Stained glass commissions are not always big projects. For example, recently I have repaired two Tiffany style lamps for customers and designed two larger Quirky Birds for a third client.
These projects fitted in nicely around a large commission that I have been working on over the past few months… but more of that in due course!
The large Quirky Bird commission was a request from a customer who had seen the regular sized ones on my website shop. He liked some of the designs in the category photo, but most of those have been sold over time.
Unfortunately I didn’t have any of the same stained glasses left, so I sent him a selection of similar glasses from which he chose two. These were a swirly Baroque glass in blue and clear, and a bright yellow. He decided that as I was making the birds especially for him that he would like them taller, to make a group collection with another purchase – ‘Alan the Quirky Bird’ – who was available on the website.
I recreated the shapes of the Quirky Birds he liked originally in the category photo, with a beak for each made from the glass of the other. I also copied the shapes of the wire head plumage and tails. As these were taller, I used a thicker wire for the feet, to ensure they stood well supported.
Tiffany-style lamp repairs
As regular readers of my newsletter will know, I have undertaken many Tiffany-style lamp repairs over the years. Some lampshades have needed extensive work over many days, while others have been more straightforward. Happily, these latest projects were relatively simple to complete.
One shade had two damaged red side panels. I was able to match the glass pretty well and the customer was very pleased.
The other shade was intact but had come apart a bit at the vase cap (the metal circle at the top). Stained glass lamps are quite heavy as the glass itself and the solder holding the pieces together are both weighty. This means that they can pull away at the top. If this isn’t rectified, the lamp will continue to separate and it won’t be safe to use, or as attractive, as light from the bulb will show through the gaps.
To repair this Tiffany lamp I replaced much of the copper foil around the vase cap on the inside. Then I carefully added small, steel strips to the soldered joints. These were bent before soldering, so that they could be joined both to the vase cap and the glass part of the shade, supporting and spreading the load. The solder joints on the outside top of the shade had also pulled apart, so these were carefully retouched with fresh solder.
Once the structural work had been carried out, the silvery solder was blacked to blend in with the existing solder and the shade was cleaned. During this work I noticed one of the border leaf shapes had a crack so I applied copper foil over the crack on the inside and outside, and soldered and blacked the repair so it blended in with the design.
This piece had some rich, red ‘grapes’ across its design and I know it will look lovely once it is lit up again.
If you’d like me to make something special for you in stained glass – whether a big or small job – do get in touch!