Indie company Bread and Badger recently added a line of recycled glasses to their super adorable selection of recycled glass.
If you're not familiar with Bread and Badger, they're the masterminds behind the etched moustach glass, and now they're offering sweet tumblers made from 100% recycled single-pane windows. With more and more folks ditching inefficient single-pane windows in favor of the better insulated windows, I bet there's quite a glut of old windows to choose from!
Amanda Siska of Bread and Badger was kind enough to answer a few questions for me about this exciting turn their business is taking!
gU: What draws you to glass, and why was using recycled materials important to you?
Amanda: I love working with glass because it's a useful material that doesn't have the side effect of wearing out over time, and it never deteriorates as you're recycling it. It's crisp, clean, and can come in very organic shapes. Things made out of recycled glass have a lot of character and soul to them. They tend to have lots tiny bubbles, and a bluegreen cast. I find it fascinating that a material like glass can basically be melted down and reformed an infinite number of times. It's the ultimate recyclable material to me.
I've always wanted to keep my impact on the earth as minimal as possible, and glass is a perfect canvas for my artwork because it has a lot of impact without creating a lot of waste.
gU: Can you share a bit about where you source your materials?
Amanda: Our newest line of tumblers are manufactured out of old single-pane windows by a local glass foundry run by the St. Vincent de Paul society. I love supporting local talent, and the fact that they not only keep glass out of landfills, but also use proceeds to help low-income and homeless people with their charitable endeavors makes them a perfect fit for us to work with. We've gotten glassware from restaurant supply stores, and we've salvaged lots of plain things from thrift stores, but it's exciting to have a line of drinkware now that is 100% recycled, and isn't the same thing that you've seen in stores and restaurants everywhere before.
gU: Do you know around how much glass you reclaim each year?
Amanda: I don't, but I should find out. It's got to be quite a lot of old windows so far, and we're just getting started!
gU: Can you tell me a bit about your process? What's your favorite part of your process?
Amanda: The first step is creating a black and white illustration, which I sometimes do with calligraphy pens, Sharpie markers, or sometimes I work digitally the whole way. This is by far my favorite step of the process because it's the creative part. I love starting with an idea and turning it into a bold graphic that I know will adorn someone's housewares.
We make stencils from my printed artwork and apply them to each glass piece, which is definitely the boring step, but it's kind of fun because you get to play with stickers. My husband does all the sandblasting in our garage, which is a lot like spray painting inside a sealed cabinet, only with reusable grit. Then we wash everything and I put my initials on each piece as my seal of approval.
I also spend a lot of time photographing all the finished products, which I've learned to really enjoy. Photoshoots are sort of an unexpected perk of the job, and they often get overlooked as a step in the process for an online shop.