Crystal Repair (with samples)
"The kids / cat / dog / husband / wife / maid / guests broke my family heirloom!!!!"
Does your beautiful piece have a chip?
Don't worry. Bring it in to us. (*Please don't ship it. As of 2017, we are no longer accepting shipments of crystal repairs. You must bring them into our studio outside of Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.)
Come and see why many of the largest decorative crystal stores send their customers with repair issues to us.
See why we're one of the very few companies which Waterford of Ireland (and beyond) gives repair referrals to.
About our capabilities:
- We repair crystal and glass by way of cutting, grinding and polishing. This is called "cold glass work". We do not do any "hot glass work" such as melting the glass via kilns, torches or furnaces. ...Please note that it is not possible to fill holes in glass. We can only grind a piece down, or replace a top or base entirely, or grind the two broken surfaces on either side of a break so that they may be bonded together with special glue.
- We bond pieces together using premium Ultra Violet light-catalyzed glue. For this technique to work, the pieces must be a clean break, a perfect fit, and at least somewhat transparent to UV light.
- Finally, we often use a combination of cutting, polishing and bonding.
How do I get an estimate?
- Bring the item in. ...Or before bringing in a item, you can send us some photos via email. See our email link at the bottom of this page.
- We will contact you via email with a price range.
- Save that correspondence. Print it out and bring it in with your items.
|Common repair example||Price||Depends upon...|
|UV glue-bond pieces together from a perfect, clean break, or with small art pieces, such as Swarovski, etc.||$20 and up||$20 for a single, clean break; More cost with more breaks and old-glue removal, etc. A decorative lead crystal bowl with a piece broken off is typcally $45.|
|Remove chips from top of crystal goblets, flutes, stemware, etc. (our most common repair)|
3 for $100
|depth of chips; thickness of stemware; and value of piece. Price is usually $35 each.|
|Remove chips from top of flat-top bowl||$85 - $225||depth of chips, thickness and weight of bowl; value of piece. More if bowl is very heavy.|
|Radical cut and reshape of thick lead crystal bow or vase.||$150 - $450||amount and size of cuts, shape of piece, value of piece.|
Why Do We Charge $35 for a single, little chip on a single piece of stemware???
Yes, some businesses offer repairs of stemware for $20 or perhaps less. Problem is they don't do a very good job. If your stemware is not worth our price for repair in either personal or market value, then don't bring it to us. Here is what you get at Riordan Artistry for the money:
- If there is a large crack that has to be removed, we will cut down the stemware with a water-cooled, diamond band saw.
- We typically do 6 stages of wet belt grinding with descending grit size, ending with cork. We take pains to make the rim level, as well as flat. A gradual operation like this makes sure the glass does not crack.
- We soften the arris on the inside lip of the glass rim, so that drinking from the glass is comfortable. We create a micro-bevel there with hand-polishing.
- We do the final head-on rim buff with cerium oxide on a felt platter. This adds ultra-clarity, and is another stage that "quicky" repair places skip entirely.
- We clean the stemware as much as possible, and finish with a special glass polish that brings out the luster.
- Even though we often receive the item with no protection on it, we present it back with some sort of protective wrap or packaging for transport.
Samples of Our Work
Note the before and after photos. This beautiful vase needed a massive chip removed from the top lip. This is a common type of repair.
Below, you can see the very long and unfortunate crack in this thick Waterford lead crystal vase. We took advantage of the fact that crack did not go through the original artist's palm tree design. We did a radical cut and polish on the top of the vase, which removed the crack and highlighted the original artwork.
Below, we have a wonderful round bowl, with a chip (right side of bowl top) that goes past the bevel, and into the bowl proper.
We had to come up with something better than simply cutting the whole rim, plus a little more, off of the top of the bowl.
We modeled the bowl on a computer and calculated how few scallops we could reasonably cut into the top in order that the new cuts looked pleasing, evenly distributed, and would, of course, envelop the original chip.
Our customer was in on the process from the beginning and was very pleased.
Sometimes customers just give us boxes of broken Svarovski crystal and hope for the best.
In the top photo we have pieces. In the bottom photo, we have the repaired and cleaned crystal figurines.
On the items below, we had to replace both crystal tops of this very decorative set of flutes with ones that we lovingly hacked off a pair of high-quality crystal flutes that had crystal stems.
If the break is clean, and the piece is saved in tact, we can often bond it back in such a fashion that one is hard pressed to find the original seam.
We probably repair more lead crystal goblets and flutes than any other item. Some of them are quite thin and ornate. Usually the grinding does not alter the height to any noticeable degree. Occasionally, we will have to make the glass shorter, or shrink its base, if there are chips there as well.
This very old Waterford design in lead crystal used to have a circular top, but the chips were so massive that we had to reshape the piece.
Luckily the chips just barely missed the beautiful designer cuts done on the sides of the piece, and we were able to leave all the artistic cuts and reshape the top into a sort of clover design.
The woman who brought this set in was heartbroken that the lead crystal that she had hand-picked while shopping in Italy with her husband was broken during shipping to the U.S. She was pregnant and wanted to get the piece repaired before she had her first baby.
Now we're not going to claim that the peace of mind that we gave her strongly affected the developing baby in the womb, and that they lived happily ever after ...but then again, we wouldn't deny it either.
This beautiful, heavy, lead crystal bowl had two very sharp corners opposite each other on the lobes of the top rim. One corner had huge chunks broken out of it. We decided to round the lobe, and then round the opposite lobe to match it. The customer loved the results.
Some of the pieces we work on are quite ornate.