Construction / Molds
Scoring / Breaking Glass
Fitting The Glass
Solder / Soldering
Releasing a Shade
Ring and Rim
Tools, Aids etc.
Health & Safety Concerns
Selling Your Artwork
Joan Bengtson: The polishing method that works for me is to apply Kem-O-Pro
fairly sparingly with cottonballs, but don’t let it dry before brushing
it in. I use a big old soft shoe brush, first brushing in circles to get
into the edges and then spread out the polish using long brush strokes.
After the polish has dried to a haze I buff it thoroughly with the brush
again. Be aware that Kem-O-Pro will remove patina if it’s brushed
too vigorously or too soon after applying the chemicals. Waiting a day
or two to let the patina set will give better polishing results.
Barb Grollo: To get into grooves, when I’m cleaning or polishing
textured glass, I use old toothbrushes. For easy use, I’ve transferred
the polish, Kem-O-Pro, into a spray bottle. I bought a 12 pack of heavy
duty cloth diapers and use them for polishing since they do a great job
and don’t get caught in the crevices like terry cloth does.
Eric Scott was not pleased with the appearance of his finished lamp after
applying a coat of lacquer. (The glass looked like plastic!) Paul Crist
responded that we should simply wax the shade with cordovan (or dark brown)
shoe polish - the residue collects against the solder lines and adds to
the look of the patina.
Jennifer Buckner: To help you polish your completed lamp, try a dremel
tool with a small bristle brush attachment to get into those tiny areas
that you can’t reach by hand and takes a lot less “elbow grease”
to polish a large lamp. A good product to use for polishing is Giraffe
Joos. It helps reduce the residue that builds up along solder lines.
Nikki O’Neill: If you happen to have a circular sander, you might
try a lamb’s wool polishing bonnet attachment to polish your lamp.
It will reach inside tight corners and saves on q-tips and elbow grease.
John Baker: After a lamp project is “completed”, I like to
put it on a base, light it up and view it for the first time...up close
and personal. Since no one is perfect (on the first try anyway), I get
my stuff ready to DETAIL my lamp.
1. Use multiple toothpicks to clean out any missed wax. They don’t
scratch the lead and are cheap! Usually wax and flux show up in tight
cracks of leading. Also use toothpicks to dig out any buried BB’s
of solder hidden in the many crevases.
2. Use an exacto knife with a new blade to trim off any “overlaps”
of copper foil. With a carefully placed cut, you can even up most of them.
You can also use the knife to trim off the worst “split edges”
of foil where it was forced to curve more than it wanted. When done properly,
it looks like you foiled it right the first time.
3. Look for any leaded seams that didn’t take a good patina. (My
favorite stuff is copper sulfate solution which has aged for several days
with lots of contaminates.) I use a fine wire brass bristle brush which
is soaked in a hot batch of the patina. By carefully brushing the troublesome
areas, the brush scrapes off the offending crud and
allows the patina to “take” - all in one step.
4. After a thorough washing and drying, I re-examine for other flaws while
it’s on the lighted lamp base. If satisfied, sit back and enjoy
the view; otherwise, back to step one.
5. Use brown shoe polish on the patina after it has aged for about a week.