Mexican Lamp Repair October 2018

Our client’s family obtained this lamp many years ago and in our investigation we found out that it most likely was made in Mexico some 40 – 50+ years ago. The lead came that held all of the individual glass pieces together, was made by rolling flat led through a roller which gave the came it’s teeth marks on both the inside and outside of the came. For that reason we had no way of replacing the came and wanted to make sure that the lamp was as original as possible.

We had to take the loose pieces of glass ( numerous ones had completely fallen out ) and after cleaning each one, we manipulated the came with small tools along with a wooden awl. All of the glass was hand cut and grozend by hand (no grinders in those times), which left lots of chips on the pieces as can be seen in the pictures.

The first photo shows the restored lamp shade.

As you can see in the next photo the came was quite bent out of shape, which allowed the glass pieces to fall out, fortunately our client never lost any of those pieces.

Using our hands and a wooden awl we manipulated the came where the glass pieces had fallen out.  Also on the inside of the shade we re-soldered each joint to further stabilize and strengthen the shade. It was also necessary to apply some solder around the outside at the top of the shade. After cleaning with Kwik Clean to remove flux and dirt, we appling Clarity polish and after it dried we then finished off with lots of rubbing with soft cloths and tooth brushes.

What is neat about this old lampshade with all of it’s open spaces between each piece of glass is that it gives off a colorful collage of colors on the surrounding walls when in use.

Designer Unknown lamp restored by Bob & Flory Wilkins 2018

Kim’s Lamp Rebuild – Restoration 2016

When we picked up this lamp it had all 4 panels broken, however the 4 drop edges were all intact. The frame holding the shade together was made with flimsy metal.


The next photo is a close up of one of the edges which also shows the flimsy tin frame. The panel above this piece has also been removed. As the bottom edges were all intact we photographed each side after numbering each piece as well as marking them to ensure that when rebuilding this lamp that all went back together in it’s original places.


The following photo shows all 4 edges after taken them apart, cleaning, foiling (with Venture Black Backed 7/32 Copper Foil), along with placing the bottom edges on a piece of Morton Layout Blocks to ensure a straight bottom edge.


The picture below shows the poor workmanship and the wobbly support stem for the shade.

In order to restore this lamp we had to make 4 new panels using Spectrum’s Light Amber Lamp Mix # 318-05S glass. We saved the vase cap and when rebuilding the lampshade we used Venture’s 1/4 inch Black Back Copper Foil. In addition to providing much needed support and long life of the lampshade we installed a 4 way spider.

Our client mentioned that the lamp shade was not supported very well, so we put in a longer standard size 3/8 inch threaded brass rod, which together with the spider support and 4 brass nuts  2 top and 2 bottom, plus a washer secured the lampshade to the lamp base in a very strong manner.

Another specific reason for the longer brass rod was that the lamp’s light bulbs were very close to the lampshades glass and their heat could have been another factor as to why the lampshade glass cracked.


Once the shade was rebuilt, the new solder lines had black patina applied, then the whole unit was cleaned with Kwik Clean and then polished with Clarity Stained Glass Polish. We installed new appliance light bulbs 2 for the lampshade and 1 inside the base stand.

Our client was more than please with the end result and she now has a rebuilt, restored tiffany style lamp that will provide her with years of pleasure.


Lamp Rebuild & Restoration by Bob & Flory Wilkins

Our 1st Lamp Shade made in 2000

While wintering in Apache Junction, Arizona during the winter of 2000 – 2001, Bob took a course from Stained Glass Horizons located on E Apache Trail. We were beginning to learn the art of stained glass and wanted to learn about making lampshades. We had a great instructor, who was most knowledgeable and helpful.

When we first started learning the art of stained glass, we purchase the book Stained Glass Projects & Patterns which detailed several lampshades including this one. This book by George Shannon & Pat Torlen is a must have for any beginning stained glass artist but it also continues to serve us many times in our studio as a great reference manual.

The lampshade is to this day in perfect condition and used daily.




Design by George Shannon & Pat Torlen

Lamp Shade # 1 from their book titled

“Stained Glass Projects & Patterns”

Tiffany Style Lampshade Restoration 2016

Clients in Central Alberta had this large Tiffany Style Lampshade, however it had been damaged and they wished to have it restored for over their kitchen table. Fortunately for the lampshade  the top ring of glass was bent flat down on the top of the shade but no broken glass.


The next picture shows the inside of the lampshade before being reinforced with wire. This was a very large Tiffany Style lampshade and was quite heavy. If these lamps are not properly reinforced they eventually will come apart and fall due to the heat generated from the light bulbs. Then the crossed centrepiece would pull away and send the lamp crashing to the table.


The photo below shows the removal of the top crown, also note the condition of the glass. Before taking the crown apart we number and photograph in detail to ensure that it all goes back together as originally made.


One of the side panels was badly broken and had to be replaced. Unfortunately do to the age of the lamp it was impossible to obtain and exact glass match.


To reinforce the hanging portion of the lamp we soldered in pieces of wire attaching them to the various seams along with the copper cross portion. The picture belows details the wire being attached and before the soldering was completed.


Before attaching the crown we cleaned and started the polishing of the lampshade.


Here is the lampshade nearing completion.


In the next photograph the top crown has now been attached and in the same original order.


The fully restored lamp now hangs proudly in our clients home above their kitchen table.



Vicki’s Lamps

We were asked to make 2 lamp shades one for each side of Vicki’s fireplace in Medicine Hat.


The next picture shows the lamps in our home prior to delivery to Vicki. The glass that she wanted gives off a very warm soft light. We used Spectrum glass SP 201.61S Ivory Opalescent, 1 inch sq bevels and the bottom glass is Uroboros art glass U-00-621 & U-65-540.


Close up of one of the shades by the fireplace.


We took Vicki’s pattern design and transferred it onto X-Ray film. We then cut out each pattern piece and traced onto the respective glass to be used.


Using Morton layout blocks we set up this jig to allow us to make the 8 panels required for the 2 lamp shades.


When tracing onto glass we made sure that the glass matched for the 2 top large panels. Then each piece was fitted, foiled and then soldered for each panel. We also ensured that the bottom pieces of Uroboros art glass matched as well.


Here is a photo of 1 of the panels after being soldered.


Once 4 panels were completed we laid them out, then joined them together with electrical tape.StainedGlassVicki's1stlamp2015

After raising the 4 panels held together with electrical tape we put a light over the top to get and idea as to how the lamp shade would look when completed.

StainedGlassVicki's1stLamp2015 (2)

We then made sure that the lamps are level and square, touch solder the joints, and when sufficiently strong place the shade in a large box filled with newspaper. Using a small level we then fully bead each seam inside and out. We also used a 4 way spider for additional strength before soldering on the vented vase cap. Once completed each lamp shade is then cleaned with Kwik Clean, and this time we applied JAX pewter antique black patina, after which the shade must again be cleaned with Kwik Clean. Then Clarity stained glass polish is applied and the lamp shade is then polished using a soft cloth and toothbrushes on each seam.

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