replacement reverse glass from scratch

Discussion in 'Reverse Glass and Dial Painting' started by klokwiz, Dec 3, 2018.

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  1. klokwiz

    klokwiz Registered User
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    Hi, I am going to post my project clock that I am creating a reverse glass to replace the missing glass in door. The first photo is of the clock as I purchased it from an auction. The second shows the replacement of the splat and gilding of the columns. the third shows the tortoise shell finish to columns. I posted these so you can see the clock the glass will be going into and its evolution. This will be a lengthy process so I hope it does not bore those watching. the last photo is of a subject glass which I am considering for this clock. Joe

    clock as purchased.jpg clock with black columns.jpg clock with turtoise shell columns.jpg reverse glass candidate.jpg
     
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  2. klokwiz

    klokwiz Registered User
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    #2 klokwiz, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
    First I want to give credit to Lee Davis for his helping me with the fundamentals of the reverse glass painting process. His instruction in the process of stencil prep and the painting process as well as study of the product produced by the many artists who painted for these clocks, most anonymously, has been invaluable to me. He has my eternal gratitude for opening up another avenue of this exciting hobby.

    The fist step is to select and cut a glass period appropriate for the clock, meaning if the clock had old wavy glass that is whet you should be painting on. I have harvested a number of old windows and repurposed them for clock dial or door glass. for a reverse glass it can had numerous production defects, i.e. bubbles or bumps, as many are hidden in the design.

    once you have the glass the proper size you must decide which will be the front or back of glass, this will be determined by the appearance of glass, place best appearing side out. Mark glass with a sharpie pen "FRT" so it will be obvious which side is which. Now I use the sharpie to outline the door frame on the glass, this determines the visible part of glass for centering the design.

    The next step after selecting the design is to make a stencil for the border. I will post photos of the stencils made for this design. There are a number of steps involved so ask questions if you wish. The stencil pattern in this case was drawn free hand and then traced to linen drafting paper and cut out with an exacto knife.

    There are three stencils to be made: 1) corner 2) top (short strip to be used also for bottom) 3) side (longer one for both sides) the first photo shows my calculations for the length of each stencil the others the different stages of the stencils

    glass stencil layout.jpg stencil body shapes drawing.jpg stencil body top drawn on drafting paper.jpg stencil corner drawing.jpg stencil showing partial cut out 2.jpg stencil both main body cut outs.jpg
     
  3. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    Thanks for sharing your process. I'm looking forward to seeing the progress!
     
  4. klokwiz

    klokwiz Registered User
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    Pat, your very welcome, glad someone is looking, it seems the reverse glass topic has become seldom visited. I am hoping some will take up interest, or at least some will gain an appreciation of the process.

    The stencils took about 5 hours of work time from planning to completion. The strait lines were done using a strait edge, the other shapes are cut free hand. One of the nice things about the stencil is it does not have to be exact and variations in the pattern are not a problem. If you look at enough old glasses you will see the errors and variations on the patterns, these were not works or art but decoration. This does not mean that the stencil can be sloppy, just that it is hand made not machine stamped and will have variations. The strait lines that make the border edge are critical in that they be of even width and parallel. This attention to detail will make a big difference in the quality of the job. FYI the border lines are approx. 2/16" and are 3/16" from edge of door frame

    The photo I am posting shows my position lines on glass to help facilitate the positioning of the stencils while stenciling. The lines are on the outside of the glass. Joe

    glass with sharpie border.jpg
     
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  5. klokwiz

    klokwiz Registered User
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    Hi, the next step in creating the border is to apply a quality varnish to the area on the glass that will be stenciled. Apply the varnish in a smooth even coat making sure that you leave no voids or missed spots, as the stencil powder will not stick to unvarnished spots. You must wait for the varnish to dry to a light tack which will vary depending on temperature and humidity. My experience is 2-3 hours, I usually set a reminder alarm on my phone to look at glass, so I do not forget and let it dry completely. If this happens you can scrap it off with a razor blade and start over. You also have to leave enough tack time to complete the stenciling otherwise you will have areas that will not hold powder properly. It is also very important not to let foreign objects like cat hairs get stuck to your varnish, so keep it away from air born materials. These things will be seen in glass when finished so watch out for them. I will set the glass with varnish face down to avoid things dropping in wet varnish.

    When varnish has good tack, I start by setting my corners first, that way the other strips have something to connect to and you can get the border edges lined up. When you lay the stencil on the tacky varnish you will notice it sticks but can be lifted without taking a lot of varnish from surface. With the stencil in place on glass use a velvet type cloth dipped in a small amount of the stencil powder color your design calls for. Move the corner stencil to each corner rubbing powder into each. You need to be careful not to apply excess powder as any of it that gets away from you will end up stuck on glass where you don't want it. Now lay the side stencils and apply the powder in the same fashion. If any varnish is stuck to the stencils use mineral spirits to clean the stencil for the next use, they can be used over and over if you are careful.

    The technic you use to apply the powder greatly influences the end product. If you look at old glasses the stenciled areas are not heavy and dark like perfectly printed items. They have variations of depth and color even missed spots. The appearance is likely the pace at which they were made and changes due to age. My point is that you should apply the metallic powder sparingly and don't worry about variations in appearance, this will help lend and air of antiquity. There are also other processes to "age" the work. The next step when the varnish is completely dry will be to add the backing. the photo shows the powder applied and curing for finishing, sitting upside down on a plate. Joe

    glass with stencil powder applied.jpg
     
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  6. klokwiz

    klokwiz Registered User
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    hello again,

    Now that the varnish has dried with the stencil powder in place it is time to apply the backing color. I use rustoleum flat black for the backing color, one even coat is good and should not leave any voids. Paint the reverse side of glass over the stencil work using the edge of the stencil work as your inner frame edge. Joe

    I posted photo of my frame and subject photo I am replicating

    finished border trimmed.jpg reverse glass candidate.jpg
     
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  7. PatH

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    Coming along nicely!
     
  8. klokwiz

    klokwiz Registered User
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    Thank you Pat. Here is a better photo of the border with better lighting. You will see the ink work I have started for the painted scene. I have decided to go with a different painting, it will be of the MD state house, Annapolis, MD. It was built in 1772 and it thought it would be appropriate for my project since this is my state capital. The scene will depict the state house as it was in 1840's I found a picture of a cigar box postcard from the period to use. Joe

    state house ink with border frame.jpg MD statehouse cigar postcard.jpg mylar state house ink.jpg
     
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  9. Royce

    Royce Registered User

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    Thanks for sharing your process and progress. Looking forward to seeing this progress further!
     
  10. klokwiz

    klokwiz Registered User
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    hi, a little more progress. I finished the ink work for the state house. posting that and a photo of state house for those who have not seen it. The third photo is the postcard artist rendering I am copying circa 1840.

    capital ink1.jpg capital ink2.jpg MD statehouse cigar postcard.jpg state house2.jpg
     
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  11. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Excellent work Klokwiz. Do you have any details on the references that you mentioned in the second post? I was surprised by the use of stencil powder - I thought they were all painted with conventional "wet" paint. Also, what kind of ink/pen do you use?

    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  12. klokwiz

    klokwiz Registered User
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    Tom, thanks glad you like it. I am not sure what references you mean, I read the #2 post and am not clear what you are looking for. The pen I use is a cheap quill pen bought from Michael's crafts store. the Ink is Higgins brand which is what Lee Davis recommends, the difference is the thickness of ink or pigment level. You can try other brands of india ink, just see how it reacts when applied to the glass.

    here is some more work. painted in tree trunks with burnt umber oil paint thinned with some varnish and thinner. I drew trunks on front of glass first as guide for placement which is why there are black lines. The building windows, doors, and roofs were then painted in. The next step will be to do the foliage on trees and in the fore ground. Joe

    tree trunks painted.jpg tree tunks2.jpg building paint1.jpg building paint closeup1.jpg
     
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  13. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    I read this:

    At first I thought there were several sources, but I see you only refer to Lee Davis. I guess I'll have to do some research and look up more information about him.

    Thanks for the tip about the pen. I'll be watching this progress. Looks great so far, but I'm really interested to see it with the background.

    Tom
     
  14. klokwiz

    klokwiz Registered User
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    Tom, Thanks for your interest. Lee Is a artist who has been mentioned numerous times in this message board. He does reverse glass work for those who need it as well as other restoration work. his email is davisleeh66@aol.com
     
  15. klokwiz

    klokwiz Registered User
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    Hi, finally got some more work done on the tablet. The photos show the Prussian blue base color for the tree and ground foliage. The process goes like this: the blue is applied to form a base shape for the foliage which is then back painted with yellow to give the the foliage a varied green appearance. The blue in this case was applied with a rubber stamp I had made to simulate the veining effect I see in the original tablets. This application process is the closest I have come to duplicating the original style.

    foliage5.jpg foliage3.jpg foliage1.jpg
     
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  16. Royce

    Royce Registered User

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    Nicely done!
     
  17. klokwiz

    klokwiz Registered User
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    Hi, this posting shows the leaf blue veining has been back painted with various shades of yellow to medium green, this gives the leaves their green color. I have also painted in the building main white coloring with grey shadowing.

    suggs foliage green1.jpg suggs foliage green closeup1.jpg suggs foliage green closeup2.jpg
     
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  18. Sooth

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    Neat! Can't wait to see more.
     
  19. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

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    Fascinating....!
     
  20. woodlawndon

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    Would love to see more of this, such quality work, very impressive.
    Don
     
  21. klokwiz

    klokwiz Registered User
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    Thank you! I hope to have more completed soon.
     
  22. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    great thread... more, please!
     

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