Saturday, February 27, 2010

Another snow day!

While not hit as badly as other parts of the Northeast this time, we did get one of those February snows that create a "Christmas card" effect. The gray skies made it difficult to capture the full effect, and later in the morning, more flurries made it look like we were in a snow dome. Then the sun came out and most of the branches are bare once more.
Willl certainly be in the workshop this weekend.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Elegant Oval Continues

After stripping, the first step was to put the detached pendant back in place. Fortunately, not too much material was lost, and so the piece fit back rather neatly. You can also see some of the water gilt areas, particularly on the crest, have come back to life, and will need little further attention.
Now I could spend time removing paint-removal crud from the crevices with picks and scalpels, and further assess any damages.
Some missing pieces and gaps will be replaced or filled. Some damages due to the nature of a composite, oval object, with years of expansion, contraction and warping will remain.
Since there was a spate of snowy and very rainy weather this week, I have to take a break from this and mop up the cellar. More posts to come, however, as work progresses.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

An Elegant Oval Mirror

I bought this mirror a while back, and while the weather was good this past summer took off the old paint and gilt work. Although it was redone, it actually looked presentable except for the bottom pendant, which was broken and flopping about. My guess is that someone stood it on the floor, and snapped the pendant. This also bent and forced the metal strengthening rods (used like rebar is in concrete), so it wouldn't go back together without removing them.
After stripping, I was able to see other repairs that had been made, as one would expect, on some of the projections from the crest. The areas of water gilding, though worn, were still there. My guess is that rather than live with the wear, a repair rather than a conservation job was done.
Now that it is winter, and I finally cleared some work space, I am tackling the rest of this project.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snow Day

No school today due to snow (but it was lovely the next morning).

Spent time working on another mirror panel. I own the original of this one, as well. An interesting patriotic scene, with American eagle on a battlefield. The original had large areas of attempted restoration.

It doesn't look like much from the back. When dry and installed I will post updated photo.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

And we're done!

The final steps on this eglomise panel are to put black backing paint on the areas of gold that are to be retained, then remove remaining gold, and paint the background. Not very attractive when viewed from the back, but the finished glass has a lovely appearance. The panel is now mounted in the mirror, and I can check another unfinished project off my list!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An Eglomise Mirror Panel

When I purchased this mirror many years ago, I thought it was one of those made-up items from the turn of the 20th century, but am now convinced it is period (ca. 1810), but a northern European item. It has been sitting in my basement all this time, waiting for a painted or eglomise panel. Not having an original to work with, nor having a well-documented related example, the closest I could determine was that it would have something in the classical mode, in order to relate the the neo-classical design. Not having found a design I was happy with, I decided to do something non-traditional. I found a design in the book of 18th century engravings "The Ladies Amuseument" (designs meant for japanning, etc.) of swans. I did a panel based on this for a small Federal mirror, which again, while not technically appropriate, created a great deal of attention when it was displayed at a show. So I decided to repeat this for this mirror. Should I ever find a more suitable design, I can remove this panel without damage to the mirror frame.

The technique of verre eglomise (gold leaf under glass) involves laying gold on the glass with a water/gelatin solution, etching through the gold to create the design, then applying backing paints.

The pictures with this blog entry show the beginnings of the process, along with the print source used.

Once the design is etched, a black backing paint is placed where gold is to remain; once this paint is dry, the remaining gold is gently removed, or "washed back".

I will post another entry when this project is completed.