Around The Factory

American Artisans At Work Preserving History

Identifying Architectural Glass Artifacts & How to Preserve Them

Whether a lighting restoration project involves minor repairs or recreating an entire diffusers that had been lost or destroyed, work on historic glass can often require the use of repairing, cleaning, testing, modification, and replacement material. Grand Light conducts extensive studies of existing glass samples to determine whether to preserve, replace, or replicate historic glass.

A helpful tip our artisans use in identifying historic Tiffany glass is observing the condition of the solder between glass. Authentic Tiffany glass were fabricated using copper solder (often aged to a dark greenish-black color) while reproductions tend to use inferior metals in the solder. The craftsmanship of the solder can also be an indicator to the Tiffany glass authenticity, as all Tiffany lamps were constructed with an attention to detail and lack of soldering errors.

Grand Light artisans have decades of experience repairing broken glass and lead joints. Our restoration methods include lead came and resin UV curing repair. For UV repair, our proprietary resin must be injected into a crack or chip before being cured by our UV curing lamps.

As paneled or stained glass ages, the lead joints can become brittle or oxidizes, leading to broken or damaged joints and/or panels. Repairing this damage requires repurposing and cutting the existing material while soldering the existing lead.

Grand Light artisans specialize in the cleaning of glass and acrylic diffusers by offering both hand cleaning and ultrasonic cleaning technology. Ultrasonic cleaning is done using Brulin Aquavantage 815 GD industrial ultrasonic cleaning tanks with patented high performance generators followed with a delicate hand cleaning process. Additionally, our artisans utilize a proprietary cleaning solution before each component is rinsed and hand polished.

Correct glass fitment is essential to providing a secure fit that prevents foreign material from entering the interior of fixture. Additionally, temperature exposure on exterior fixtures can vary greatly, and is taken in great consideration to ensure heating/cooling cycle does not create stresses in the glass or acrylic.

Fixtures that are UL wet-listed are designed to endure wet outdoor conditions and inhibit water on live parts or other electrical components for a safe and long lasting installation. Grand Light standard quality control involves testing and verifying the proper and secure fitment of all existing and/or new diffuser installations on all custom or restored lighting fixtures.

Some projects require the modification, fabrication, or addition of custom components, lenses, or frames to accommodate project goals. In these scenarios Grand Light specialists will carefully modify existing or custom glass components without compromising the historical integrity of these glass components.

Grand Light was selected by CBT Architects, Colantonio Inc, George Sexton Associates, Building Conservation Associates, and the State of Massachusetts to restore a gigantic chandelier over 30′ tall from the Senate Chamber renovation project.

This project included the modification of over 80 glass shades to incorporate a custom acrylic lens for reflecting light downward without interfering with the precise optics of the GU10 lamp required to properly light the dome. Grand Light’s custom lens solution successfully reflected light in the glass uniformly.

For more information regarding our lighting restoration capabilities, you may review the Capabilities & Lighting Services Webpage.


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