Slag glass lamp panel repair – Twisted bent frame
Clients are often under the impression that I have slag glass panels sitting on a shelf to order. I wish I did. Unfortunately there were thousands of lamp designs made by over a hundred lamp companies. Every year that past new lamp designs would be created to keep the public’s satisfaction for new ideas. The combinations of thousands of designs, sizes and colors makes it impossible to think about having a panel in stock.
The good news is that slag glass lamps were made with solid materials. All the material came from the earth. No additives just glass and metal. They are extremely resilient to damage and mechanically built to last. While damage can be the result of anything from flooding to an earthquake, slag glass lamps amaze me. In one restoration situation I had a slag glass shade confronted with an axe. (Before) axe repair picture. The shade survived. (After) axe repair picture.
First the existing glass had to be removed from the frame before starting the frame restoration. Without a perfect frame both the original glass and the new glass would not fit. I started by documenting the locations and removing all the glass. After that I detected 7 major metal cracks that would need to be bridged and repaired. All cracks are covered with 22g copper bridge on the interior only. This minimizes visual restoration repairs. A squaring table (wood platform) is used to straighten the frame. In the process of straightening the bent metal arms are untwisted and the corners are mended.
After the frame is completely straight on the wood platform. I can then install the original glass panels, setting them into the exact locations they were removed from. Using one of the original panels I make a paper stencil of the glass shape and cut a flat piece of best matching glass.
After that the original glass panel is cast to make a custom mold. The mold and the new glass are then placed in my glass kiln to bent the new panel to shape. After the bending of all the new glass panels I test each piece for a perfect fit. To acquire a perfect fit its really necessary to have the frame. When frames are bent it often takes several attempts grinding and nibbling at the edges of the glass to set between the tabs and glass panels.
Slag glass lamp panel repair work started with the demand of slag glass.
Slag glass lamp panels are basically the same as slag glass casting from the late 1800’s. You can google the history of glass manufacturing and the glass products that were being made during the mid 1800’s. Basically gift products and house hold glass items were mostly products made of glass by pressing, pouring or rolling. In both Europe and the United states during the start of the industrial revolution. Glass manufacturers seemed to be focused on new ideas, quality and production for a huge demand.
Glass workers at the time were known to be creative with left over glass waste. At the end of the formal working day glass workers were allowed to use the leftover batch for their own use. In the course of this practice they would occasionally go from pot to pot, gathering different kinds and colors of glass. Thus various colors came into existence like a marbling or opaque pressed glass look with colored streaks, usually white and or cream streaks. The term slag was borrowed from the steel industry were the word describes the unusable waste residue left after smelting the iron ore. Slag glass products like dish ware, gift items and pressed objects became fashionable.
This new glass term “slag glass” was also used in the form of rolled sheet glass. Typically a one color mix with a white base and later mixed with up to four other colors. In the 1880’s opal “slag glass” colors were produced by several glass manufactures in the USA. Lamp companies like Tiffany, Handel, Bradley and Hubbard and others purchased flat sheets of opal slag glass and had them cut or bent by glass companies into panels for their slag glass lamps.
Having the benefit of history behind me I will entertain you with some articles about slag glass lamp panel repair work and lamp companies below and on other pages from this menu. I will try to keep the articles unique but at the same time they will have some redundant wording for the internet robots to index my pages on the web.