Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The challenge of matching glass for a repair

There are a couple of potential commissions in the works as a result of our recent shows .. but my photography has been keeping me busy lately.  Click into my photo blog link here to see recent work.

In the meantime, I've taken in this beautiful lamp for possible repair.  Its been in storage for 6 years and its owner is very interested in repairing it so she can enjoy it again. (Click on photo for a closer look).
The lamp has a total of 12 broken pieces, 8 of which are on the dome, some of which can be seen in the photo. I enjoy doing repairs but I'm very picky about making them look unrecognizable.  Matching the glass closely, or preferably exactly, is the key to a successful, un-noticeable repair.

I didn't recognize the glass on the dome so I sent a couple of pieces, with the edges ground for safety, to a supplier who informed me that the glass is no longer being made.  Bad news.  He can offer a similar color to the gold-amber, but the opacity would be thicker and the replacement pieces would appear darker when the lamp is turned on.  Worse news.
I am awaiting my customer's decision whether to go ahead or not.  Its a tough one.  If I don't do the repair, it will go back to the storage unit.  If I do the repair and the mis-match is obvious, neither of us will be happy with the results.  

This is the challenge with repairing stained glass pieces which can be decades old.  The techniques are fairly straight-forward, but its trying to match the old glass that trips us up.  The jury is still out on this one.  I'll post further if the repair gets a green light.

To see other repairs on my blog, click here

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