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Repairing Glass

“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 repairing various glass pieces. People think that since we make glass art that repairing glass pieces would be a simple thing for us to do. Here’s a little bit of info for you.

  • 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 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. 

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 I replace it?

You must have every single little sliver of glass from a broken piece to glue it back successfully. This can require the use of a specialty glue and a vacuum environment. In some instances we may be able to make a replica. Otherwise, you can try to repair a glass piece yourself if it has broken into several large pieces. There are lots of instructions that you can find online to guide on this. But here are a few tips:

  • If you want it to hold water or to 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!

However, if you have a chipped or broken edge, we can try to grind and polish it. Before we start, we will have you sign a Repair Contract. It states that you are paying for us to attempt to repair your piece. There is a basic fee you will pay on an hourly basis, regardless of the outcome. We will do our best to be successful, but there are no guarantees.

Enriching lives through artistic self-expression.

Sally Pennington Moore
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