Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Artwork in a Bottle

Over the holidays I was able to finally experiment with an idea that has been sitting on the creative back burner for quite some time now. Despite all of the clutter in my brain that I've been sorting through in recent days I am happy to report that more dust came off of these old wine bottles stored in our garage than the decorative idea that eventually got them into the studio.

I cannot say that this creation is entirely original. Most likely many of you have seen something similar in the past particularly if you've ever ventured into a cheesy craft show. There are plenty of bottle art projects and their knock-offs found in craft books and even on line these days. what makes mine (ours) different is my ability to paint on them.

The ultimate plan is to refrain from hot-gluing plastic or silk flowers to them and avoid the cheesy country craft look. Instead I anticipate using my folk and fine art influences to make something rather unique - a piece of art worthy of collecting. The goal is to employ the same whimsical, fun, colorful, expressive style of my paintings within the design of these Light Shine Soul Bottles...or rather...Soul Shine Light Bottles...or um...Soul Light Shine Bottles? Whatever. I think you get the picture!

The cool thing (as you will see) is that I'm getting a bit of help in the design of these Bottled Lights! Jessie and Ben have already been a terrific source of subject ideas; both have also gotten hands on experience working on them as well. Hopefully I will be able to carry a few with me each week once I begin the show season in March.

In the mean time please feel free to e-mail me if you have a particular design in mind. Keep in mind that I can do college teams as well as my typical fare of palm trees, cocktails, snow men, sky or landscapes, etc. E-mail me at for pricing and orders.

Finished Palm Tree theme without the bow around the neck. Note the found objects attached to the cork (flip flops and sunglasses). I used a Barefoot wine bottle and kept the foot logo visible on the cork.

View of the lit bottle with all the room lights off.
Close-up of the decorated cork.

A not-so-frosty Snow Man adorns the front of this bottle. I used white lights for the interior of this one also (I forgot to get a "lit" picture before selling this guy).

A discarded earring made a nice addition to the cork. Several strands of different colored raffia along with a hemp wrap seemed like a fitting top piece to the neck.

I also used a strand of silver coated string to tie the "Dream" medallion to the bottle.

Here I help Ben start the painting process for one of his designs.

It didn't take him long to get the hang of it!

Jessie strings a set of lights into a bottle she helped design.

This is the finished bottle Jessie and I worked on together. We used the decor elements of her room to design the bottle. She has a variety of blues and lime greens in circular patterns throughout her window treatment and bedspread... we added blue lights to her bottle! It really looks cool and serves as a subtle night light. If you are interested in having one of these based on the decor of an interior room then send me some pics and I'll get to work on it!


Katy Lipscomb said...

Bennie, I have seen some cool wine bottle lamps lately. You can attach a special "hole out the side" lamp socket (available at electrical supply stores) to the cork and have the cord come out the top. Then you could coordinate a hard sided lamp shade, too.

Eric Fischer said...

Good stuff, wish I could buy one!

Gretchen said...

In a few months, I'll be buying at least one! I love them!!

Anonymous said...

These are really beautiful.