Christmas Tree Made Entirely Out of Recycled Glass

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By Jennifer French

Bloomington, Illinois- It's a staple we'll see in windows and living rooms all over...Christmas trees.

The evergreens come in all shapes and sizes, but not all will come with sap.

This Christmas tree is made from hundreds of recycled beer and wine bottles.

"I like to do large experimental projects and over the past three years I've been doing a lot of experimental projects with glass and steel," Glass Artist Jason Mack said.

Mack is selling glass pieces in downtown Bloomington. He's been working on this glass Christmas tree since Friday. Standing at 20 feet, it is made entirely from melted and spun glass.

"The glass, as we're bringing it to the tree, it's still right around 2000 degrees," Mack said. "It goes from liquid to solid in about a minute, so we have to work very quickly."

Mack and his crew have been working all weekend trying to get the tree finished by next Sunday.

"People get excited about the liquid glass being poured onto the spinning frame," said Mack. "It's quite an event just to watch."

"In terms of the amount of labor that goes into it and the creativity and the thought and the caring and the love that's put into it," said Josh Meiss, Bloomington resident.

When finished, this tree will be made out of 1,000 pounds of recycled glass.

Mack is also selling glass ornaments and small trees. Money raised will go towards growing this unique tree.

"The community really got behind it and supported it," Mack said. "Which was exciting for me because as an artist you can come up with these projects and try to implement them, but if nobody is excited about it then they don't tend to happen again."

Mack has 12 sponsors supporting the project. The tree is funded by local businesses, bars, restaurants and individuals.

Mack is hoping to recycle his "green" tree into another art project by January.

"Then I'll remove all of the glass with a special saw and then reuse the glass into panels and attempt to make a chandelier," Mack said.

Before the glass tree shatters, it will be lit every night through December near the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts.

Mack is taking glass donations, but he's only accepting green and clear bottles and jars.

Sunday, Jan 3 at 1:09 PM Anonymous wrote ...

I purchased a spun glass tree from the artist by emailing him from his website www.mackglass.com it was only $50!

Tuesday, Dec 8 at 5:30 PM Grandma Marilyn wrote ...

LEVI: Even got to see your tree out here in Tucson. Looks great, might be a Christmas card picture? See you over the holidays. and George

Tuesday, Dec 8 at 3:05 PM B STEVENS wrote ...

THAT IS BEAUTIFUL KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.CAN YOU BUY THE ORNAMENTS ANYPLACE BUT BLOOMINGTON??

Tuesday, Dec 8 at 2:42 PM Jeff wrote ...

At a boy jason, looking good. I miss working with you guys.

Tuesday, Dec 8 at 10:29 AM Ben wrote ...

I saw the tree this weekend...very cool. they will be working on next weekend also during the glass sale Dec 11-13th 9a-5p each day. The ornaments and small versions of the tree ARE spun glass also.

Monday, Dec 7 at 10:53 PM Kathy Chitwood wrote ...

Another example of the incredible artists here in Central Illinois...very, very impressive!

Monday, Dec 7 at 4:52 PM Anonymous wrote ...

saw this last Friday. http://centralillinoisproud.com/content/fulltext/?cid=89501

Monday, Dec 7 at 2:14 PM Anonymous wrote ...

Kewl project. Just wonder how many tons of Brown (Beer) bottles are tossed each week-end in the Bloomington/Normal area.

Monday, Dec 7 at 9:28 AM Anonymous wrote ...

Sharp...no, really.

Monday, Dec 7 at 7:48 AM ummok wrote ...

That is VERY unique.Are the ornaments & small trees made of spun glass also?

Monday, Dec 7 at 1:09 AM jon wrote ...

Cool

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