It is very upsetting when a piece of glass art is broken and needs repair.
“Oh no, I broke my favorite________. My workers broke______and it must be repaired or replaced. This piece has so much sentimental value I want it back together.”
We get multiple calls a month about art glass repairs. People think that since we make glass art that repairing glass pieces would be a simple thing for us to do. It can be, but it’s a whole other set of skills. Here’s a little bit of info for you.
Limitations on Glass Art Repair
We can’t just heat it up and melt it back together!
Every glass has its set of chemical and mechanical properties. If you don’t know what those are, you can’t work on a piece without a lot of “experimentation,” which most likely will not provide the answer you need. This means we can’t just add more glass to it to make a repair.
Once the glass is broken, no process will totally eliminate the hairline cracks after you glue it back together. They may still be visible to even the untrained eye.
If a glass or vase has a chip, the edges can be ground and polished through a process called cold working. Even expert cold workers are not successful 100% of the time.
Repairing glass is an art.
Repairs that seem simple can end up being expensive when done by a professional. The repair can exceed the value of the piece.
Making a Decision to do Art Glass Repairs
Before you spend time trying to find someone who can repair or restore your glass, think about whether it is worth repairing:
- What is the monetary value of the piece?
- Is it a family heirloom, or does it hold significant sentimental value to you?
- Can it be replaced?
For gluing glass back together successfully, you must have all the tiny little slivers. A specialty glue and a vacuum pump may be needed. A jig may need to be constructed so that the form pieces can be held together tightly while the glue dries. If you want to repair your glass, there are many instructions available online for guidance. But here are a few tips:
- If you want it to hold water or wash it, you must use waterproof glue, and a two-part epoxy resin is probably one of the best adhesives for that.
- Be sure to clean the glass before you glue it; acetone will work well.
- Be careful not to cut yourself!
So, evaluate your needs, and if your piece is of high value monetarily or sentimentally, perhaps we can help. Before we start, we want you to know that you will be paying for our time, not the repair. The fee will be based on an hourly rate, regardless of the outcome. We will do our best to be successful, but there are no guarantees when you start cold working glass.
Art Glass Repair Options Available
Here are the types of things cold workers can do
- Chipped or broken edges can be ground and polished
- Broken pieces can be glued if you have all of them
- Necks or tops can be cut off, ground, and polished
- A cold worker or glassblower can create a new base.
Other things that will determine if we can work on a piece will be its dimensions and weight. When you contact us about a repair, pictures are great with dimensions (height x width x depth).
Enriching lives through artistic self-expression.