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Building a Thread Spool in a Bottle

 - by Keith Brown



Writing instructions well is an art but is not one of my greater skills. I tend to be very direct and simplistic which tends to leave out specifics and is sometimes difficult for others to follow. Fortunately in these days of instant internet knowledge access an instructional tutorial on writing comprehensible instructions is now available. I will attempt to craft an interesting and hopefully entertaining short piece of literary interest.


The words art, craft and skill can sometimes be thought of as interchangeable when referring to many projects, I will attempt to give separate definitions to these words.

Art’: is defined as skill acquired by experience, study, or observation, branch of learning, an occupation requiring knowledge or skill, the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects, a skillful plan, decorative or illustrative elements in printed matter.

Craft’: is defined as skill in planning, making, or executing, an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill.

Skill’: is defined as the ability to do something well, expertise, to use one’s knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance, dexterity or coordination especially in the execution of learned physical tasks, a learned power of doing something competently, a developed aptitude or ability.




Introduction: “Thread spool in a bottle”


The most basic process of reproducing this particular piece of “art” is simple, cut a thread spool into pieces, fit the pieces into a bottle, reassemble the pieces inside of the bottle, wrap assembled spool with thread, and add a complex stopper and violà, done. A more interesting and involved description will now be attempted.


Description of equipment:

Attempting this project must include certain tools to accomplish the desired results. Basic cutting and shaping tools along with self-designed tools were used to complete this project. The tools and their use will be determined by the skill and craft of the individual attempting this piece.


List of materials;

The intent was to use basic and easily available materials to create this piece of art. Wooden spools of thread come in various sizes and are readily available. Bottles or other suitable vessels are also available and its dimensions should be determined by the skill level of the craft person doing the work.



After acquiring the materials needed the first step is to divide the wooden spool into pieces that will fit through the opening and into the desired receptacle. Having done this particular project three different times now I have tried three different processes to assemble the 8 pieces to form a reassembled spool, all three times were different and difficult.


TiB 4  TiB 5


Once the spool is reassembled inside of the bottle thread is wrapped around the spool. I will not disclose the process I used to do this; it is up to the artist/craft person to craft this step in their own way. A large part of this project was/is to develop the skill to craft the art.


TiB 6  TiB 3


A stopper of one’s own design can be used to add a unique finish to the piece. I designed and crafted a stopper using my own unique technique, which I will conclude “is not a trick”, to secure the piece. The pieces must be measured outside of the bottle, cut and shaped, only then can they be fitted into the bottle. Once assembled inside of the bottle they are even more difficult to remove. The very last step is to place and secure the safety pin at the very bottom of the stopper underneath the spool.


TiB 7


TiB 8


Tricky but not a Trick!


Setting up;

Anyone attempting this particular piece should have developed many of their own skills before introducing themselves to unnecessary frustration. This piece was meant to be simple in design but complex in execution.


And, DONE!



TiB 1


TiB 2















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