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teddyretirementhome Woo Bears
toronto
Posts: 92

Hi everyone!

Do you mind if I ask a really dumb question? (please oh please!)

I have the perfect eyes for a bear. They have a thin wire loop embedded at both ends into the back of the glass eye. But the wire loop broke in one place. They were hard to find and will take me months to replace.

Is there a way, no matter how fiddly, to fix the wire? A liquid sodder? Superglue? :)

Cheers and thanks


Brenda
teddyretirementhome

woo bears!

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

There are so many good epoxies available now it might just work, but I would probably tend to use the remaining wire and  Oh So 'c  a  r  e  f  u  l  l  y'  (without budging the base of it even a smidgen!) curl it over into a double or triple looped ring and use that as my tie-off to thread into the bear.

That would make a stronger thing to pull against than something which you're not sure will hold, especially if you have to put pressure on it to pull it into a sculpted eye socket.

As added insurance, I'd build up the epoxy around the base of the remaining wire coming out of the bead, where the wire and glass meet, just in case that other wire was jostled and its bond within the glass sphere was weakened when the other one snapped.

JMO!! But I work only in miniatures and probably don't have the same amounts of pressure building up that you artists do dealing with the larger cousins!

Donna Donna's Duin Bruins
Burbank, CA
Posts: 900

Would it work to add another wire with epoxy?

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399
Website

Can you very carefully straighten out the broken wire and roll it round an awl or use small round needle nose pliers to roll it into a loop and then use that loop to attach with one wire into the head?  I have eyes that are on wire.  One eye on one end, one on the other. This is what I do to make the loops.

Joanne

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

... but I would probably tend to use the remaining wire and  Oh so 'c  a  r  e  f  u  l  l  y'  (without budging the base of it even a smidgen!) curl it over into a double or triple looped ring and use that as my tie-off to thread into the bear.
Can you very carefully straighten out the broken wire and roll it round an awl or use small round needle nose pliers to roll it into a loop and then use that loop to attach with one wire into the head?

Yes - what Joanne is describing is just what I too meant, but didn't go into enough detail like she did!
Picture a pig - (the eye bead) - with a curly tail - (the curled-down wire.)

That's what I was trying to describe, except adding a bit of reinforcement around the base of the remaining wire, as they aren't embedded into the molten glass very deeply and a lot of pressure is put on them while in place in the face. And if one wire broke off it has shattered the glass around the base where both wires emerged from the glass. That area is now compromised.
I'd do as much as I could to bond the two component parts of wire and glass back together before inserting it into the face, because it's easier to do it now than to have to replace that eye bead (or both if you don't have a matching one) after the bear is completed.
Awful thing to happen after this goes off to a customer too - - -

teddyretirementhome Woo Bears
toronto
Posts: 92

Hi there

the wire is embedded well in the glass on both ends. The break is at 1-2 o'clock, if you know what I mean! bear_original Am on the road, so can't send a pic. The wire is a bit brittle, but perhaps I can curl it round a small awl. I used to work in silver, and my first thought was: anneal it (heat it with a torch) but of course I can't do that with glass! Aaagh!

Thanks so much for your suggestions, I'll definitely try them out when I am home again! bear_original

You are the greatest!

Brenda
teddyretirementhome
now woo bears

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

Ahh, Joanne was right about having 2 wires to work with and I missed the point completely - sorry for skimming the first time!
Now I personally wouldn't chance moving them as in curling them down, as you are more likely to agitate the bases if they're still that close together.
As to annealing them with heat - were you thinking of bonding on another wire? That would work. You only need a soldering iron, flux and solder.
'Sister' another wire alongside both legs of existing wires and that will bond them together while bridging the gap.
The heat generated by this isn't hot enough to do any damage to the glass bead - I do stained glass work and am familiar with the melting of metals alongside glass.
I think I've had only 2 pieces of glass crack due to heat build-up and glass is very much thinner than an eye bead: I just plain held the iron in one spot too long. You need only to melt the solder until it runs along the wire to bond the 2 for the short length of perhaps ¼" in both directions? The glass probably won't even get warm-to-the-touch.

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399
Website

When I use realistic taxidermy eyes there is no wire loops.  I sculpt an eye socket and use glue.  You can always go that route if worse comes to worse.  I would do the same for both eyes.

Joanne

teddyretirementhome Woo Bears
toronto
Posts: 92

A quick note to say thanks so much for the really accurate and practical help! :)

This pair of eyes were handpainted, and had pre-made wire loops on them.   Frustratingly, although they were well anchored, the wire itself was sooooo skinny, I really didn't think I could make this work.

I twisted the longer part around like a curly piglet's tail (thank you for that!) and then ALSO applied some plain clear Elmer's glue, which is a bit flexible, but kept the curls together so that the pressure of my pulling was distributed across 3 curls across....

Worked perfectly! :)

I'm so glad to learn that one can improvise like this and still get great results!

Many, many thanks, all

Brenda
was teddyretirementhome now woo bears

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