Blue Bottle Tree

Picture of cobalt blue bottle tree representing peace and hope in my life.
This was my first blue bottle tree, posed at the corner of my deck.

Years ago, when I was a little girl, my grandmother had a cobalt blue vase that held magic. I would lie on the floor with the vase over my face, watching the world through a cobalt blue filter. It still has the same effect on me. Sometimes I pick up a blue vase or a wine bottle and watch the world transform. Instant peace right there. It truly is magic.

Many times I would find cobalt glass in my dreams. Broken on the rocks. Hanging in strings of beads flapping in the wind. Always, always, the presence of the glass represented hope. Peace. I have always had cobalt glass, probably to give myself some of that peace whenever life inevitably gave me just the opposite.

When I found myself lost in the mire of a life badly chosen, I looked around at my glass. Peace. And I knew I wanted to use this blue glass to create something. I had seen a blue bottle tree when I was a child and it had always stuck with me. I knew I wanted one.

I bought a wooden post and a bag of concrete from Lowe’s. And some long nails. And began collecting blue bottles. I drank a lot of Riesling. And there used to be this really great Arizona tea that came in wide mouthed bottles. Eventually I filled up the post and arranged the bottles just right. It was done.

My life is better now. I no longer need to seek peace with blue glass over my eyes. But my bottle tree stands as a reminder that peace is right there. Just take a moment and look at the world through a new color.

Picture of cobalt blue bottle tree with sun shining through the glass, next to shrubbery in a back yard garden.
The sun shining through my first blue bottle tree.
Blue bottle tree in my back yard by The Blue Bottle Tree.
This is my second bottle tree, made from the trunk of an old cedar tree.
Blue Bottle Tree by Jim Davis, 2013, painted steel and salvaged glass bottles
Outside my studio window is this blue bottle tree sculpture made by my father, Jim Davis.

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19 thoughts on “Blue Bottle Tree”

  1. Jennifer Summers

    Oh! I hadn’t realised you had Blue Bottle Trees prior to your dad’s beautiful sculpture! (Can you tell I’m going through some of your older articles?). I thought for a while your website should be renamed, to reflect the medium you use; however now I’ve read this, I’m dead set against it! I can’t say I’ve ever looked through blue glass, nor do I drink anything with a blue bottle, but I’m going to find something, just to see how the world looks.
    I’m sure you know you only felt the peace through the difficult times because you’re a resilient tough cookie, and you let yourself feel it. That takes so much personal courage, and its one of the many ways I find you so inspirational

  2. Nice story. Goodness, blue bottle trees have been a thing in Scotland for centuries, possibly longer

  3. I’ve had bottles for quite some time looking for the right project, rejecting these, and chandeliers that seem difficult or cheesy…hoping especially HERE to find some solution to use polymer with the bottles in a unique way, or one that makes people want the item.

  4. What a neat story ,, I have a deep cobalt vase that came from my mothers grandmother and it has alway been a central place. Anyway thanks for sharing. Dale

  5. My first reading of the story behind your shop name, and what a lovely one it is! And I rejoice that your life is happier now, that you made it through your “blue period.” Thank you for sharing your knowledge, and for being, you know, you.

  6. I don’t blame you for cutting back your FaceBook page; I’ll continue reading your email, as usual. Love your suggestions, I’ve learned quite a lot from you.

  7. Beautiful story filled with hope and peace. Thank you for sharing. I love the picture of the Blue Bottle Tree and will be putting one in my garden. I have been collecting the Bud Light Platinum bottles, but since I don’t drink beer, I have to buy the beer and rely on others to drink it and return the bottles to me . . . a little slow. My friends were outraged when they found out I poured out the first 12-pack I bought!!!

    1. Ha! I understand that one completely. Both the outrage…and the pouring out. I haven’t actually had one of the Bud Light beers yet…I get all of the bottles from the recycling center. I’m always digging through the dumpster there. And I have my friends trained to do the same thing when they go, too! I’m glad you liked my story. I think we can all relate to it in some way. Please show me pictures of your bottle tree when you get it up. I’d love to see it!

  8. Hello Ginger. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such thoughtful comments. I’m happy to meet you. This is a lovely story and I’m happy to hear your life is better now. What I’d really like to see it this magnificent tree! I too love colored glass and have a lot of cobalt. It’s my favorite. So do you have a photo kicking around with the tree in sunshine? Please send it along if you do.

    Have a good day.

    1. Hi Susan, Happy to meet you too! I have pictures but they’re from back in the old days when I didn’t have a clue about photography. I’d go out and take some pictures now, but our summer was so hard (extreme drought and heat) that things look pretty sad out there right now. It’s a lot more grown up now. Maybe I can get a nice fall picture once the leaves change. That would be nice. But for now, here’s an old one of the first tree. (I have two!) My blue bottle tree.

    1. Hey, we all need a little magic now and then eh? Thanks for visiting and thanks again for all your help getting my site straightened out.

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