During a conversation with a co-worker in the spring of 2008, I blurted out the idea of building models of West Virginia coal camp scenes inside of glass bottles.  It has taken a year to transform that idea into something tangible. 

The scenes inside the bottles are three-dimensional landscapes made from epoxy clay, ground foam, styrene plastic, and a variety of other materials.  The buildings that are too big to fit through the bottle opening are assembled piece by piece within the bottle.  I look to the surrounding area for my subject matter, but also rely on historical photos.

These models are designed to last virtually forever if the wax seal remains unbroken.  I like to think that the contents of the bottles are inviolable, which is what I wish upon the actual coalfields region itself.  History here has not been kind.

Each bottle is a one-of-a-kind original made by me, Ole Bye, in West Virginia's southern coalfields.  Every bottle features a hand-made West Virginia hardwood stand, and comes with a certificate explaining the historical features represented within the bottle.



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