My job is varied and interesting. Recently, I have had the honour to renovate crystal glass chandeliers from Kostel nejsvětější trojice church in Fulnek. What did I do and what surprised me? The article will answer these two questions and reveal much more, too.
Crystal glass chandeliers are a conspicuous and substantial feature of the church. The corner stone of the church that is located beneath the pulpit was laid in 1750. The church construction finished ten years later, and vast paintworks of the church interior started in the same year.
This is a single-nave church. It is connected to a Gothic cloister on the western side. The main altar is oriented towards north, and the eastern wall is where the oval St. Joseph chapel was built. The church is decorated in Baroque style and has unique mural paintings with rich symbolism.
The small chandelier was rather soiled before the renovation begun. Several crystal glass elements were missing, several others had been fixed with various wires and other materials. Two glass pans that used to serve as a tray for hot wax to drop into were broken, and somebody had obviously tried to fix them with wires and unknown glue. A brass pan with a large hole in it was on the upper part of the chandelier.
First of all, the original candle holder needed to be removed. Crystal chains were removed, decorations and other glass and crystal glass elements. Old wiring from the chandelier frame were disposed of, and the holder was inspected thoroughly. I found out that the frame is corroded in most places. Therefore, the corrosion needed to be removed, cleaned, and prepared for new paintwork.
The aforementioned brass pan located under the upper crown of the frond was repaired. In order to do this, I used a special abrasive putty and I painted it (together with other metal parts) in the same colour hue that was applied on the chandelier frame. Broken glass pans where melted wax had dripped had to be repaired, too. First of all, they were washed and degreased and then glued together with a special bond that works with UV light.
Wires that held individual crystal glass elements were replaced. At the same time, unsuitable wires were replaced, and everything was made ready so that the chandelier could be assembled. Eventually, the chandelier was polished with soft mircrofiber cloths.
The large chandelier was handed over to me disassembled. This light was much more preserved than the small chandelier. Only a few glass parts were missing.
The chandelier was first taken apart completely. Individual metal parts were treated then – they were cleaned and degreased. However, brass components required further treatment as the brass had oxidized in many places.
All of these parts needed to be polished. They were then degreased, and a thick coat of hard coating was used. All glass and crystal glass parts were cleaned in soap water and polished. Assembly of the chandelier and new wiring installation could be carried out then.
The original electric wiring was not in satisfactory condition and therefore it was necessary to replace all these parts. Only original decorative tassels and wooden orbs with plaster coating could be preserved.
First of all, a drawing of each rope needed to be done; also, each rope was measured. Subsequently, wiring and the suspension was replaced. In the end, all ropes and cables were completed.
Have you got a light that has seen better days? I will be happy to have a look at it and renovate it so that you can use it in your home again.
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