How to use cobalt glass indoors and out in the garden
…including four projects you can do!
Cobalt reflects light wonderfully, one reason we love it!
Cobalt glass: Bringing the Sky Indoors
I started collecting cobalt glass when I was left a Shirley Temple cream pitcher in cobalt that my grandmother had from the 1930s. This table arrangement was used for Christmas last year.
For the Garden Club meeting, I used these cobalt vases, below, with Black-eyed Susans for a centerpiece. We needed room to work so a thin line of vases filled the bill!
Cobalt glass was added to my mental shopping list that we all take to the Flea Markets and they were snapped up on my regular rounds of thrift shops in town. Does everyone else do this?
How I collected my cobalt glass
One day each week or so, I’d get the kids in school, and then set out on my rounds. Sometimes my friend, Dori, would come and I’d always find more when she was along. Why is that? Well, I collected enough cobalt in various different shapes to line up on windowsills and set out on trays to catch the light. Do I have enough yet?….no, I don’t think so!
Kirk Willis’s blues: Using cobalt glass in the garden
Now to seriously get into using cobalt glass in the garden, I give you Kirk Willis, a 4th grade teacher and Flea market gardener extraordinaire from Washington State. He and his wife love blue accents in the garden and he has collected them over the years, until he had enough to make this cool blue ‘totem.’ for his woodsy garden.
Kirk’s cobalt blue totem, made from garage sale finds Cobalt blue vases like this are often found at thrift shops for a couple dollars each and I have used them for years when giving flowers from my garden to friends. Kirk uses a special glue to stick these together (see below), which for his area, must have tested well for outdoor use due to the, uh,…wet weather. Here, in the background you can see a second bit of blue, can’t you?
Kirk tells us, “I found the “tree” at Collections, Etc and had to stabilize it to make it sturdier. Just bought a great tree from Gardeners Supply Company…very sturdy. We’re slowly collecting bottles for that. I noticed a beautiful tree in a catalog called Kinsman Company…a bit pricey but it has a cool shape. My wife found a wine she like that comes in blue, plus we have found some at garage sales and the Goodwill. We also got some by asking at local bars. The littlest ones came from a 4 pack at Wall-Mart. We bought a few middle sized ones at a wine/beer making store. A fun project!”
“Here’s a blue bell chime my wife and I made together…the blue bottle are compliments of my wife. We use a glass cutter…my wife is the pro at that part! I want to add a small wooden ball inside the bottom bell for an additional sound. Our 10 year old daughter donated the little glass bobble on the bottom. A family affair!” says Kirk.
Kirk says, “Finally, here is another blue accent in our garden. My wife & I collected blue glass at garage sales, & I made this birdbath. We looked for 3 years for just the right pieces for the birdbath. The last piece we found was the big plate for $1 at a Mennonite Auction/Garage Sale! We were soooo excited! We feel we have a piece of Heaven out here in the woods in the Northwest.”
We are excited about your garden art, as well, Kirk, and will shamelessly steal these ideas!
Collecting cobalt: How to tips
“Collecting and creating totems and birdbaths is addicting…AND fun! I use clear GEII glue for windows and doors or E-6000 glue. Both of these can be found in a tube at the hardware store. I often glue a glass microwave dish to the bottom of my totems/birdbaths and then cover the dish with soil or bark. It adds stability,” Kirk says.
Blue is such a classic in the garden…time to get started collecting your own bit of sky! ~~ Sue