Monday, April 2, 2012

Wine Caddies Recycle Bottle Ideas

Most people would never know it, but Guenter Scholz never meant to be an artist. He was a mechanical engineering student who became increasingly interested in art after studying metal sculptures by artists like Pablo Picasso, John Raymond Henry and Clement Meadmore. 

The art form initially began in the 1930s, as new technologies like arch welding were perfected and welded art was considered representative of the time — especially after World War II. Most of the work, however, was often large-scale public works sculptures. 

For Scholz, it was different. He wanted to make his work more accessible, using recycled metals on a much smaller scale. By bending and welding smaller, more whimsical pieces, he captured something unique. 

The Wine Caddies by Guenter Scholz and H&K Sculptures. 

Initially Scholz, who combined his technical skill with his love of art, welded small renderings of people from various professions — ranging from dentists and musicians to executives and veterinarians. His earliest works, at least in the United States, employed recycled steel, copper trim, and his signature washer eyeglasses. 

The figures, which arrived in the late 1990s, were immediately successful. In some ways, they represented a new kind of art for our time — recycled materials that deconstructed the industrial age. It wasn't long before Scholz had produced other series, ranging from airplanes to motorcycles. 

Then, after only a few years, he noticed that wine bottles bore a striking resemblance to the human form. So instead of making standalone figures, Scholz started to frame wine bottles with steel and copper accessories. 

The designs were so well received in the United States that he began to rely on his team of artists to handcraft more figures from Germany. Most of them consist of a base, clothing shell, and topper. All of the sculptures are especially unique because of the detail and expressiveness of the pieces.

Some of the most creative figures include the scuba diverthe bride and groom set, and the fisherman. They make great gifts for wine enthusiasts who have special interests or just about anyone with a love of art, even if they don't drink much wine. After all, this is art more than a functional serving caddy.

Two additional ideas that touch on recycling and wine bottles. 

Some ideas are pretty straightforward. For example, BottleHood, which specializes in recycled glassware, sells tumblers made out of recycled wine bottles. Most of the glassware is purchased from restaurants and bars (and sometimes community events). The company has a better reputation than many, willing to replace bottles with any defects.

The company also makes some other interesting items, including an entire line of jewelry made out of repurposed glass. Most of the creations consist of the top portion of the bottle, which is then tumbled into an ultra smooth surface, with ringlets then being added to chains as pendants or hooks as earrings.

Rewined Candles, which was founded in Charleston, South Carolina, maintains a rougher edge and turns its cut down bottles into soy wax candles. The real mainstay of the candle is the soy wax, with an aroma that is supposed to mimic the flavor of each wine. According to Rewind, they last up to 60 hours.

The candles themselves come with wax seals to color code the various scents and each label is letterpress printed and applied by hand. And in the spirit of recycling, the manufacturers ask that the bottle is recycled again after the candle finally burns out.

One of my favorite finds isn't even something you can buy. A few years ago, Geradot & Co. posted a DIY recycled wine bottle torch for outdoor use. Their total expense on the project is only $5 with just a few items that you can pick up at most hardware stores.

One word of caution: the very cool design produces an open flame. So if you ever build one, make sure you mount it higher than someone's head (in my opinion). Still, the DIY solution is better than any store-brought wine torches I've seen.

Wine Caddies By Guenter Scholz Weld 7.9 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

What I like best about the wine caddies is that they they are a simple reminder that you can find creativity in almost anything. Using nothing more than a wine bottle (which you supply), he was able to create something artistic. Even better, Scholz and company only use recycled steel and copper too.

You can find the yachtsman or ship captain wine bottle holder on Amazon. Most caddies retail for $75, but you can sometimes find discounted characters from other resellers. If you want a better bottle for either the DIY torch project or to frame with a wine caddy, you can find some empty green wine bottles on Amazon. Mostly, the empty wine bottles are meant for home brewing ($11 for a case of 12, sale price).
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