Thursday, September 28, 2017

Repairs to Heirloom Stained Glass Merchant Mouse

I'm always happy when a former customer comes back to me. I met the owner of this unique piece in June of last year when I repaired her lamp.This gift was made by her father years ago, for her store which was called the Merchant Mouse. It was a surprise gift, very treasured.

This repair presented a number of challenges. Matching the existing glass was one. Making the difficult, intricate cuts around the Mouse was another. And finally, re-creating the lettering would take some thought.

The stained glass served as the framed lid of a beautiful box which was wired to light it from the back. Here you can see the damage caused to the upper front panel. Notice that the words "The Merchant" were hand-painted and would need to be re-created.

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.

Now the panel has been cut to surround the Mouse and the hand-painted lettering is completed. I've set the panel in the lid now, to prepare it for soldering.

 After I applied liquid flux to the foil, I soldered the front of the panel in place.  I did the same to the back.

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!
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, September 21, 2017

Repairs to Stained Glass Wedding Hearts Panel

This unique panel was made by my customer as a wedding gift for his bride twenty years ago.  He used to do stained glass, and this is evidence of his expertise and creativity.  After he designed and created the panel, he asked each wedding guest to etch their name into the hearts.  The panel was damaged and so he came to me to repair it.

Here's how it came to me with both corners snapped off and with several cracked pieces in the bottom row.

I began by removing old copper foil and solder from the upper corner.  Laying nearby is the replacement piece of green, to which I've already applied new copper foil.

In preparation for the attachment, I'm using a hand file to roughen up the edges of the glass.  This helps the copper foil to adhere better. The signatures can readily be seen in this photo.  Its irreplaceable.

With the new corner piece in place, I'm applying liquid flux to the foil.  This helps the solder to flow evenly.

Now the new piece is in place.  Notice that I replicated the decorative solder as well.  A nice touch.

 Here I'm using steel wool to remove old patina so that I can solder the adjacent piece of glass.

Making a pattern for the replacement pieces in the other corner.

Tracing the pattern onto the glass.

This beautiful panel was created using opalescent glass, which tends to be more difficult to cut than cathedral, or transparent, glass.  Therefore I used my wet saw to do the job.

Using the glass grinder to smooth the edges of a replacement piece.

Now the corner has been repaired.

Moving onto the bottom, there are a few pieces where cracks can clearly be seen.

I've scored one of the cracked pieces by cross-hatching the surface with the glass cutter.  Here I'm carefully banging out the piece with the metal end of the cutter.

Now the piece has been removed and I've prepared and traced the new replacement glass.

With that piece in place, I moved on to the adjacent one.

Now that one is repaired.

Another view of another pattern in place, awaiting replacement.

After all of the cracked pieces have been replaced, I'm spraying the surface with a cleaner which neutralizes the flux.

Here my husband Eric is fitting a custom frame onto the piece.  Not pictured is the end process whereby I solder the lead lines to the frame in several places on the front and back.  

And here is the finished repair, minus the zinc frame.  (A first for me, I didn't take an "after" photo). Many thanks to Rich for entrusting this special piece to me.  May you and your wife enjoy it for the next twenty years!

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!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Dutch Stained Glass Suncatcher Repairs

This lovely trio of sun catchers was owned by my customer's late mother.  She is from our town, Midland Park, NJ which was settled by the Dutch in 1894.  Around town there are several windmills surrounded by tulips on front lawns. These were very meaningful to her and I was happy to repair them for her.  Only two of the three needed repairs.

Here is the windmill which sustained several cracks in the lower corner.  Note that these windmills are constructed using lead came, not copper foil.  I don't usually work with lead came but since the repairs were basic, I took them in.

 Using the glass cutter to score the glass to prepare it for removal.

Now all of the cracked glass has been removed.  I used the inner border to draw directly on the replacement glass for a good fit.

Scoring the border of the replacement piece.

Grinding the edges of the glass.

And here is the completed repair.  I worked the glass inside the borders of the existing came.  Since it is a soft media, the glass was a good fit.

The little Dutch girl has a crack in her bosom and there's a piece cracked out of her skirt.

Here I've scored the yellow area and I'm using the metal end of the cutter to crack out the glass.

Now I've traced a new piece of glass for the replacement.

Using running pliers to snap the glass. I went back with the glass cutter to score and remove the glass around the outline.

After the glass is properly cut and ground, I'm now inserting it into the boundaries of the lead came.

Now both suncatchers are repaired.  Notice that I replaced the original old hanging hooks with new ones.

And here's the trio, including the Dutch boy which did not need repairs.
Thanks for bringing these to me, Cindy!  I'm happy to know that they are back up in a window here in town.

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!