Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Beveled Stained Glass Window

Bevels are a beautiful component of many stained glass windows.  Most use them as accent pieces, at the corners, or as a cluster in the center of the window.  This project is a window made almost entirely of bevels.  The challenge with bevels is that the glass is softer than traditional stained glass.  It is also very heavy.  Therefore, this window required some special treatment.  Here's how I went about the construction ..

Here's my customer's window.  Its in his newly renovated modern kitchen.  At this point, he has applied faux stained glass lines as shown. He removed it prior to our installation.

Here's a sample triangle bevel.  The center top is raised and the sides slope down.  The bevels do not require grinding along the edges, as other stained glass requires.  

Something else different about the construction of this window is that I do not make a computer rendition of it beforehand.  My husband Eric made a template of the kitchen window to get the exact dimensions.  Then he calculated the largest size diamond bevel that could use up the most surface.  In this case, it was a 4" x 7" diamond. Then we added 1" rectangular bevels along the border.

Applying the copper foil to one of the many diamond bevels.

Bevels are made of a softer, more scratchable glass, than stained glass.  Therefore, I'm resting them on a piece of soft packing paper.  Here I'm burnishing the foil onto the bevel using a "fid".

Examples of the reinforcement used in this window.  One is Flex-Bar which is a flexible reinforcement.  The other is Re-Strip which is a solid, harder to bend reinforcement, appropriate for the many straight lines in this project.

I've taped down the areas where the reinforcement has been placed between the glass.

Adding more braided reinforcement tape.

The tape marks where all of the reinforcement lies.  I was very generous reinforcing this window.  It weighs 14 pounds.

Here I'm "tack soldering" the joints between the diamond bevels.

Now the entire front of the window has been soldered.  I'm cleaning it with "Kwik-Clean" spray, then letting it dry thoroughly,

My husband Eric is now measuring the sides of the window to give me measurements for the border glass which will be attached here.

I'm using a pattern to mark the border pieces, which are made of hammered clear glass.

Here I'm using an oil-filled pistol grip cutter to cut strips of the border.

After tapping repeatedly, front and back, along the score lines, the glass "loosens" and splits evenly,

Now the border pieces are trimmed to the correct size and placed outside the window as shown.

Another view of the newly cut border glass.

I placed braided reinforcement between the border glass and the rectangular bevels.  Then I soldered it together.  The fence is back on to keep the glass from shifting as I work.  The green liquid in the cap is "flux" which is the liquid catalyst which helps the solder flow freely over the copper foil.

Here my husband Eric is measuring for the frame, which is a thick strip of zinc.

Here's the window, soldered and framed.

We used a thicker frame at the top and bottom.  Here I've soldered both to the lead lines.

After the frame is in place and cleaned, I'm now applying "black patina" to the solder.  It reacts instantly and makes the solder a deep black. 

Here's the window, still wet with patina, but almost ready for installation.  After the patina dries, I coat it with "stained glass finishing compound" which protects the patina and shines the glass.

We did this installation at night, so I don't have a daytime view.  But here's the window, installed by Eric in this newly renovated kitchen in Belle Mead, NJ.  Thank you Chris, for finding us and having us create this for you!
For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.

If you're on FaceBook, please click here to "like" my BoehmStained Glass Studio page to keep up with all the latest projects.  Thank you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Turquoise Dragonfly Lamp Repair

This beautiful lamp sustained damage in a fall which I was able to repair. Here's how I went about the process ..

Although one piece was cracked through, many others near it were impacted and cracked.

The challenge with older lamps is to locate a match for the glass.  Relying on my sources, I was able to locate a match, as shown.

The inside of the dome, showing cracked pieces and broken dragonfly wings.

Here I'm tugging off the old solder and foil with needle-nose pliers.  The old materials around the border must always be replaced before adding new foil and solder.

Now the border is cleared.  I've prepared a manila folder pattern by tracing it behind the opening, as shown.  It says "in" so that I can cut glass appropriately and position it correctly.

These are stained glass pattern shears which are double-bladed. They remove a thin strip of paper with each cut.  This allows room for the copper foil which will follow.  Here I've used these shears to separate the four pattern pieces.

Tracing the pattern pieces onto the glass.

At this point, I've soldered in the four pieces shown and I've traced two more.  I've labeled them "left" "right" and "up" to save time when I replace them into the lamp.

With glass such as this, which has so many nuances of color, I'm using a wet ring saw.  This machine gives me precise cuts with very little waste.

After I cut the pieces with the saw, I'm grinding the edges once more.  This helps the copper foil adhere better.

 Now those two pieces have been cut and foiled and are ready to be soldered in place.  Before soldering, I brush the foil with liquid flux.  After soldering, I clean off all the chemicals.

Now that whole area has been replaced and soldered, both inside and outside the dome.  Now I've removed another cracked piece.  I've also cleared out the border of old materials.
 Now that piece and the one below it have been replaced.  So now, all of the cracked blue/green pieces have been replaced.

Here I've replaced the top wing with a new piece of clear textured glass.  The clear that is used in the lamp is made in China, so I used something similar.  Since it is inside the lamp, the different glass will not be noticeable.
 Now both of those wings have been replaced and soldered in place.  Now I'm removing pieces from the third cracked wing, using needle nose pliers.  I follow the same steps to replace that wing as well. This view is inside the dome.

Now I'm brushing on liquid black patina.  Its a blue chemical which instantly turns the solder black.  After it sets, I wash it off completely.  After it dries, I apply stained glass finishing compound to the newly repaired area, then to the entire lamp, inside and out.  This is a light wax which protects the patina and makes the glass shine.

Here's a view of the repaired side of the lamp.

And another view of the repaired side, lit from below.  This photo was taken prior to waxing. Thank you for entrusting your lamp to me, Robert.  It was a pleasure repairing it for you and Lydia. Happy Holidays!
Thank you Robert and Lydia for your comments!
"Thank you again for bringing life back to the stained glass lamp shade.  I just want you to know you stood out above the few artists that work with glass to create such wonderful pieces of art.  I am thrilled as is my wife with the wonderful repair you made to the blue dragonfly lamp shade.
Happy Thanksgiving"   -  Robert 

"This is my lamp. I could not be more pleased with the results! Thank you for making it better than new!" - Lydia

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

If you're on FaceBook, please click here to "like" my BoehmStained Glass Studio page to keep up with all the latest projects.  Thank you!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Family Heirloom Lamp Repair

My customer's father was a talented stained glass artist who created many lamps which are still enjoyed by the family.  This one sustained major damage over the years, having lost the entire bottom border as shown below.  The solder corroded over time and rust developed in several places.  Here's how I went about restoring this beautiful heirloom.

Here's an overall view of the damage the lamp sustained.

The top portions of the lamp are still firmly in place but the bottom edge became very loose or detached.

The solder was pitted and corroded ..

In some places, the copper foil was exposed.

Fortunately, my customer still had most of the pieces of glass which had broken away.  I laid them all out and began the cleaning process.

I detached them and pulled off all the old solder and copper foil.  I was able to tug off most of it by hand, some had to be melted off with a soldering iron.

More old material removal ..

I've sprayed the pieces with a solvent and I'm scraping off the accumulated residues.

I used Goo Gone to remove the old adhesive.

Then I cleaned the entire lamp dome, inside and out, with special solvents which brightened up the old silver solder and removed the rust.

When stained glass items were created years ago, many artists did not grind the edges of the glass.  This omission can weaken the lamp because the copper foil which surrounds each piece cannot adhere as firmly as if the edges were ground.  Here I'm using a grinder to rough up the edges of each piece of glass which I'm replacing.

Two pieces of the blue rectangles had cracked, so I cut new ones as shown.  The purple tool is an oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter.

I rest that against the old yellow ruler to make a "score".  Then I snap the score with a tool called "running pliers" (not shown). Then the glass goes through the grinder.

Now the glass I've removed has been clean and is ready to be replaced into the lamp.  Here I'm applying 13/64" copper foil to the center of the edge of each piece of glass.

Burnishing the foil onto the glass using a "fid" or flexible plastic wand.

Here are the pieces, cleaned, re-foiled and ready to go back in.

To prepare for the re-attachment, I'm using a hand file to grind the edges of the glass as shown.

Here I've stacked up the pieces on the work surface.  Then I've lined the border of the lamp with copper foil as shown.

Several pieces of freshly cleaned glass have been copper foiled and are awaiting soldering.

Here are more new pieces in place.

There was another area along the border which was very loose.  I removed those pieces as well.  Here I'm applying new copper foil to that border.

Making my way around the lamp now, applying flux to the copper foil on the inside of the dome.  This allows the solder to flow freely.

Just a few more pieces to go. 

Here I'm measuring the space and creating a pattern for a new piece of blue glass.

Two new triangles ready to be cut.

Most lamps have the added reinforcement of a single wire which is soldered to the outer edge.  I wanted this special lamp to be as strong as possible, so I added that wire to the border as shown.  As soon as this reinforcement is on, the lamp feels noticeably more sturdy.

As a final step, I clean the entire lamp once more and let it dry.  Then I apply stained glass finishing compound to the lamp which protects the patina and shines the glass.  Here it is, cleaned up and restored.

A view from the inside of the dome.  The blue and white glass together is just stunning.

The lamp has a beautiful glow when its lighted from below. Thank you Rosemary, for entrusting your Dad's lamp with me.  It was a pleasure bringing it back for you and your family.  All the best!

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

If you're on FaceBook, please click here to "like" my BoehmStained Glass Studio page to keep up with all the latest projects.  Thank you!