Save our [Gl]Ass, continued: A daunting task

Remem­ber back in August when we were bur­glar­ized? (If not, you can get the scoop here.) The bur­glar did­n’t get much in the way of mon­ey, but the dirty rot­ten scoundrel did cause over $2,000 of dam­age by break­ing an etched-glass win­dow in our front door. Thanks to an out­pour­ing of sup­port from mem­ber­ship, our fol­low­ers on Twit­ter and friends on Face­book, we raised enough mon­ey to have a new win­dow made to match its twin. In more good news, Com­merce Bank pitched in some extra mon­ey to have the muse­um’s secu­ri­ty sys­tem upgrad­ed to pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing again.

Despite a lousy sit­u­a­tion, friends from near and far (Alas­ka!?), turned it around. Thanks to every­one who donat­ed, sent us encour­ag­ing notes, and spread the word of our plight on the inter­net. You’re the best.

Since August, we’ve changed a few things around here, and, after an exhaus­tive search, we’ve found some­one who has the skills and con­fi­dence to repro­duce the intri­cate 130-year-old etched glass pan­el that was bro­ken. Local artist Lea Koester­er began work­ing on the project last week, and we’ve post­ed a few pic­tures to show the progress thus far:

Lea shows Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Andy a sam­ple tem­plate on the light table in her Cen­tral West End studio.

On her work table, Lea attempt­ed to reassem­ble the glass from the bro­ken pane. Here you can see the point of impact.

Lea knows her glass. Her first task was to find the right col­or. Every pane of glass has a slight hue, and for this project she need­ed glass with a hint of green to match the orig­i­nal. (You can see a hint of green in the pic­ture above.) This week she found a pane of glass that was the right col­or. Before she starts work on the 18″ x 60″ piece that will go in the door, she is going to make a 6″ x 6″ test square.

For the test, Lea had to make a tem­plate of the pane of glass that was spared in the burglary:

Noth­ing fan­cy here. Just a piece of paper, dou­ble-sided tape, a mechan­i­cal pen­cil and about five hours of patient trac­ing. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, poor Lea devel­oped some cramps in her hand as the morn­ing (and after­noon) progressed.

The five-foot long template.

A detail of some of Lea’s tracing.

Lea’s first trip after Camp­bell House was to the print­er. She has to cut the tem­plate to cre­ate a series of masks for the sand­blast­ing process, and dur­ing sand­blast­ing, the tem­plate is destroyed. Even to make our lit­tle 6″ x 6″ sam­ple, the tem­plate will be ren­dered unus­able for any­thing else. To save anoth­er five-hour trip of trac­ing and hand cramps, a copy (or two) is in order.

Next up: The Sample.