Toasting Creativity with Glimmering, Repurposed Bottles


By night, they work the floor as bartenders and servers in San Francisco, but by day Ethan Terry and Timothy Daw use lasers and digital templates to turn salvaged liquor bottles into bespoke Art Nouveau–inspired decanters. Terry, the bar manager at Alembic, and Daw, an industrial designer and server at The Slanted Door, founded Reclamation Etchworks after logging time behind the bars of the city’s best restaurants. “During my shifts, I’d admire these gorgeous, glimmering bottles lined up along the wall, but then we’d just tear through them and toss them into a bin,” says Terry. “It kind of hurt to throw them away.”

Unable to abandon the best examples to a recycling truck, he amassed a collection at his house. Meanwhile, Daw was hitting up coworkers for spare bottles that he could repurpose into carafes for his home bar. When a mutual friend connected the two in the winter of 2012, their business, Reclamation Etchworks, was born. To create this custom California trio, the pair designed a triptych label that stretches over three reclaimed bottles, each containing a spirit that is distilled in the state, such as Germain-Robin brandy from Ukiah. Both transplants from small Illinois towns, Terry and Daw appreciate the dedication to ecology and local craft that permeates the Bay Area. As Terry says, “Here, sustainability is in the ether.”

This was originally published in California Home + Design’s Winter 2013 issue. Click here to subscribe.


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