The owner of the lamp lives in Washington DC but has occasional business in New York City. He delivered and picked up the lamp by driving up from DC to NYC, then another 17 miles north from NYC to arrive here in Midland Park, NJ, to my home studio.
This lamp is made of the very popular clear frosted glass called Glue Chip. Its a very popular glass, but not often seen used in a lamp. The reasons are that you can see the lighting mechanism through it, and the clear textured glass is not as strong as an opalescent, or non-see-through glass, would be.
Here's a view of one side of the lamp showing many cracked pieces.
In this view, you can see how the lamp was so badly hit that the bottom curled inward.
And here's a view from the side.
Here's a view of the upper edge showing many cracked pieces along the border. Before starting my work, I gently tugged on the lamp to pull out the crushed sides. I wore protective gloves. I know how much tension to use so that the lamp will not sustain further damage. As I work on the lamp, I keep checking for its round-ness and overall shape.
When a lamp has this many repairs, its important to do everything in the proper order. I don't generally replace adjacent pieces simultaneously unless there's no other option. Doing so can cause the lamp to collapse. Its also more difficult to work "in mid air", without support pieces in place next to the ones being replaced.
After I assessed the damage, I formed a plan. Here I've started to crack out the remainder of a piece. I'm using the metal end of my oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter. I tap on the cracked piece repeatedly to remove loose pieces. Then I use a needle nose pliers to pull out the rest of the glass. The bits of blue tape indicate the locations of many of the cracked pieces.
Here I'm using the pliers to tug off the old foil and solder to prepare the border for the new glass.
This glass in this lamp had not been ground before assembly. This is a common practice. I prefer to grind the glass though. It gives the copper foil a better surface on which to adhere, which will add years to the life of the repair. Here I'm using a hand file to rough up the edges of the glass.
Here I'm placing a piece of Manila folder behind the opening to create a template for the new piece of glass. Note that I've already added new copper foil to the border. I'm using 7/32" black-back foil.
Grinding the edge of the new glass.
Burnishing the foil onto the glass with a "fid" or flat plastic wand. Note that the inner, adhesive side of the copper foil is black. I chose this foil because it will become invisible around the pieces after I apply black patina at the end of the process.
Brushing on liquid flux around the newly foiled glass and border. This chemical allows the solder to flow evenly.
Now the first replacement piece is soldered in place on the outside of the lamp.
Now several pieces have been replaced, and a few more have been removed.
Here I'm using my soldering iron to melt off old foil and solder.
I've replaced many of the clear glue chip pieces. Now I'm starting to replace the purple cathedral (see-through) glass. I'm using the glass cutter to tap out the purple cracked pieces.
Since the lamp has so many repetitive pieces in its pattern, I'm using one template to trace five purple pieces.
I've scored the glass using the cutter. Here I'm using a pair of blue running pliers to snap the glass on the score.
And then each piece goes back to the electric grinder.
Moving on .. Here I've made templates and cut glass for more of the purple and for several more clear pieces.
Here's a view off the side, showing the repairs in various stages.
Another view of the once-crushed side.
Now the side has several more pieces replaced with several more in various stages.
View from inside the lamp with many pieces replaced, and several in progress.
After I replaced all of the cracked glue chip and purple cathedral glass pieces, I moved onto the opalescent (non-see-through) purple-light blue flowers. Several of them sustained cracks as well.
Here are the custom pattern pieces which I created in order to repair this lamp.
After the 45 pieces of glass have been replaced, I soldered the remaining replacement pieces on the inside of the dome. Then I cleaned off all the flux using a neutralizing spray. Then after the lamp is dry, I applied black patina, as shown here. It turns the solder black instantly. After the patina sets, the lamp dries again, then undergoes another thorough cleaning.
And here is a view of the lamp, fully repaired.
Another view of a different side.
Here's an "aerial" view.
And another view of the lamp in our front window, awaiting its ride home.
Thanks so much Brian, for your long drives to and from Washington DC to drop off and pick up your lamp. I'm very pleased with the repairs and I know you are as well! Enjoy!