Friday, October 30, 2015

Rebuilding the Crown on a 1970's Stained Glass Lamp

This lamp had a great deal of damage, particularly to the crown.  Here's the repaired lamp .. And below that is my process for repairing it ..

Here's how the lamp came to me .. Very dirty and with major damage to the crown and also several cracked pieces in the side.

Here's a view of the mis-shapen crown.

Several pieces of glass within the crown were cracked, but a handful were salvageable.

Another view showing a missing piece of glass in the crown, and a cracked piece.

After weighing the options, I decided to remove the crown and completely re-build it.  I've numbered each piece of glass.  Here I'm pressing outward to loosen the solder which adheres the crown to the ring.

Now the old crown is detached.  Before I went any further, I gave the lamp a very thorough cleaning.

I took the few glass pieces which were re-usable and ground the edges as shown.

Then I matched the glass .. Most lamps of this era use a common amber and white opalescent glass which I always try to keep in stock.  I had the perfect match.

Here I'm removing the re-usable pieces and giving them a very thorough cleaning and brushing.

I'm using one of the salvageable pieces as a template to trace new ones.

Here is a mix of old and new crown pieces.  I'm wrapping them in thin zinc channel, as was done in the original construction.

Moving on, I turned my attention to the cracked pieces along the side.  

I'm in the process of removing the cracked pieces.  Here I've taken out two border pieces and half of the pear.

 After all three cracked pieces are out, I made a paper template for each one by tracing the opening onto Manila folder paper.  Here I'm tracing the pear.  I

After all three cracked pieces are out, I made a paper template for each one by tracing the opening onto manila folder paper.  I've already made and used templates for the two border pieces to cut and re-solder new replacements.

Here I'm using the template to trace a new pear.

Here are the pear and the two border pieces, replaced and soldered. After soldering, I carefully clean it off.

Now I'm applying black liquid patina to the solder, which reacts instantly.  After it sets for a while, I carefully clean it off.

Back to the crown.  Now eight pieces have been framed with thin zinc and added to the crown.  Three more to go ..

The new crown is complete.

Here I've soldered the new crown to the ring.  Soon after, I applied black patina.  The final steps were to clean the patina-ed areas, let it dry, and apply wax to the entire lamp. 

Now it is clean, shiny and re-built and ready for many, many more  years of enjoyment!  Special thanks to Joan of Wyckoff Lighting for sending this repair my way! 
For more information on other projects, please click here to visit my website.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rectangular Stained Glass Lamp Repair

I've repaired many round lamps so here's something different .. A rectangular one.  For this posting, I'll begin with the finished repair.  Here's how it looked when I was finished .. And see below how I went about it ..

Here's how the lamp came to me. The four pieces at the top had loosened from the sides.  One piece had detached, as did the round metal center.

Here's another "before the repair" view ..

For any lamp repair, its necessary to remove all the loose or broken pieces and clean them thoroughly.  Here I've already sprayed the edges with a household cleaner to remove the old copper foil adhesive.  Now I'm using an old plastic ruler to scrape off any remaining adhesive.  Notice that before I removed each piece of glass, I numbered it as well as numbering the side of the lamp where each piece will go. 

After the pieces are cleared of debris, I tugged off the old copper foil and solder from the upper border.  Some of it came off easily, some needed to be melted off with a soldering iron.  When I'm melting solder, I always wear a lead-protectant mask and have a filtered fan running, for safety. To assure that the copper foil adheres well, it's also necessary to grind the edges of the glass.  With this lamp, as with many others, the glass has not been ground.  So I used a metal file to do the job. The edge gets a thorough cleaning afterwards.

Next, I apply new 7/32" adhesive copper foil to the borders of each piece. Here I'm using a "fid" or flexible plastic wand to burnish the foil onto the glass, which I've placed on the center of the side and wrapped around evenly to each side.

 The outer rim of the lamp has new copper foil, as does each piece of glass.  I've measured the interior of the rectangle and placed the glass down to assure that it is the correct size.  Then I've taped it in place as shown.

 Seen from above, the inside of the top fits neatly. 

I'm now reaching inside the rectangle to coat the copper foil with the green solution which is liquid flux.  Flux is a chemical which acts as a catalyst to promote the melting of the solder.  Once the foil has been fluxed, I apply solder to lock the glass in place.Then the soldered area gets another thorough cleaning.

After the interior is secure, I solder the top of the lamp as shown.

Next comes the metal cap.  I've melted off the old solder and foil from this as well, and I've applied new copper foil. Then I solder it over the open square, from both sides, making sure that it is solidly attached.

 Now the metal cap is in place.  I thoroughly clean off all the flux to prepare for the application of the patina.

Next, I apply Novacan Black Patina to the solder.  It reacts instantly, turning it black. Another cleaning follows.

And once more, here's the repaired lamp.  The wiring and bulb are separate, of course, and the owner, Prit, will have reassembled the lamp upon its return.  Thank you Prit, for the chance to repair your artful lamp .. It was a pleasure!

For more information on other projects, please click here to visit my website.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Custom Recognition Gift in Stained Glass

Recently I was asked to create a very special, one of a kind gift to commemorate and recognize a former resident's many contributions to the Borough of Essex Fells, NJ.  My customer and I had a brainstorming session over the phone and we collaborated to design this unique commemorative plaque for him.

Here is the design which features a border of medium blue rough rolled Cathedral glass.  Inside the border are 8 clear bevels which add elegance to the plaque.  The center piece was originally rendered using white opal glass, but I later decided to change that to white and clear wispy.  We both agreed this was a nicer choice.  Permission was granted for the use of the borough's logo which serves as the centerpiece.  The overall size is 11" x 11" square .. Perfect to set on a desk with the sun streaming through.

This plaque involved very little glass cutting .. Just the four blue border pieces and the center.  Here I'm in the process of creating a template for the blue corner pieces.  I'm using Manila file paper with carbon paper as shown.

Here are the bevels and the 9" x 9" center piece which is white and clear wispy glass.

I cut the blue border glass on an angle to the Rough Rolled glass, to add more textural interest to the plaque.  

Here I'm using an oil-filled pistol grip cutter pressed against a flat ruler to score the lines. To break the scores, I tapped repeatedly on the glass, front and back along the scores, until the glass "loosened" and separated.  

After the blue border pieces were cut, I brought them to the electric grinder.  I used this to grind down the edges of the glass.  This makes it safer to handle and allows the copper foil to adhere better.

Next, I apply 7/32" adhesive copper foil to the edges of each piece of glass.  I'm using "black backed" foil because I'm using bevels.  The interior of the foil will show through the bevels.  As soon as I've applied the black patina, the interior of the foil becomes invisible.

Here I've enlisted the help of my artistic husband Eric who used a light box and friskit to mask the Essex Fells logo.  He painted the logo using black glass paint.  After the logo was painted, we waited the requisite 24 hours for it to cure.

After 24 hours, I baked the glass and logo in a 325 degree oven for 40 minutes.  This makes the paint permanent on the glass.

Here is the center panel in place with the bevels and medium blue border.  After the center piece cooled, I applied copper foil to it.  I added four "fences" or "jigs" to the sides to keep the plaque square.
 Now Eric uses his band saw to custom cut a metal frame.  He also started working on the custom desk stand while I began the soldering process.

Now the plaque is soldered on the front and back ..

And now the metal frame has been added. After the soldering and framing, I give the plaque a thorough cleaning.

Here I'm applying Black Patina to the metal with an acid brush.  The patina turns the metal black instantly.  I let it set for several minutes, then I clean off the excess and allow it to dry completely.  After it dries, I apply stained glass finishing compound.  This is a light wax which protects the patina and gives the glass a nice shine.

And here is the finished plaque!  I think it makes a very fitting and thoughtful gift for this gentleman who gave so many years of faithful service to his town.

And here's the plaque in its custom desk stand.  The beauty of the white and clear wispy glass can how be seen, and the bevels add a nice touch, too.

Thanks so much, Susan, for calling upon me to design and create this very special recognition gift for a very deserving individual!  It was my pleasure!

For more information on other projects, please click here to visit my website.