How does one recreate an alabaster shades? I'm about to show you how. This post will walk you through the multiple steps involved in recreating the iconic alabaster shades found in the chandeliers and light fixtures designed by Albert Cheuret.
Step 1. Understanding what you have
For various reason, this project only called the recreation of new shadesthat were totally broken and unusable. In this instance multiple piece has broken and been repair in the past (as you can see) but only a total of 4 shades needed to be recut.
Step 2. Creating a template and layout
After examining all the shades and deciding which piece needed to be cut, we created templates for each shade to guide us in choosing the right sized alabaster for the job. Once we got the alabaster, it was time to trace out our pieces.
Step 3. Get cutting
If you've ever cut stone before you know, it isn't always the easiest task. In order to get straight rough cuts to get the pieces to a more manageable size, you need special diamond covered saw blades and an abundance of water (to keep the stone from overheating).
Step 4. The toughest cut of all
Unfortunately in today's stone market, even at the best suppliers, coming across a stone precut to the width you need is hard to come by. Most stone, especially exotic marbles, are cut exclusively cut in 1-2 inch slabs for kitchen counter tops. In this case, the alabaster was no different. In order to get the 3/4 inch width that we needed, we have to resaw these pieces vertically. Boy was this a challenge.
Step 5. Shaping up
Even though our hands with power tools are pretty darn steady, to obtain the totally straight and flat sizes we need for this project, the carving and shaping at this stage needs to be done using using a flat jig.
Step 6. The Bevel
Once the pieces were the exact shape and width we needed, it was time to hand carve a bevel to each piece. Using small rifflers, each piece was shaped to match the contour of the piece it sat next to in order to create a uniform flow.
Step 7. The fit and finish
After the pieces were completely carved, the shades were ready to be matched and fit to their within the chandelier. As much as we loved our brand new beautifully craved shades, we knew they would look out of place adjacent the original shades that were over 50 years old. In order to artificially age the alabaster to match the originals, we put the new pieces through series of wax, dirt, and heat treatments similar to that of the original pieces. Can you tell me which ones we made?