What can I do with this interesting piece of bowed glass?

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I have this piece of glass (44" by 18") that was removed from an old china cabinet. I'm looking to repurpose it in some way, possibly making it into a light
fixture but not committed to that. It's just too cool not to use in some way. Maybe even wall art. I've experimented with alcohol inks but not happy with that. Anyone have any really great ideas? It's rather fragile.
q ideas for a large piece of bowed glass
  16 answers
  • Myr8816833 Myr8816833 on Dec 16, 2016
    what a shame to destroy the original. Curved glass is very exspensive to replace. hope you can find a good use for it.
  • Karen Bowman Pannabecker Karen Bowman Pannabecker on Dec 16, 2016
    The rest of the cabinet was cracked and the glass has been replaced by copper for a different use.
  • Birdz of a Feather Birdz of a Feather on Dec 16, 2016
    It looks like it might fit between two studs. I've always wanted to build a glass display right into a wall, so if you use the glass vertically and cap the two curved ends with some wood, you could build a display similar to the one below and space some shelves according to what you're displaying. That way, your artwork could be behind the glass and not take up much room since it's built right into the studs.
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    • Lori Lori on Dec 17, 2016
      If you have no wiring between those studs you could always cut the opening you need for the display space, cut the vertical wall stud section out and very importantly: add a stud horizontally at the top and bottom (known as cripple studs) to hold the now cut-out-from-the-the-center studs remaining top and bottom in place. Toe nail (nails put in at an angle) the cripple studs so the nails won't pull out. This also gives you a nice finished top and bottom to your in-wall cabinet. If your cabinet is not as wide as the space between three wall studs (one on each side and one in the middle) make sure the cripple studs span the gap all the way across to the next vertical stud. You might have to patch drywall to open the space enough to get to those vertical studs. Add sides to your cabinet. Then just paint or stain to match the rest of the interior of your built in cabinet. Does this make sense to you?
  • Lee Lee on Dec 16, 2016
    Maybe a large terrarium?
    • CecileH CecileH on Dec 19, 2016
      If you make a concrete base or the concrete mix with peat (can't remember the name but it starts with "H") to make it lighter, you could use dowels to make the grooves for the glass to sit into while laying on it's back (curve side down) then fill the centre section with succulent soil. Once planted place the glass over the top to 'protect' them. Awesome looking table piece for inside or out!

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Dec 16, 2016
    It would look great over bricks. Maybe you could cap it off with wood so you can fasten to wall leaving the bottom open then place some air plants that you can fasten onto hooks from wooden top. Airplants are usually kept in glass containers that hang so they would be a piece of art in a sense. If not that hang some beautifully colored glass icicles that in themselves are art but this would show case them all year long.
  • Birdz of a Feather Birdz of a Feather on Dec 16, 2016
    Hi Karen - since it won't fit between the studs, here's my second idea. Use a router to create a channel to match the curve so you can create a base so it will stand (do one for both ends to finish the edges). Then back paint the glass similar to the picture I attached. If you can't place it on a table in front of a window to display it, then consider making a wooden frame all the way around and routing out some channels along the sides so you can recess a strip of LED lights to illuminate it.
  • Karen Bowman Pannabecker Karen Bowman Pannabecker on Dec 16, 2016
    I just checked out all your posts, Birdz of a Feather, cool stuff. I have LOTS of old vinyl records and have been trying to find uses for them. I love your key chain holder VW Bug. How would you color the glass? I tried using alcohol inks on glass recently, thinking I might color this piece with it but wasn't happy with the results. Maybe it would be cool to do what you suggested but use it above our bed (horizontally), since we have no headboard. I like the idea of routing out a piece of wood to frame it too, though I'd need my friend's help because this rounded piece might be beyond my abilities. Thanks for your input.
    • Stacy Stacy on Dec 18, 2016
      Lots of old vinyl records could bring in lots o' cash at a yard sale. We cleaned up after 20 years in the record biz. If you can't come up with any other use for them ...
  • Birdz of a Feather Birdz of a Feather on Dec 17, 2016
    Happy to hear you liked my posts! I may just have to try some faux glass now that you have me thinking :)

    If you wanted to achieve something like the picture, I would apply paint to the back of the glass. if I wasn't going to see the back of this, I'd cut a stencil out of shelf liner and spray paint all the black areas of the design with a car paint. Once the paint is dry, since the black paint is solid, I would lay coloured acetate in the areas I want colour and glue it down within the black areas. Then you wouldn't have to mess with paint in those areas and you'll get a transparent look.

    Alternately, I recently saw someone paint glass using varathane mixed with food colouring to get a transparent look. I've never tried this and I don't know how durable it would be, but I'd be curious to try it on some plain glass. Suzy at Suzy’s Sitcom, uses clear glue mixed with acrylic paints. Here’s her link: http://suzyssitcom.com/2011/01/feature-friday-faux-stained-glass.html/4

    Another option for the coloured areas of course would be paint made specifically for painting glass and there are lots out there. Rather than brush it on, I'd try a small makeup sponge to apply it to try to get a smooth finish. Again, I've never tried it myself but if I were doing it, I'd avoid using a brush. I'd also be tempted to try airbrushing it on, but I don't know how practical it would be; glass paint is pretty pricey.

    Lastly, if you wanted to convert the glass back one day, apply all your finishes to a clear piece of acetate and mount it onto the back of the glass. Then you can simply remove it if you want.

    I think I'll have to play around with some of this myself. If I do, I'll let you know and send some pics!
  • Karen Bowman Pannabecker Karen Bowman Pannabecker on Dec 17, 2016
    I have lots of extra window panes (bought for replacements but never used) I'm practicing on. I've even experimented with nail polish. I'll check out Suzy's link now. Thanks.
  • Trudy Trudy on Dec 18, 2016
    Cool glass, search "Unicorn Spit on glass" for ideas. If you can't come up with something to do with it try selling the glass on Craigslist. Many people have antique furniture that is missing glass and would love to use it.
  • Napakin Napakin on Dec 18, 2016
    I see a back lighted waterfall wall panel. use some of that copper to make a collection trough at bottom, small pump and clear tubing to the top. Maybe add a copper pipe at top with holes to trickle water. Or add clear silicone lines at the top to break up the flow. You could even decorated the back of the glass that remains dry. And you can always dismantle it for another project!
  • Constance Derome Constance Derome on Dec 18, 2016
    Put somme boleys that Will reflex the sun and fix it on the wall
  • Karen Bowman Pannabecker Karen Bowman Pannabecker on Dec 19, 2016
    I knew I came to the right group. Thanks everyone. When I do whatever I'm going to do I'll post a picture.
  • Bernadette Staal Bernadette Staal on Dec 19, 2016
    I think the light fitting is a perfect idea, you could have natural timber that curves with the light on the bottom and the back) and a simple light fixture in the middle. I think you are onto a winner.
    • See 1 previous
    • Bernadette Staal Bernadette Staal on Dec 20, 2016
      I live in Wellington - where we have the most fantastic city, wonderful views and a mixture of city, suburban and rural locations to live. Ocean's surround us and we have rivers and so much native bush. The best little capital in the world, also known as windy Wellington or Wellywood as this is where the now world renowned film producer Peter Jackson (made Lord of the Rings movies) was brought up as a child and he has his main business, studio's, etc here.
       Your husband is right to think this is the best country in the world. Hopefully you can join him on a holiday and then share his passion.
      I do not know much about Virginia but I am sure it is also very beautiful.
  • Eve Eve on Dec 20, 2016
    Making it look like old Mercury glass might be a thought.
  • Sheila D Sheila D on Dec 25, 2016
    Be sure to send pictures of final product
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