It is not necessary to have a mold to slump wine bottles in a kiln. If a completely flat slumped wine bottle is desired, simply place the wine bottle on a treated kiln shelf (treated with a quality kiln wash or preferably lined with Thin Fire Paper) and heat the kiln according to this primary firing schedule with a digital kiln:
Rate 1 =500 temp 1= 1100 hold 1= 10
Rate 2 = 250 temp 2 = 1300 hold 2 = 20 minutes
Rate 3 =9999 temp 3 = 1475 hold 3 = 5 minutes
Rate 4 = 9999 temp 4 = 1000 hold 3= 60 minutes
(If you are using a manual cone operated kiln, some experimentation may be necessary. A good base to start with would be to fire the kiln to cone 017. Keep the kiln on medium for the majority of the firing process. If the bottle is not flattened to the desired level, move to a cone 016.)
The lengthy hold time in segment 2 should help alleviate bubbles. If you find that your bottles are not as flat as you want, increase the hold time in segment 3.
Molds can shape slumped bottles creating more interest and usefulness. It is possible to make a cheese tray with a raised handle or a dip holder from a wine bottle.
Always apply a high quality glass separator to the earthenware mold according to the manufacturer’s written instructions.
To create a cheese tray with a raised handle, use GM 38 and firing using the primary firing schedule above but adding 30 minutes to the hold time in segment 2. This is necessary because the bottle may collapse pre-maturely at the base of the neck and trap air bubbles if the glass is melted too quickly
To create a dished out wine bottle that can hold condiments, dips, olives and other party items, place a large (1 liter) wine bottle in GM 29 or a small wine bottle (750 ml) in GM 17 and fire using the primary firing schedule minus the hold time in segment 3. If the glass is allowed to remain very hot for too long, the sides of the bottle can begin to curl inward so it is necessary to adjust the primary firing schedule accordingly.
It is possible to create a dip holder that helps to cool the dip by partially slumping a wine bottle in a mold. Follow the primary firing schedule eliminating segment 3 all together. Depending on the size of the bottle and thickness of the glass, it might be necessary to add hold time in segment 2. To be safe begin with a 10 minute conservative hold time at segment 2. The bottle will begin to sag in the middle, but the neck will remain open. After the piece is cooled and removed from the kiln, wash the partially slumped wine bottle and fill 1/4 with tap water. Trim the bottom of a cork such that it can be placed securely back into the opening of the bottle. Place the bottle flat and level in the freezer. Allow the water to freeze. 10 minutes before you intend to use the bottle dip chiller, remove it from the freezer to allow the frozen condensation on the outside of the bottle to melt. Dry the outside of the bottle and fill it with dip.
It is also possible to decorate wine bottles using Huse 2 Fuse pigments. The colors can be applied before slumping or after slumping and re-fired.