Our Story

Lead Head Glass terrariums are handcrafted out of reclaimed glass and wood from deconstructed homes in Detroit. We model our terrariums after 19th century Wardian Cases, with an updated design. The Wardian case was originally used to transport exotic plants around the globe, and is an ideal environment to raise your own miniature garden in. 

Every Lead Head Glass Terrarium is made to order, and is as unique as the glass and wood it comes from. We only use responsibly sourced materials from hand deconstructed homes. Our commitment is to recycle and reuse our local resources by creating fine American-crafted terrariums.

Press


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. Why is alternative recycling of window glass important?
A. Bottle glass is one of the most recyclable items around. By contrast, in many communities, it is nearly impossible to recycle window glass. 

Though the two products may seem virtually the same, there are actually some notable differences. Bottle glass has a different chemical composition and melting temperature than window glass, which means the two products can’t be recycled together.

Manufacturers creating new bottles have invested in the equipment needed to crush bottles and re-melt them. This infrastructure is vital to make recycling work. In addition, bottles are a fairly uniform and easy-to-identify product.

Window glass is a trickier proposition. Most windows come attached to metal or wooden frames and have to be disassembled, which is labor intensive and expensive. Picking out the different types of window glass poses a bit more of a challenge. Is the glass tinted or not? Is it safety glass or tempered glass? These different subsets of window glass cannot be combined to create a new product, and as a result, the industry has said “no” to recycling old windows.

(Reprinted with notice of the author Sophia Bennett) 
 

Q. Why is our lumberyard our best friend?
A. Our main source of sash windows is Reclaim Detroit, founded in 2011. Their primary focus is to divert as much material from Detroit’s 78,000 vacant structures away from landfills as possible. The City of Detroit is currently taking down these structures at a rate of 3,000 houses per year. Reclaim Detroit does their part by using a process called "deconstruction," where instead of destroying this material, they save it for up-cycle use. They are looking to change minds on deconstruction in Detroit by offering this service at the same cost as demolition. 

Q. What are the main ingredients of each terrarium?
Glass (Sio2) – Window glass from houses that were deconstructed by hand in Detroit. These houses were considered a blight and were designated for the landfill. Now they are 100% recycled through the very special lumberyard called Reclaim Detroit. If you receive a terrarium with a speck or two of old paint on the glass, congratulations! You are looking at history! Colored glass is also available.*

Wood (CH2O) – To give you the most unique wood base, we handpick through stacks of wood, some of which are no longer than 5" long. The wood is reconditioned and a thin coat of clear mineral oil finishes it for its new purpose. Sometimes they're from floorboards, sometimes from ceilings or walls. In any case, this wood celebrated its centennial birthday years ago!**

Copper (Cu) – A commodity that trades daily on the NASDAQ. Yawn … not much we can say about this except to point out that it is hand applied to each piece of glass in every terrarium.

Lead 60%(Pb)/Tin 40% (Sn) – Another commodity that trades daily. However, its use does bring a specific warning: Do not eat, lick, or chew on the terrarium! Enjoy the terrarium in every other normal way.

 *Muti-Colored and tinted glass is not recycled glass. It is new and has a premium of 25% per unit.
**A thin piece of wood caps the bottom of each unit, creating a seal. This is new wood.

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