How Glass Gets Its Color

We’ve shared the history of glass and the reasons why glass ‘sparkles’, but one of the other common questions we get is how glass gets its color.  When Laurel creates a stained glass window or you buy a beautiful purple glass vase, the glass gets its color from simple chemistry.  By adding in certain minerals, pigments (which are mineral salts) or chemicals to the base of silica (SiO2) we can create the color, add to its intensity or combine it for unusual results.  When working with glass, not only do you need to be an artist, but you also need some basic chemistry knowledge. So for every 5th grader wondering if they’ll ever ‘need that stuff’, here’s proof that science can create beauty:

Color You Want                Chemical You Add

White                                     Antimony Oxides or Tin Compounds

Black                                      Manganese, Cobalt and Iron

Brown                                    Iron Oxides

Deep Blue                              Cobalt Oxide

Light Blue                              Copper Compounds

Green                                     Iron Oxides

Yellow Green                        Uranium Oxides (this one glows!)

Yellow                                    Lead with Antimony

Ruby Red                              Gold Chloride

Red                                         Selenium Compounds

Amber                                    Manganese Oxides

If you’ve got questions on how we get to a certain color, feel free to email us info(at)bottlesupglass(dot)com or come on by the studios on Bluffton.  We’d love to meet you.

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Sharing Our Story at the 2011 International Home + Housewares Show

What a week!  This past Sunday through Tuesday, we made our first public debut with our reusable glass water bottles at the 2011 International Home + Housewares Show. It was an exciting time as so many people came to see our bottle and hear its two stories.

The Art Story

BottlesUp reusable glass water bottles were designed by nationally-acclaimed architectural glass artist Laurel Herter.  More than 2 years ago, realizing the problems of plastic to our health and the environment, Laurel realized she had a solution right there in her studio – design a reusable glass water bottle.  The glass water bottle is designed for the modern hand with a slight curviture and rings to be an easy, natural fit. Also, it has a rounded lip, like old-fashioned milk bottles, making it easy to drink from. But the art story continues, the bottles are made using ancient glass techniques in a modern facility. Unlike manufactured bottles, our bottles have the natural beauty of glass, made from one piece of glass, and placed in molds. The glass is finished with a ‘puff of air’ (this process is called semi-automatic) to ensure we get a consistent interior diameter so we can get a water-tight seal with the silicone cap.

The Green Story

BottlesUp glass water bottles have the lowest carbon footprint in the industry.  The enrite product and our packaging is 100% sourced in North America. The glass in the reusable water bottles is made from a minimum of 75% post-consumer recycled glass, that is sourced on site in Pavisa, Mexico.  (No slow boat from China for us or for you!) Glass is naturally BPA-free and PVC-free. The colorful food-grade silicone grippers and cap are made in Maine. We use minimal packaging that makes the most of recycled materials. You’ll find zero plastic in the product or the packaging – zero, zilch, nada. 

We hope it’s the first of many times we get to tell our story.

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Finalist for the Global Innovator Award at the 2011 International Home & Housewares Association

Wow! I know it’s late, but I had to share – tonight, BottlesUp glass water bottles were named one of six finalists for the 2011 International Home & Housewares Association gia awards (that’s the Global Innovator Awards) at a gala event hosted at the Four Seasons Chicago.

Wow! What does this mean? It means of all the products in this massive show, that our reusable glass water bottle that blends art, function, and environmental responsibility was recognized by a juried group to be among the very best at this year’s show. It’s very humbling, surprising, and exciting.

And just like everything we’ve experienced with IHA, this event was superbly well done and highlighted the best in the retail industry. The joy on designers faces as their products were called, the sheer delight of retailers whose stores were recognized – it was outstanding.  All of the people there are dedicated to bringing you the very best design and retail experience – that’s their work, their career, their joy. 

As our name was called (and really, we were at Table 29, who wins from a table that far back?) we were shocked in a most happy way. We were just happy to enjoy the great food, cool band that was clearly talented, meet other great designers and retailers, and listen to an emcee who was as comfortable with Spanish as he was with Swedish as he was with Russian, That’s talent!  As the spotlight shone on laurel and the whole room applauded, we too experienced the joy that good design can bring.

Congrats to every single honoree and finalist for the gia awards, we’re in great company!

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BottlesUp Introduces Reusable Glass Water Bottle with Lowest Carbon Footprint in the Industry

Today we announced our big news – we’re launching our company and our first product, a reusable glass water bottle made from all natural, recycled materials, at the 2011 International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago.

This Sunday, March 6 we will see the fruits of our labor over the last two years. From initial designs, drafts, to building molds, to hand-blowing the prototypes, to sourcing our products with a commitment to be green – all of it, all of it, has been worth it.

We’re very excited to bring you a reusable glass water bottle that is truly a blend of art, function and environmental-responsibility. We’re 100% sourced in North America: the glass is made from a minimum of 75% recycled glass sourced on site; the silicone grippers and cap are made in Maine. Our product and our packaging contain zero plastic, making it naturally BPA-free and PVC-free. We’re one company making a difference and we hope you’ll join us on this journey to improve our health and this big blue marble we call home.

Thank you!

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Video: Making a Better Glass Water Bottle

It’s taken nearly two years since Laurel’s first sketch to our final product’s debut coming in 12 short days. As we worked with industrial designers, mold-makers and glass makers, we went through many modfied versions. But our committment at every phase was to creating a bottle that was made with recycled glass, that highlighted the natural beauty of glass and that blended high design with a functional, resuable, responsible bottle.  I love this video we made showing our first bottles being made in an early phase. You’ll see the effort to heat the glass, mold the glass and refine it to finish.  It’s beautiful, don’t you agree?

bottle development bottlesuUp from bottlesUp.

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