Take a Grey Goose vodka bottle, for example. She cuts the bottle in two, taking the bottom part (with the painted-on logo) and grinding its top to make a smooth lip of a tumbler, which she sells for $32 for two. The top part of the bottle becomes the upper half of a candleholder.
Or she'll cut bottles vertically and grind the edges to create shallow bowls. The necks of other wine bottles have been manipulated into napkin rings.
She explained why she likes glass: "It's how something so rigid can become so pliable and you can make something with a more organic look than a straight old bottle."
Little goes to waste when she recycles a bottle. Corks may become feet for a tray or the screw-on caps stay on the bottle-now-a-bowl. She reuses copper wiring given to her by a friend to decorate a new piece.
Matthews said most of her bottles come from restaurants and bars that she has contacted and asked them to save the bottles for her.
Even some of her equipment has been recycled. Her father built her lap grinder, which holds magnetic discs for sanding and polishing glass. "I didn't have $1,800 to buy one, but I did have $500 for the motor, and I found a recycled tire."
A graduate of St. Albans High School, Matthews attended Ben Franklin Vocational and Technical School before attending an art school in Columbus, Ohio.
In recent years, she worked in Navarre, Fla., as a graphic designer at a sign shop, which went out of business unable to weather the economy and the 2010 BP oil spill. Out of job, she decided to return where she had friends and family. Her mother, Sue Meadows, lives in Teays Valley.
Matthews said she works four days a week as an EMT for an ambulance service and three days at her glass business, WV Glass.
Last holiday season, Better Homes & Gardens featured her glassware on its online holiday gift guide and her glassware appeared in a book, "Addicted to Glass," by New Art Review.
Reach Rosalie Earle at ea...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5115.