Steven Leslie is a San Francisco artist who has been creating sculptures from wine cork bottles since 2002, when a friend of his, who owned a restaurant, asked him what he should do with the old wine corks that he had been collecting for years.

Steve blurted out “I’d make the Eiffel Tower” and so began a year long journey of Steve trying construct “Le Courk Eiffel” for his friends restaurant but during the process he really connected with the material and  has continued building amazing cork bottle sculptures. Read a excerpt from his website below and please visit his website where you can see his other creations and call him to purchase. Make sure you look at his cork trivets. They are really cool.

My next creation was a six-foot tall vase I called “Cork in the Road.” We’ve reached a fork in the road as to how wine bottles are being stopped. In ancient times vases and jars were used to carry and preserve their contents. Some vases unearthed hundreds of years later prove that the corks used long ago can maintained their integrity through an incredible test of time. As my own years have gone by I’ve taken notice that the use of plastic corks and screw caps to bottle wine is becoming more and more popular. I prefer natural corks. And I like the idea of preserving these tiny little artifacts of life and history. I feel corks represent something important. I view Cork In The Road as a symbolic image; preservation of a huge assortment of natural wine corks in the form of a corks preserving counterpart a vase.

Being involved with wine corks as constantly as I have been for the last few years has allowed me to explore new ways of using the beauty of natural wine corks to create objects more functional than what has yet been done with used wine corks. I created this new method of removing the rich and interesting outer edge of the cork to produce a used-cork-skin veneer which I’ve been applying with great care to everything from Lazy-Susan’s and serving platters,  to coaster sets and chess boards.

For years I’ve passively pursued the collection of more used wine corks in order to continue building my cork creations. But finding a great consistent source of corks wasn’t easy.

I would drive to different restaurants and wine bars and ask them to collect their corks for me. More often than not they would willingly begin collecting them. still it was a tedious process. But in summer 2008 I was introduced to Christine Lemor-Drake a local Re-cork America coordinator. She was happy to see what I’ve been up to with used wine corks down in Redondo beach and offered to help me in the way of supplying me some corks for my projects. I still drive around to pick up used wine corks. but the quantities at each location are increasingly great as the popularity of Cork recycling grows. I moved to San Francisco in 2009 producing smaller more functional pieces at prices more attractive to the crowds in and around the ferry building and Justin Herman plaza. I began expanding the number of items I produce with cork veneer.

Read more about Steve and purchase his creations at  One Of A Cork


Ever wonder what to do with all those wine corks you have in a box. I’m going to have to start drinking more to create one of these.


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