Let’s recycle broken glass…







They come from far and wide,

Broken bottles tossed aside,

Shards birthed by window pane,

From the building that was slain,

Forgotten,Forsaken, seen as junk,

Left to rot in spittle and gunk,

Thousand parts of shattered glass,

Each unique in shape and mass,

Bit by bit they come together,

Latching on to one another,

Shaken by turbulence,

But steadfast in coalescence,

Once despondent and lacking sheen,

Now jubilant with emerald green,







A beast rewoken,

Born of the broken,

A Lion, a Warthog or a boar?

Else a Sabre in days of yore?!

Once a nothing, now stands tall,

Sprightly glow come nightfall,

Don’t junk it,

No such thing as total waste,

Think it through, make no haste,

The mantra is Recycle,

Let loose your fantasy,

Succeed you shall, conjure up a spectacle.


Waste is something we haven’t yet found use for“[1]

Recycling is an important aspect of sustainability. Of late I’ve tried to connect art and recycling,  and found myself quite comfortable using broken glass as a medium. For someone else, it could be rubber, wood splinter, plastic, et cetera et cetera….(garbage isn’t hard to come by)

Here I share my experience of one such endeavour 🙂

(Note:Industrial glass recycling process requires a significant energy input, although it’s smaller than that of manufacturing glass from scratch. Still, sticking glass pieces together is, by no means, a substitute for large scale glass recycling.

I went on a bottle breaking spree thinking I was going to ‘recycle’ that glass. Bottles are useful. I was stupid. Don’t be me. Break window panes instead.)

You’ll need:

  • Superglue
  • Eye protection (I didn’t use one)
  • Glass Paint
  • A bit of imagination
  • More than a bit of free time

(And a rock to break windows…)

Step 1


  • Carefully sanitise the glass pieces with soap or dettol solution. It’s easier to put them all in a large mug and fill it up.
  • Important: After draining the water, make sure there’s no splinter left behind in the mug. Don’t use it for anything else.

Step 2


  • Glass is quite heavy. Your sculpture will accumulate mass faster than you imagine.
  • If making something larger than your forearm, prepare a steel wire reinforcement/skeleton.
    Joints can me secured with epoxy resin/m-seal

    The central arrangement transfers the load of the rib-cage to the spine
  •  Glass-metal superglue bond sucks, and requires patience and practice to master.Start by attaching paws (roughly triangular pieces) to the feet of the skeleton. Then, cover the limbs with larger, slender pieces.(It’s a good idea to use the larger pieces for load-bearing parts.)

Step 3

Luminescence (Optional)*

  • If you wish to plant a mystical glow in your sculpture (totally worth it), now is the time to lay out the circuitry.
LEDs were placed in the head, chest and the abdomen. Fastening a bolt into the nut completes the circuit
  • See to it that the polarities of all the LEDs are right.

I don’t have to remind you to be careful with the soldering iron. ( I left it plugged in and burnt some paper. Then i burnt myself. But I’m prone to suffering mishaps with hot objects, you should be safe with a little diligence.)

Step 4

Imparting Hues

  • Painting can be done in concurrence with assembling.
  • Remember that a painted surface will be difficult to bond, and such a joint will be susceptible to failure.So paint a surface only when you’re certain it will not come to constitute any joint.
    The inner pieces need not be painted

Keep at it. Once in a while stubborn pieces will refuse to bond and keep falling off. That’s their way of saying they belong somewhere else.

And finally, it all comes together…


4 kilos of glass

Catch: For all the talk about recycling, it ended up creating another heap of waste. [looking for someone to make something out of these 🙂 ] Go for larger tubes of superglue whenever possible. Less plastic that way.

Step 5

Clean up

This is very important. Vacuum clean your work space. If that is not possible, use a tape as demonstrated here. Now repeat over every square inch of surface around you :/ You may spare the walls.

Step 6

Show off

Tell your friends it’s difficult and dangerous.

Show them the nicks and pricks** (Oh it WILL happen).

Be addressed as Master of Glass.

Stand with your head held high.

[1]: Source Unknown

* I fastened the circuit making bolt a little too tight, the batteries were pushed inside, and messed up the green light 😦

**Pun not intended.

>> Check out environmentalist Nargis Latif’s ‘Silver House’ Project for inspiration.



Posted in:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: