Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Making of a Chandelier: Part 1

I have been dreaming of a colorful art glass chandelier for my dining room every since I laid eyes on a Chihuly chandelier in Las Vegas.

I cannot afford a Chihuly chandelier. Or even a knock-off copy of one. So I set out on an adventure to make my own.

Obviously I do not have a hot shop with a glass blowing furnace. This required me to stretch my creativity and design a piece that would work with kiln-formed (fused) glass, but still have that light and translucent blown glass feel I love.

Step 1: Build a frame. Or better yet, find an antique one that could be re-purposed for use with fused glass panels. My husband told me that we do not have a big enough studio to take up welding at this time. Someday I will learn how to weld too. Someday.

This proved to be a bigger challenge than I thought. I scoured auction sites, antique dealers, and craigslist until I finally found what I was looking for. Only it was that ugly old brass that had definitely seen better days.
BEFORE
Thankfully such a thing exists as spray paint. This is the quick and easy way to completely refinish oddly shaped objects and bring them to entirely new life. Even better, METALLIC spray paint & primer all in one. BOOM!

There are a zillion pins on Pinterest that show people updating their ugly old brass light fixtures with this metallic Rust-oleum. 

 

Before spraying the light fixture, I went over the entire surface with a steel wool pad dipped in vinegar to give it a thorough cleaning and 'roughing up' of the surface to help the paint adhere better.

Then I taped off all the sockets where the light bulbs go so I didn't get paint inside any of them.

Finally my husband hung it from a tree branch so I could get to all areas and I went to town. I used a little less than 2 full cans for a nice even finish.

It worked pretty good, was easy to use, and gave me the finish I was looking for. 

AFTER


Step 1 done. Now onto the glass ...