Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Stain Glass Lamp Repair Project- Part 1

Many years ago I broke a stain glass lamp of my Mother's that she had inherited from her Grandmother. I have felt guilty about damaging such a beautiful piece of art and family history ever since. When I start this, my second year, in the Historic Preservation and Restoration Program I saw an opportunity right this wrong. I enrolled in a class called Material Sciences: Stain Glass, and quickly found that the project was going to be much harder than i had envisioned . First of all, there are different kinds of glass, two of which are fusible and non fusible. Stain glass, for the most part, is not fusible, which means it is not good for slumping, which is how you get curved glass. Furthermore, you have to have a specialized glass kiln to heat the glass to a high enough temperature for the glass to slump and bend. We did not have one. So I had to be more creative and learn more about what I was attempting. I started with what I knew had to be done.

I taped the broken panel back together, making sure that I had the original shape and angle.(The lamp has six of these curved stain glass panels that make the shade.)

I laid tracing paper over the taped form and traced the outline of the panel.

I found a similar piece of glass (a little lighter) to the original and scored and grinded it to the fit my pattern.

In a separate class I made a clay mold, using the panel's curve. The mold was hollowed out then fired to a high temperature so that the mold be strong and retain it's shape.

Here is the clay mold. I made it a little wider than the new glass I cut, leaving room for expantion.

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