Can anyone help me become a "Glass Doctor"?

Reply Fri 10 Sep, 2010 10:52 am

There are people that repair broken, chipped and ‘sick’ items made from glass. Most often they are seen at glass shows and with booths at antique malls. I want to learn how to become a Glass Doctor.

I have made on-line inquiries of a few current Glass Doctors and I have never received a reply. I only knew of one that was set up in a mall, and first he was 5 hours away, and then the mall closed. I wrote to an organization that appeared to a professional organization for Glass Doctors and, guess what, no response.

I would prefer hard, concrete information on where to purchase the equipment/how to learn, but advice might also be helpful.

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Reply Fri 10 Sep, 2010 11:00 am
I have an acquaintance that is a glass artist, but I don't think I've seen a glass doctor. (but, i really don't do malls)

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Reply Fri 10 Sep, 2010 11:02 am
Interesting idea for a potential career.

You will first need some kind of technical/craft training and inevitable internship or apprenticeships of sorts.

First look for some kind of arts/glass blowing classes at your nearby community college or art school. Once you've taken a couple of classes, use the professors/teachers as a networking system. Get advice from these guys (and gals) instead of trying to milk the online community who may think that ...
1. you are going through a mid-life crisis and thusly are not serious about your potential glass doctor pursuit;
2. you will be potential rivals in business so why should they help you get a leg up into the business. Something tells me this is a highly specialized business and these people don't want the competition.

For a random starter:

here's the contact information at the Corning Museum of Glass:
Want to take a glassmaking course at The Studio?
By phone: 607.974.6467 By e-mail: [email protected]

Would you like to learn more about our educational programs?
By phone: 607.974.8635
By e-mail: [email protected]

If anything, call or email them for any advice on the local schools in your particular area of residence. I tend to trust the people of these learning institutions and know they are a far more helpful sort of folk who love to proselytize others into the realm of their personal and occupational passions.

Please take this pursuit seriously and keep us up to date on your obstacles and good fortunes in your attempt to be a glass doctor.

Bonne chance,
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Reply Fri 10 Sep, 2010 01:08 pm
Google: glass and pottery restoration
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Reply Fri 10 Sep, 2010 02:17 pm
Okay, let me clarify:

A glass doctor is a guy that grinds the chip out of grandma's stemware for that you can still use it. They travel to glass shows and sometimes set up in antique malls. They basically use grinding and polishing tools, but ones set up for detail and glass. I have seem very good ones and very bad ones and I believe I can be a very good one. I have a mall I could set up and offer the service 1-4 times a month, as demanded.

The people that you get by searching are _selling_ the service, not offering training or information. I know people that have gone to restoration classes for pottery and porcelain and they are detailed and extensive courses. I'm not trying for restoration, so much as repair.
Reply Fri 10 Sep, 2010 02:19 pm
have dremel tool kit, will travel...

sounds like a practice makes perfect kinda trade.
Reply Fri 10 Sep, 2010 02:40 pm
So you're aiming for a career/supplemental job that parallels flipping burgers at McDonalds rather then cooking up a nicely aged fillet mignon? Neutral

What do you do when someone brings in a very rare valuable serving plate with a slightly chipped lip? Or an expensive crystal Waterford vase? Give them the bird and say ... hey if that was a five dollar piece of glass you got from a yard sale then I'd feel comfortable fixing it despite the fact it's not worth fixing at any price?

As a potential customer, if I had a valuable/sentimental piece of glass that needed repair then I wouldn't trust any joe schmoe who had any training less then someone who could restore the piece.

Anything that didn't deserve such restoration expertise doesn't need to be fixed. Might as well as buy a new set of cheap water glasses then fix them at that point.
Reply Fri 10 Sep, 2010 08:27 pm
You're more nearly there.

However, there are tools that will grind and polish the entire rim of a thin water goblet so that there isn't a dip. A bad glass doctor grinds down the chip, leaving a dip. A poor GD grinds the entire rim, but leaves it cloudy looking for lack of polish. A good GD grinds and polishes the entire rim, leaving it smooth and shiny, but flat on top. An excellent glass doctor can leave a shiny, rounded rim.

So say you inherited Granny's 8 piece set of blown glass goblets. 2 have minor rim chips. Replacements Unlimited wants $58 each to replace them. An excellent glass doctor would get, maybe, 8 dollars each for repair? You simply want to use them, so are you going to pay $116, or $16? It's possible to do repairs that are so close that the dealers finally don't care.

There are other tools that bevel edges, etc. I need a rudimentary Glass Doctor set-up and basic instruction. I'll practice the perfect.
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Reply Fri 10 Sep, 2010 08:53 pm
No, I'm aiming for a hobby/job where I take people's trash glass and turn it into treasure. I want to take lovely things that really ought to be thrown away, and put them back into service.

Say you had a great little decanter that you knocked over. Broke the stopper and chipped the rim. Alas, your favorite piece, and it's trash. Bring it to my Doctor Shop and I'll cut the neck off, polish the rim, and hand you back a great little rosebowl for under $20. There are darned few Waterford vases worthy or restoration, but there are lots that need repaired. I would be able to repair Waterford economically.
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