Glass is an important artistic medium and has been used for millennia to produce both practical and decorative objects. Glass objects may be blown, molded, formed from its molten state or produced in sheets, using a variety of techniques. Glass objects can be decorated with with impressed or relief patterns, fired enamels, or paint layers.
Because of its brittleness and transparency, glass can be a challenging material to repair. SBE Conservation LLC has extensive experience conserving glass objects, including both archaeological and modern vessel glass, flat glass, enameled pieces and reverse painted glass. Treatment has included reassembly, filling, inpainting and consolidating.
Reverse painted glass, or verre églomisé in French, refers to glass that has been painted on the backside , such that the viewer looks through the glass to see the painting below. The artist necessarily works front to back, so that the foreground is applied first and background last.
SBE Conservation LLC has worked on a small collection of Romanian folk icons, all created through the reverse painted glass technique. Work has included both wet and dry surface cleaning to remove soiling, consolidation with a synthetic adhesive created for use in conservation called RegelrezTM, and inpainting where needed to compensate for losses in the paint layer. These images illustrate specific types of damage and their stabilization.