hitting the bottles they become entranced. They make their way over to the bottles and manage to get stuck inside, unable to get out.
Wikipedia further explains that the glass bottle tree actually came from northern Africa. The bottles were in fact placed outside the home and would catch roaming evil spirits that came out at night.
When the sun hit the bottles the next day the spirit caught inside would be destroyed.
We see confirmation from our wiki source that the slaves did indeed bring this belief with them as they were dispersed around the world.
Intrigue with this practice enticed Europeans to change the bottles into spheres. They named them "witch balls".
In North America, predominantly the southern states, the hanging bottles caught on. Today you still see many of them however it is more a form of art today rather than a superstitious act.
You can even catch this bottle art throughout many well-known gardens around the world.
The bottles have also been used in garden beds to create a border. They have also appeared in windows of homes belonging to the poor.
Many people who create the bottle trees and other bottle art insist that seeing the bottles during the day is when you'll really appreciate the beauty they possess.
If you ever find yourself in Alabama, Tennesee, or other southern states you can still see this art throughout the countryside. The colorful folk art has really dug it's heels into the culture there.
And many people who practice the art also say that recycling is just another part of why it feels good to create bottle art.
In my family I saw my grandmother make them and my mother so naturally I am to follow. I enjoy it. I really do.
Its a form of collectibles and there is some neat history with some of the old bottles I have collected over all these years.
This southern tradition lives on in my own family as well.
I feel it necessary to teach you how to make bottle trees as well. I hope you find the instruction useful.
1) Step One
Find yourself a small tree and prune off the branches so that they can hold a glass bottle. Any smaller branches can be cut right off. The key is that whatever branches are left have the the ability to hold a bottle.
2) Step Two
Cover the small branches with glass insulators. This is straight forward to do. Keep the spacing even around your tree.
3) Step Three
The final step is to place the bottles onto the branches. Make sure that the branches you use can support the weight of the bottle. It's best to cover as many of the branches as you can and add more bottle as you get them.
For more information on bottle trees please visit BottleTreeCreations.com for some fantastic ideas.