services 02.12.14


When Augustine Jochec was growing up in what was then Czechoslovakia, his family were considered to be "enemies of the state." Young Gus was sent to apprentice in a glass factory at age 15 since 'enemies' had no say in the professions or education of their children.

The irony of this is that Mr. Jochec, who escaped in 1968, had the benefit of training in a well-established craft of his native country. He's now considered one of the best glass restorers anywhere. His business, Glass Restoration, 1597 York [84th/85th] 212.517.3287, has been in NYC since 1970.

Mr. Jochec advises bringing in damaged pieces as soon as possible: dirt and dust can settle into cracks over time and can't be completely removed. We saw two Steuben dolphins, both having lost their back fin. One was able to be reset and glued. On the other, Mr. Jochec had to cut a new fin (from scrap Steuben glass), polish it, and then set it. In both cases the repairs were seamless.

He often has to replace candle cups on candelabras, because people let the candles burn down into the cup and the heat cracks it. What Mr. Jochec calls "sick glass," that is, glass decanters that have gotten cloudy on the inside, can be repolished. The "sickness" is not on the surface of the glass (which is why you can't clean it), but is the result of a chemical reaction between the glass and wine (among other things).

Repairs can take from a few days for grinding the edges of crystal glasses to several weeks (or more) for complicated jobs. You can have it done fast or done right—Mr. Jochec, artisan that he is, will choose the latter every time.

There aren't many professional etchers left in the city; fortunately there's Buz Vaultz and his company Exquisite Glass and Stone, 10-42 47th Rd. [Vernon/11th St] LIC 212.674.7069. He can transfer virtually any design to glass, makes screens and room dividers, door panels and decorative mirrors, and monograms crystal bowls and glassware. While most of his work comes through architects and designers, he does accept private commissions.

Rosen Paramount, 45 E. 20th [Bway/Park Ave. S.] 212.532.0820, has been around for over 100 years, offering excellent quality glass services along the lines of custom cuts, polishing, beveling, sandblasting, and resilvering.

Perfect Glass is the best product we've ever found for cleaning your own windows and other glass surfaces. Translation: no streaks. It's available at Bed Bath & Beyond for $4.99. Happy spritzing.

The East River

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