Restoration is an extremely demanding aspect of stained glass work. It requires an understanding of the history and traditions of glass art, in addition to expert technical skills.
The purpose of restoration is to re-establish the integrity of the window. It may involve replacement of deteriorated elements (lead came and glass) and redesign of structural elements to alleviate bowing or sagging.
I would be pleased to work with you on restoration and repair of damaged windows, contemporary, historic or antique. Please call me directly to discuss your project – I will be pleased to meet with you for consultation.
The first step is always to assess the window for damage and to develop a plan involving the least invasive techniques.
The goal is to restore the panel to its original state preserving as much of the original glass as possible. Exact documentation notes varieties of glass used, size of panel, width of lead cames and placement of support bar or tie wire attachments.A full size rubbing of the design is made before dismantling to ensure the restored panel exactly replicates the original.
The glass is then carefully removed from the old lead, washed and cleaned. The process of rebuilding and releading the window includes examining each piece of glass closely to insure it is sound.
Broken glass is edge-glued or replacement glass is cut to size where necessary. All the glass is laid out on the pattern in order to ensure a good fit. Lead came that has deteriorated is replaced. Deterioration in lead is indicated by cracks at solder joints, bowing, and a surface deposit of white corrosive powder (lead carbonate) caused by organic acids.
Once the window has been releaded, the lead came is soldered and the window is weatherproof. The final steps require reattaching external reinforcing bars for maximum strength and security.
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