Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New Stained Glass for a Weather Vane

The etched red glass in this antique late 1800's weather vane cracked .. It was a simple fix.  I had some old red glass in stock and used the cracked piece as a pattern.  Within a few minutes, I was able to hand it back to my waiting customer for her to re-sell at her upcoming street fair.  Yes, I do small repairs as well.

Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email with your questions. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Pet Portraits in Stained Glass

What a great way to honor or memorialize a much-loved pet.  We are now offering Pet Portraits in Stained Glass.  Just email me a few clear, good-contrast photos of your cat, dog, horse, bird or other pet.  For a nominal fee, I'll prepare a full-color computer rendition of your pet for your approval.  I'll also make recommendations for color and texture of glass, depending on your preferences. The computer renditions are a very close approximation of what the finished pet portrait will look like.  Let's get started!  Remember also that we are happy to work long distance through email and the phone.  Thanks!


Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email me with your questions. Thanks!




Thursday, April 2, 2015

Beveled Sun Catcher Repairs

This unique sun catcher resembles something that M. C. Escher may have created.  Its composed of several square bevels which are joined at 90 degree angles.  When its in the sun, it casts bright little rainbows all around.  It was purchased many years ago by my customer in Sugarloaf, a New York State craft village.  Here's how I went about repairing it.  (Click on any photo for a closer look).

Here's the starting point .. Four bevels detached from the hanging.  It took several minutes to figure out the exact positioning for the repair. 

Here I'm tugging off the old copper foil and solder to prepare for the repair.

Melting off the hanging hook.  

As is the case with many stained glass pieces, these bevels were never grinded.  Here I'm using a metal file to grind the edges of the bevels.  This enables the copper foil to adhere better, giving the repair a longer life.

Cleaning off the old adhesive.
 Using a "fid" to burnish the copper foil onto the edges of the bevels.

 Here I'm using a "Professional Boxer" to maintain a 90 degree angle for each of the replaced bevels.

I taped the bevels in place to prepare for fluxing and soldering the joint between the two bevels
 

Now the pieces have been re-attached.
 The edges of the bevels on this piece were never completely finished.  The sides showed the old copper foil which is not the optimal way to create it.  Therefore, I used steel wool to brighten up the old foil.  Then I fluxed and "tinned" the edges, meaning that I applied a thin coating of solder.  Adding that extra solder on the edges will also serve to strengthen the piece.
 It's coming along well now.  I've added additional foil to that center piece.  The solder on top will add strength and a better look.
 Here I'm soldering the foiled sides.
 Now the sides of all the bevels have been tinned.  I'm applying black patina with a metal acid brush for a uniform look.
 The hanging hook is a very small piece of bent wire.  Here I'm cleaning it with steel wool.
 Now the hanging hook has been melted back onto the piece and I've patina-ed it as well.  After this step, I applied Liva Stained Glass Finishing Compound to the entire piece to give it shine and to protect the patina.

And here it is, complete and ready for the sunlight.


When this piece is in the sunlight, it throws dancing rainbows all around.  Beautiful!

 Another view of the finished piece.
 Thank you, Dawn, for bringing this to me for repair.  A fun challenge!  May you enjoy it for many years to come.

Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email with your questions. Thanks!



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Repair to matching Urn Lamps

These gorgeous lamps had a structural issue which needed repair.  Both of the tops of the urn were sinking due to the weight of the fixture and dome above.  Here's how my husband Eric and I went about repairing them .. Click on any photo to enlarge ..

Here's a view of the base of one of the two identical lamps.


 The top of the urn is supposed to be straight across.  Here you can see how it sunk down from the weight of the fixture and dome above.  (Dome is not pictured).

We began the repair by detaching the fixture and then removing all of the sunken pieces from the top part of the base.  Then my husband Eric created and attached four metal supports, as shown, around the interior of the dome.
  

Many lamps have glass which has not been grinded along the edges.  These two are no exception.  Grinding the glass helps the copper foil to adhere.  Here I'm using a hand file to roughen up the edges.

This photo shows both lamps with the  top  pieces of glass removed.  The one on the left has been copper foiled, the one on the right has not.

Below, I've added new copper foil to the grinded edges.  I've also cleaned and added copper foil to the pieces at the top and replaced them onto the base.
 Below, I'm replacing the glass at the top.  Note that my husband has numbered each piece for proper placement.  These pieces have been thoroughly cleaned and foiled.  I've also coated the foil with flux and soldered them in place.


Notice that, at the request of my customer, I left one piece out for ventilation.  There is a small bulb in the base of the lamp which gives off heat.  Here I'm brushing the soldered areas with black patina which gets thoroughly cleaned aferwards.

Here is one of the lamps, with ventilation and the other pieces replaced, soldered, and patina-ed.

I positioned the ventilation openings at the back of the "on/off" switch so that it will not be visible when the domes are replaced. Both lamps have been repaired.


Another view of the repaired lamps, ready for their domes and many more years of use.  Thank you, Margarita, for bringing them to me!
Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email with your questions. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Repair to Stained Glass Sidelight

This pretty sidelight came to me from the same customer as the previous post.  (Repair to Stained Glass Floral Square .. Click here to view).  It was also made by her mother and so has great sentimental value.  Her daughter recently got her own place, so this sidelight is to be a special gift for her.  It has three broken pieces .. Here's how I went about repairing them.  Click on any photo for a closer look.

Here's a "before" photo with the upper left panel removed.  I posted it to show the size of the panel, which is about 6' tall and 10" wide.


The first step in any repair is to find matching glass.  Fortunately, I was able to find the lightly textured amber from another stained glass artist whom I happened to meet with on the same day that my customer dropped off the panel.
The clear glass was another story.  I went on a road trip to Maryland and brought back some of what I thought was a perfect match, but it was too shiny.  I then ordered the same style of glass, but from a different manufacturer in Washington State.  Voila!  Perfect.
So once I knew I had the correct glass, I went in, one piece at a time, and cracked out all the glass from the first affected piece as shown below.  Needle nose pliers and safety glasses are essential at this stage.
 Now all the glass is out.  I've also pulled off all the old solder and copper foil.  Here I'm cleaning off the old adhesive using Goo Gone.  Works wonders.
 Next, I've applied copper foil to the interior border.  Then I tucked a piece of Manila folder underneath the panel and traced it as shown.  This becomes the pattern for the replacement glass.

Here I've traced the glass ..

And I scored it with this pistol-grip glass cutter.  Here I'm using the metal end of the cutter to tap along the score line to make it crack.  You may notice that it didn't exactly crack on a straight line like I wanted it to.  That's typical for glass!  Fortunately, the crack is outside the line, so I simply separated the piece and used another tool, groziers, to snap off the glass exactly at the traced line.

Next, the edges of the glass get run through a wet grinder.  This is done to protect the fingers (I'm wearing "rubber fingers" here) and to allow the copper foil to adhere properly
 Now I've applied the copper foil to the replacement piece.  I'm using a "fid" to press the foil onto the glass.
 This is an edge piece, so I intentionally cut it a little wider so that it would fit into the groove in the frame.  This way, I did not have to remove the entire frame in order to re-insert the new glass.  It worked like a charm.  I've taped the new piece in place from the back.  And here I'm applying Blu-Glass Liquid Flux to the copper foil seams, using a metal acid brush.  This chemical can be caustic.  I'm always careful to avoid contact with skin, and I wash thoroughly after use.
 Onto the next piece.  Here I'm using a pistol grip cutter to score another cracked piece.
 After tapping repeatedly on the piece, I removed all the old glass.  I also pulled off all the old copper foil and solder using needle nose pliers.  Then I cleaned the borders using Goo Gone.
Again, I'm using liquid flux on the copper foil .. This makes the foil ready for the solder which followed.
 Here's a photo of the third and final piece to be replaced.  At this point, I've removed all the glass and am in the process of tugging off the old foil and solder.
 Now all three pieces of glass have been replaced, foiled and soldered.  Next, I'm applying a mixture of copper and black patina to the solder.  This piece was originally soldered in copper but has darkened with age.  By adding a bit of black to the copper, I was able to exactly duplicate the color of the patina.

 Here's the other side of the panel which shows the three replaced pieces.  They are copper foiled only.  So I went in and applied the liquid flux, then the solder, then the patina.  Between the solder and the patina, the areas receive a thorough cleaning. 
 
 As a final step, I carefully washed and scrubbed the entire piece, and then applied Livia Stained Glass Finishing Compound, which is a wax which protects the patina and brings out the shine in the glass.  And here it is!  Finished and ready to be passed from grandmother .. to mother .. to daughter .. to be enjoyed for many years to come.  Thank you, Gwen for bringing me your mother's lovely artwork for repair.  It was a pleasure!

Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email with your questions. Thanks!


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Repair to Stained Glass Floral Square

This lovely piece was made by my customer's mother.  It sustained cracks in the upper corner piece.  Here's the process to repair it.  (Click on any photo to enlarge for a closer look).

Here, you can readily see the cracks in that corner piece of clear glass.

Scoring the glass with an oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter.
 Pulling out the cracked pieces with a needle-nose pliers.

Here I'm using my soldering iron to melt off some of the more stubborn old foil and solder.  In order to make a strong repair, all of the old materials need to be removed.
 Once the old materials are off, I'm cleaning off the old adhesive using Goo Gone.

Then I line the cleaned border with copper foil.  The foil is centered at the edge of the glass, pressed by hand down the sides, and then burnished with a "fid" or flexible plastic wand, which can be seen in the background, top right. 
 Now that the corner has been cleared of old material and old adhesive and has been copper foiled, I'm tracing the area onto a piece of Manila folder.  This will become the pattern for the new piece of replacement glass.
 Tracing the pattern onto the glass.  I hand-cut the piece using the oil-filled pistol grip cutter shown earlier.
 I fit the new glass in place after the edges were ground.  Prior to that, I applied copper foil to the edges of the new piece as shown.  Here I'm using a metal acid brush to apply Blu-Glass Liquid Flux on the copper foil lines.  This enables the solder to flow properly.  I placed blue painter's tape beneath the foiled seams in order to prevent solder from leaking through, and to hold the glass in position.
 Here I'm soldering the new glass onto the rest of the piece, using 60/40 lead/tin solder.
 This is an older piece and the copper patina has aged somewhat.  In order to match that aged look, I added a bit of black patina to the copper for a uniform look and a good match.

And here's the repaired panel, ready to be enjoyed again by the family.  Thank you Gwen, for entrusting your mother's art to my care.  May you enjoy it for many years to come!
Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email with your questions. Thanks!