Quick Lesson About Painted Glass Types

Discussion in 'Reverse Glass and Dial Painting' started by Sooth, Aug 10, 2005.

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  1. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Hi, I've requested information recently on painted glass tablets, but many members arn't sure what I'm talking about, so I've decided to give a quick crash-course in the different types of painted glasses found on early american clocks (1800-1900). This short article focuses mainly on coloured glasses. There are many different styles, but not all will be mentionned.

    *Dates given are approximate!

    Around the early 1800's one of the first types of painted glasses were done using various metallic powders and paints. This type of glass is commonly found on older weight driven banjos, pillar and scroll clocks, and other wooden works clocks of the period (roughly 1800-1830)

    Stencilled glass using bronzing powders:
    View attachment 2061

    Around the late 1830's up to about 1850, many glasses were done with stencils. One of the most famous person making glasses of this type is William B. Fenn. These glasses were made with hand-cut stencils. The stencils often had small gaps at corners because otherwise the pattern would fall in pieces as it was cut. Glasses were usually gold or silver bronzing powder, then back-filled with nice bright colours.

    Two examples of stencilled glasses:

    This first one has a stencilled border, and a "freehand" design in the centre.
    View attachment 2062

    View attachment 2063

    Around 1830, a new process was made called the litho paper process. This created very fine tablets with much more detail, but this process created an unstable glass, and were prone to flaking away. Good examples of these are rare. (No image for this one).

    By the 1840's a new process using steel engraved plates replaced the litho paper process. This was the "decalcomania" process. This process created very finely detailed glasses that could be printed onto the glass, and then quickly painted in reverse. This process was used extensively up until the 20th century.

    Decal type glasses:
    View attachment 2064

    View attachment 2065

    This covers most types of coloured glass types. Other types include: fully freehand tablets, acid etched tablets, "faux" acid etched using silvered powders, and combinations of stencilled and etched tablets.
     
  2. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Hi, I've requested information recently on painted glass tablets, but many members arn't sure what I'm talking about, so I've decided to give a quick crash-course in the different types of painted glasses found on early american clocks (1800-1900). This short article focuses mainly on coloured glasses. There are many different styles, but not all will be mentionned.

    *Dates given are approximate!

    Around the early 1800's one of the first types of painted glasses were done using various metallic powders and paints. This type of glass is commonly found on older weight driven banjos, pillar and scroll clocks, and other wooden works clocks of the period (roughly 1800-1830)

    Stencilled glass using bronzing powders:
    [​IMG]

    Around the late 1830's up to about 1850, many glasses were done with stencils. One of the most famous person making glasses of this type is William B. Fenn. These glasses were made with hand-cut stencils. The stencils often had small gaps at corners because otherwise the pattern would fall in pieces as it was cut. Glasses were usually gold or silver bronzing powder, then back-filled with nice bright colours.

    Two examples of stencilled glasses:

    This first one has a stencilled border, and a "freehand" design in the centre.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Around 1830, a new process was made called the litho paper process. This created very fine tablets with much more detail, but this process created an unstable glass, and were prone to flaking away. Good examples of these are rare. (No image for this one).

    By the 1840's a new process using steel engraved plates replaced the litho paper process. This was the "decalcomania" process. This process created very finely detailed glasses that could be printed onto the glass, and then quickly painted in reverse. This process was used extensively up until the 20th century.

    Decal type glasses:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This covers most types of coloured glass types. Other types include: fully freehand tablets, acid etched tablets, "faux" acid etched using silvered powders, and combinations of stencilled and etched tablets.
     
  3. Missy

    Missy Registered User
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    Thanks Sooth for that interesting post. I enjoyed it. I have done two reverse paintings on two of my clocks. One on a banjo and another on a triple decker. I did it many years ago and now they are starting to peel. I did them in oil paints. Should I have backed them with black paint? What type of paint did they use when they free handed the painting?

    Missy
     
  4. lamarw

    lamarw Registered User
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    Thank you Sooth. Interesting and beautiful. I have the third example down (flowers in a pot with columns and curtains) on the center glass of a Seth Thomas Plymouth Hollow Double Dial Calendar. I am most pleased to see another example of the same scene. Regards,
     
  5. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Missy, I'd be very interested to know what type of oil paints you used, and what "process" you used.

    Did you clean the glass carefully? Did you coat it with varnish first? What kind of pattern was it, what kind of paint, checmicals, etc... Was it painted on old glass or new? Etc...

    I need to pick some patterns that will eventually be painted onto two old pieces of wavy glass for my most beautiful clock. I want them to be extra nice, accurate, and hopefully DURABLE.

    lamarw: I've seen this glass on a few clocks, and have seen the curtains done in different colours (red, green, and blue, I think). The design is almost always gold for this one. I've seen it on Seth Thomas, and I think on Jerome clocks also. Possibly even an Asa Munger. The one above was actually on a Forestville triple decker column clock.
     
  6. Missy

    Missy Registered User
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    Sooth, I used regular artists oil color, probably Duro. I just read on a tube "duro artists colors are ground in only the finest alkali refined linseed oil. I'm sure I cleaned the glass, but I did not coat with varnish. The glass was probably new as it was clear. I painted a sailing ship seascape on the banjo bottom glass and a rope and anchor on the throat.Mt. Vernon on the triple decker middle glass. The original painting is on the bottom glass and is a large white house with trees.

    I just went and looked at them. The one on the triple decker is holding up well, but the sky is starting to flake on the banjo.

    I believe the worst enemy of clocks and the paintings is uneven temperature and humidity. This old country house is not insulated nor does it have central a/h and the clocks have suffered.

    Wish I could post a picture, but I don't have a digital camera yet. Maybe when I get a "round tuite". :biggrin:

    Missy
     
  7. W.R. WoodWorking

    W.R. WoodWorking Registered User

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    excellent little lesson sooth, enjoyed it. I think this is an example of a jerome on ebay
    Jerome
     
  8. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Hi, Missy, if the sky in your Banjo is just lifting off, there are ways you can re-soften, and re-attach the paint without touching it.

    It's called the Pettenkofer process. You can ask Tom T, and I'm sure he could give you a quick summary of how to do it.

    If the paint is flaking, and falling off, then you can only save what's left on the glass. You'd have to touch-up the rest.
     
  9. TomT

    TomT Registered User

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    Hi Missy,

    Sooth is right about "relaxing" flaking paint. There was a process developed in the late 1800's to soften and relax lifting and flaking paint on oil paintings. It involved placing the painting in a sealed container and exposing it to a strong concentration of a solvent's "vapors". Nothing actually touched the painting, but the solvent vapors would be absorbed by the paint and cause it to re-soften and relax.

    There is a formal presentation of using this process on an old Terry clock tablet at Petenkoffer Process

    But a word of CAUTION.......

    There are many different kinds of paints and many different solvents. The process shown at the link used a MEK and Gycol mixture. Others have used solvents such as lacquer thinner or Acetone. Before actually putting your tablet in a sealed container with any solvent, you need to do some testing with solvents and Q-tips to see which solvents will actually affect the paint you used. I've generally had good luck with MEK solvent, but caution is always needed.

    Check out the link and you can learn some more about this process.

    Regards,
     
  10. lamarw

    lamarw Registered User
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    Lot of us are aware of Martha Smallwood with the Dial House as a good recomendataion for dials. Is there anyone of that caliber in the restoration of tablets? I have several that I would give consideration to having "touched up" or restored closer to their prior beauty.
     
  11. TomT

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    If you look in the October 2004 Bulletin, there is an article about Tom and Jan Moberg of Owosso, Michigan. The do both restoration and replacement tablet work and their work looks fantastic. Check out the story and you can see some examples.

    Regards,
     
  12. lamarw

    lamarw Registered User
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    Thank you Tom, I just read through the article, and drooled over the pictures. I was particularly impressed with the example in figure 9. Looked throught the August Mart and did not see an advertisement for them. Also performed a search on Switchboard with no hits. Do you have a means of contact? Thanks again,
     
  13. Missy

    Missy Registered User
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    Tom, thank you for the information and the web site on painting restoration. I have been wanting to get back to my painting, but got into this clock repairing. Maybe this winter I will and see what I can do with the painting. Being the sky, I don't think it will be too hard to fill in. I do think they need to be sealed from the air. What would you suggest as a sealer?

    I had just looked at Tom and Jan Moberg's site. I had even sent the web address to Sooth by PM. I had a hard time finding it, but I did at http://www.mysite.verizon.net/time-saver. Now I can't bring it up or find it by a search. Don't you just hate it when that happens? :mad:

    She has some beautiful examples of her work. She is an excellent artist and I think he is also. They are very professional works. Those who are looking for a replacement glass or restoration work might contact her. I did see an address for them on another site. If anyone wants it, maybe I can find it again. :confused:

    Sooth, were you able to bring it up?

    Missy
     
  14. Ralph

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    Lee Davis does excellent work and conducts the Reverse Painting on Glass class at the NAWCC School of Horology....as least he used to. He still takes on work. He's in the book, in York , Pa.

    Ralph
     
  15. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Missy, I did not get a PM from you. :frown:
     
  16. Time-Saver

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    Missy, The URL you posted is not the Moberg's site, it is my site (http://www.mysite.verizon.net/time-saver). My wife teaches reverse glass painting for chapter 124, she studied under Lee Davis. Not sure if the Moberg's have a web site, at least I have not stumbled onto it. KL doesn't do glasses commercially, just as a hobby and to teach the craft to others.

    Best regards,
    JD (Time-Saver)
     
  17. Time-Saver

    Time-Saver Registered User
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  18. TomT

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    I located an address and phone number as follows:

    Tom and Jan Moberg
    115 South Howell Street
    Owosso, MI 48867
    517-723-3112

    Regards,
     
  19. lamarw

    lamarw Registered User
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    Thank You!
     
  20. Missy

    Missy Registered User
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    Time-Saver, I am so sorry for my mistake in getting your site confused with Tom & Jan Moberg's site. It was late and I guess my mind went to sleep before I did. Thanks for giving the correct address also. I have put it in my favorites.

    As Bob (the paint guy on PBS) used to say, there are no mistakes, only happy accidents. I am glad in a way that it happened. Now for those who had not seen it, they can enjoy it too.

    My hat's off to K.L. What a talent she has. I have never seen any more beautiful paintings. Your site has a wealth of information also about the clocks and clockmakers.

    Thanks for sharing your talent, knowledge and clocks with us.

    Missy
     
  21. Time-Saver

    Time-Saver Registered User
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    Not a problem Missy, glad you enjoyed our site, and some of KL's paintings. The Moberg's do some very nice work, in fact, I have an 8 day wooden works clocks with two of their tablets in it (they were there when I got the clock).

    Time-Saver (JD)
     
  22. Phil Gregory

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    She is not only talented, she is very pretty and very patient which is why she gets along so well with JD who is non the less a good worker.
    She teaches painting in the 124 educational program. Those who may be near Dallas can attend this program for $20 for two weekend days. The course is offered 3-4 times per year. Go to the 124 site to get schedule dates. I teach it out of town for groups of members for the cost of my travel expenses.
     
  23. David 62

    David 62 Registered User
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    I think that a really good thread would be images of original tablets and dials.
    David
     
  24. harold bain

    harold bain Forums Administrator
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    Great idea, David. Would you like to start it?
     
  25. David 62

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    I will try.I had trouble downloading images the last time that I tried...
    David
     
  26. David 62

    David 62 Registered User
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    This is a Bishop and Bradley P.&S. with a interesting portrait tablet.The background white area surrounding the figures has some lifting and various touch-ups,but it still is a attractive tablet.
     
  27. Phil Gregory

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    That is a great tablet. It is an example of an owner who did not want q factory tablet and hired an artist to make a special one.
    The colors, strokes and style is right for the period. The time it takes to do this paintng exceeds what the factory would do for their standard product.
     
  28. David 62

    David 62 Registered User
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    It makes me wonder if it was a presentation clock.I know that 19th.century brides did not often wear white.
    David
     
  29. Phil Gregory

    Phil Gregory Board Chair
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    It probably was, note on ebay 270314893230 is an example of a non factory painting. Was it done at the time the clock was built? Probably not as the designs in the corners are not stencils.
    Some artist has done a lot of work and if you wanted an attractive clock this would fit the bill.
     
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