Glass queen

Seattle's Bedrock Industries finds new life for broken glass

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Every color imaginable

Glass is about light and color, and those things clearly fire Ruano's creative passions. "There are something like 28 colors of green bottles―champagne, olive, dead-leaf, and on and on―and we use them all. Or take brown: Depending on how we fire the glass, we can make it look like suede or oak. Anything blue sells right away. We use pure colors or we blend them into even more beautiful shades; you'd be amazed at what comes out of here."

Sometimes Bedrock's remanufacturing process is straightforward. For example, it has turned beer bottles with ceramic labels―otherwise not recyclable―into drinking glasses and sold them as six-packs in recycled beer cartons. Sometimes Ruano crushes glass into sand, or breaks and tumbles it into the kind of frosted pebbles you'd find on a Pacific beach. The colored sand is sold as is, or kiln-fired into tile, ornaments, and other gift items. The tumbled glass often goes into mosaics, which Ruano still loves to make; she also offers weekly mosaic classes at the store.

The colors going out the front door vary according to raw materials coming in the backdoor. In fall 2004, Bedrock bought a 20-ton shipment of wine bottles that had been refused by J. Garcia Wines. "Give us a whole bunch of any color glass, and we'll make something beautiful," she told them. "In this case, the J. Garcia bottles had fabulous color, from black to camouflage green."

All of which means that you can buy something lovely and distinctive―and something that Bedrock has kept out of Seattle's fast-filling landfills. Virtue and beauty do make a nice pair.

INFO: Bedrock Industries (showroom and stone yard open 10-6 Mon-Sat, 12-5 Sun; 1401 W. Garfield St., east of 15th Ave. W.; or 206/283-7625); call about Bedrock's mosaic-class schedule (from $45 for three hours; reservations recommended).





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