Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Everything Else

Ever wondered what goes in to developing a new craft tool or product? The post below was submitted by Rita Levine of Diamond Tech International. She leads readers on a journey through the product development phases of the new G2 Bottle Cutter.

Last Spring I was invited to join a group of friends for a little "eco" crafting. Little did I know that two months later I would be working to design a new bottle cutter.

We worked hard that day to embrace our eco-friendly projects. Our goal was to transform bottles into art. It was clear, however, the bottle cutters we were using were not "cutting it". We struggled to score and separate our bottles with very little success. It was then I thought, There has got to be a better way!

So I rounded up our product development team and we set out to create a tool that would effortlessly turn bottles and jars, bound for the trash, into crafts. If we could make it an earth friendly tool, all the better.

To achieve this, we first fashioned our new bottle cutter from recycled aluminum. This was good, we thought, but we decided to take it one step further and made the packaging from recycled paper. (We were definitely bitten by the recycle bug because we even fashioned our G2 booth for this years Craft and Hobby Association show (CHA) from repurposed warehouse materials bound for the trash. It was definitely a challenge but the results were amazing.)

Next, we wanted to solve the issues posed by current cutters on the market. With this in mind, we created the G2 with a turreted six-blade cutting head, not just one. We really do want crafters to recycle and cut LOTS of bottles, more than 50 per head!

Then we made the cutter removable. Once removed from the base, the cutter can be used to make cuts on sheet glass. Basically, it is two tools for the price of one. Next, we added measuring marks-this allows the user to make evenly spaced scores for rings.

When it comes to scoring and separating bottles, we designed our bottle cutter to be lightweight, so with little pressure you can achieve a good score. The light pressure glides the cutting head across the surface of the bottle for a nice easy score.

Finally we worked to improve ease of seperation afer scoring. Old methods promoted tapping, using a candle and ice cubes, a torch, etc. Ive even seen a string soaked in gasoline used. Our method is not so dramatic. Instead we suggest a hot and cold water bath. By dipping the scored bottle into the water, the varying temperatures causes the glass to expand and contract, running the score. The bottle separates right into the water.

We struggled to come up with a name for our new bottle cutter. Since we designed it with a new breed of eco-crafter in mind, we finally decided on Generation Green (G2).

I feel good about being part of the Generation Green (G2) bottle cutter development. I guess its time to get the gang back together for some more green crafting-with our new bottle cutter!

For more information on the G2, watch a video in the Creative Corner at
www.DiamondTechCrafts.com

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ABOUT ME
Rita Levine

Rita Levine

Rita has been surrounded by arts and crafts her entire life. Is it any wonder that she is now employed by Diamond Tech, one of the largest manufacturers of art glass, mosaic and hot glass crafting products? Rita says most of her inspiration comes from her mother. Her mother's handiwork could be seen in the kitchen where Rita watched her stir up imaginative dishes for her hungry family of nine and in the sewing room where she magically turned feed-sacks into adorable sundresses for her daughters. "So, I would say my genius and inspiration comes from dear ol' Mom," Rita said. Since graduating from the University of Cincinnati, Rita's art career has centered on paper, pencil and computers. However that all changed when she became employed by Diamond Tech. During her tenure, she was introduced to and fell in love with glass and mosaics, a love affair or obsession that continues today.  This obsession has lead Rita to edit and co-author twelve glass crafting books, produce a video on glass beadmaking and provide handmade mosaic projects to several well-known magazines. "In my opinion, glass crafting is an unsung art and I am here to sing its praises. I believe the more one learns about stained glass, mosaics, fusing and glass beadmaking the more one wants to learn MORE!" For 20 years Rita has lived in sunny Tampa, FL. "I have lovely daughter who enjoys mosaics, not necessarily with me - teenagers. Often times we find ourselves at garage sales looking at tables chairs, clocks and saying to each other, 'we can mosaic that!' I'm telling you it's addictive."