A close up of the cracks. You can see the foil inside as well. This was to reflect and protect the two bulbs inside the box.
n order to access the panel for repair, my husband Eric removed the panel from the top of the box by removing the hinges.
Here I've cracked out much of the loose glass and I'm tugging off the old solder and foil around the border.
Now I'm melting off the excess solder and foil from around the mouse.
Carefully taking out more of the glass.
Now the cracked glass has been removed from the top panel.
Next I'm melting and carefully tugging off the old foil and solder from around the Mouse. This was a delicate operation since there were many curves and small areas.
The next step in the process was to add new copper foil to the inner border and to the Mouse.
Here I'm tracing a template from which to cut the replacement glass.
Cutting out the template.
Making sure the template will fit, once I cut the glass. Looks good.
Tracing the template onto the glass.
Part of the difficulty of this repair was the intricate cuts that her father made to surround the Mouse. These could not be done by hand, therefore I used my wet saw to do the task. This glass was very difficult to match and to cut. Amber and white opal is very popular and it is manufactured by several companies. Since there is no way to know it's source, I relied on a stained glass colleague to help me find a match. Thank you Judy!
Now I'm grinding the edges of the piece.
Another challenge for me was matching the original font and spacing as my customer's father used. I photographed the pieces, printed an actual size copy, and used that as my guide.
Since the "r" and the "c" were missing, I re-created them based on the other letters. Here I'm tracing the outlines of the letters. directly onto the glass.
Painting on the letters using permanent glass paint. I also re-painted on the Mouse's left paw and his whiskers, as close as I could to the original style her father created.
In order to assure the letters are permanent, I baked the glass in a 325 degree oven.
After it cooled, I added new foil to the borders.
Cleaning off the liquid flux before applying patina.
Applying black patina to the solder. This turns the solder black instantly. Then I cleaned it again. And as a final step, I applied stained glass finishing compound to the entire panel. This protects the patina and gives it a nice shine.
And here, on my light box, is the finished Merchant Mouse! The colors really pop.
And here's a photo of it without being lighted from the back. Beautiful!
And as a final step, Eric is re-attaching it to the box. My thanks to Gerri for coming back to me for this important repair. I'm so happy for you that it went so well. May you enjoy it for years and years to come!
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