Here's how the terrarium came to me, with a loose supporting wire and turquoise oxidation at the rim.
First, I carefully tugged off the old wire. Most of the old solder and copper foil had already deteriorated.
I used this product to clean off the oxidation.
For further cleaning, I used window cleaner and a generic orange cleaner. Then I used my metal file to grind the edges of the glass. This helps the copper foil adhere better.
Here, I'm "tinning" the wire, meaning that I'm brushing on liquid flux and then soldering on a thin coating of solder. This will help the wire adhere to the rim. In the white dish seen behind my hand is a collection of solder splatters which I use for this purpose.
I've taped the wire to the edge of the terrarium to hold it in place. Then I'm soldering it to the foil which I've previously put on the rim. With enough solder, the wire sinks into the metal and becomes practically unseen.
Here I'm applying black patina to the rim. After this process, I cleaned the whole terrarium, waxed and buffed it.
And here's the repaired terrarium, looking great again and ready to be enjoyed by my customer's daughter. Thank you Gwen, for the pleasure of repairing your Mom's terrarium for you!
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!