Our clients asked us if we could repair this beveled Polar Bear/Northern Lights panel, which measures approximately 40 inches wide x 14 inches high. Unfortunately the left side of the border came had pulled apart. Fortunately the panel did not get broken.
We carefully removed that piece of border came and then re-attached it to the panel as well as strengthen all of the solder seams on both sides/corners of the panel that butted up to the came.
The first picture shows the completed repair, after being cleaned with Kwik Clean and Clarity stained glass polish applied.
This is a very pretty panel. Most of the glass used for the northern lights was Spectrums Artiques along with Spectrums white waterglass. The Polar Bear is a Glassmith bevel cluster.
The following photo shows where the left side came had come loose from the panel.
Polar Bear Bevel Cluster by Glassmith Studios
Our client found this very old came panel in the attic of his 92 year old father’s shop and he had no idea it was there. The story is that they used to be part of his great (or great-great) grandfather’s home in England.
The panel had held together quite well over the decades except for the 1 broken piece in the center. We were able to find a very close match with a Small Hammered Spectrum # 100HS. On the reverse side we carefully bent the lead came back, made a pattern and fitted in the new glass. Then after bending the came back, we soldered the joints and cemented in the new piece of glass. After using whiting and Kwik Clean to clean the off years of dirt and grim we applied Clarity Polish.
As this panel with it’s frame was over 4 ft wide we could only stand it up in our window to photograph the finished panel, which then required flipping the picture with our Picasa 3 system.
It is our clients intention to hang this panel in their new home under construction and eventually he will provide us with a picture. We also understand that there is another one these panels completely intact and all it needs is to be properly cleaned and polished.
Designer Unknown Repair/Restoration by Bob & Flory Wilkins
This old came stained glass door panel had reached the point where if it was not removed from the door it was in great jeopardy of collapsing and being ruined forever. As you can see in the picture below, the frame was coming apart. While not visible when you pushed slightly on the center, the whole panel moved in and out a lot and would completely fall apart if the door was slammed or someone pushed on the panel to open the door. Only 1 piece of glass was missing (the amber piece on the top right) while the rest was all in its original state. When restoring these old came panels we securely fasten a sheet of white freezer paper over the whole panel, then using carbon paper we do a rub to have a pattern for restoration.
The panel measured 22 inches wide by 26 1/16 inches high including it’s 3/8 inch zinc frame. The process involves carefully removing the panel and transporting it to our studio. In the restoration process we take multiple photographs and number each glass piece. The challenge in this restoration was the very wide came originally used and not replaceable. The reason for the wide came was for the bevels which were made from very thick glass.
This presented a problem for restoration as we needed to use H Round Zinc Came 1/4 inch face to ensure a strong interior strength coupled with 3/8 Zinc Border Came. We solved this problem by using a standard grit Aanraku Ripple Bit. This allowed us to grind down each side of these very thick bevels so they could be inserted into the new round zinc came. However it was imperative that we grind each side equally so we practised on a bevel that we had in stock. Then through trial and error we set up the ripple bit to ensure removal of the same amount of glass from each side of the bevel before inserting them into the panel.
The following photo shows a portion of the panel with all of its pieces numbered, we then carefully took the panel all apart and that is when we found out how very thick the glass was in these old bevels.
In the next photo we have now taken the rub pattern and set up a wooden frame, complete with the 3/8 zinc border came, ensuring that we have the measurements exactly so it will fit back into the original wooden door which our client was getting restored. Please note on the right side there are a couple of pieces of the very old came originally used.
The last photo is of the completely restored panel. Fortunately we had a piece of old glass that matched the one broken piece in the panel. We cleaned each piece of glass, carefully measuring and cutting the H zinc came. After soldering the joints we use Glass Pro Stained Glass Putty to cement the glass and then cleaned with whiting, after which we applied Clarity Polish. In this particular case we did not patina any of the zinc came as we felt it was not required in this restoration.
Designer Unknown – Restoration by Bob & Flory Wilkins
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
Coming soon will be the full story of this very old Family Crest Restoration. This picture is just a very small portion of this historic piece of stained glass, which had an amazing beginning, ocean travel, institution display, escaped the wrecking ball, travelled across Canada and eventually ended up in our studio to be restored. It is quite a story – stay tuned.
Artist to be announced at a later date