Iolani Palace glass to be repaired

Last month, KHON2 news was the first to report of the act of vandalism that shattered a glass windowpane at one of the entryway doors to Iolani Palace. The shattered remains now sit in the attic of the palace.

But by the end of next week, those pieces of history will be shipped to California in a special crate to an expert who has done similar work for the palace in the past.

“One of the big things we want to do is to ship the glass upright for safety reasons,” said Michael Juen, collections manager for the Friends of Iolani Palace. “Also, we’ll float the glass in the crate to protect it even more. The special packaging in the crate will do just that, and a graphite on vellum rubbing of an identical glass windowpane shows you what the damaged one looked like before it was shattered, down to every little etched marking.”

“The rubbing, which is of a replica window on the other end on the mauka side of the palace, will allow the glass artisan to see the entire pattern,” said Heather Diamond, curator for the Friends of Iolani Palace.

The remaining pieces of the shattered pane are stored in a little plastic bag. They’ll also be shipped to California, where the glass restorer will try to get the pane back to its original form.

The glass was created by artisans trained in the European style of glasswork for the Hawaiian monarchy in time for the opening of the palace in 1882. The damage last month to the Palace triggered strong emotions and the artisan who will repair the window, Pat Mackle, owner of Decorative Glass Processes, is sensitive to those who regard it as a treasure.

“When I first saw the kind of work, I was emotionally attached to it and felt like I had did it in an earlier life, because I have roots in Ireland and England in my ancestors,” Mackle told KHON2. “It’s not like a slam dunk job where you just think, ‘Hey, it’s the money. I’ll just whip it out and get it done.’ Instead, every brush stroke is studied and I try to keep it as original as what the original artist has done.”

Mackle has done three similar repair jobs in the past for the palace. He says this latest repair will take about three months.

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