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Restoration / Repair

Stained glass window damaged by vandals.

Insitu Repairs

If the window has a small amount of damage, then it may be possible to repair it insitu without the need to remove the stained glass window completely from the frame, thus saving money, time and possible damage to the frame or the stained glass.

The first thing to do when we are carrying out an insitu repair is to carefully remove all the broken pieces form the lead. This can be a very difficult task when the pieces are narrow and the old lead is hard.

The next step is to smooth back the inside leaf of the lead so the new piece of glass can be inserted into the stained glass window. So now comes the realy difficult part, to cut the new glass pieces. Each piece of glass is cut accurately to shape using matching colour and texture. Once the new glass is inserted into the lead the leads are smoothed flat and sealed using our special black lead putty.

This process can restore even badly damaged stained glass and leaded light windows back to their former glory and our craftsmen are experts at this method of repair

Painted, stained and fired glass restoration and repair

​Stained glass windows with damaged painted, stained and kiln fired glass present are the most challenging of any repairs facing the stained glass restorer.

Stained Glass painting involves several complex painting processes and techniques:

1) The first step is to match up the colour and texture of the original glass which is usually hand made or 'antique' glass.

2) Once the matching glass is obtained or sometimes specially made, the new piece is cut to shape and then it is ready to start the glass painting. The glass paints are very finely ground particals of glass mixed with metallic oxides, cadmium and fluxes to help the paints flow and fuse into the glass when fired. The powdered paint is mixed with water & gum arabic, vinegar or oil to a consistency of Indian ink. 

3) The next step of glass painting is to paint on the outlines. These outlines are known as trace lines and painted using a long bristled rigger ox hair brush. The trace lines can then be fired onto the glass at 725 deg C.

4) Once cooled the glass can then be matted to create the shading. Using a similar paint to the trace line paint the stained glass painted piece is painted all over with a thin coating of the dark paint. Whilst it is still wet it is spread out evenly with a large Badger brush. This special brush will spread the paint without picking it up. It can then be left to dry as a flat matt or stippled into a stippled matt.

5) Once the matt is dry it can be worked on with dry brushes to slowly remove the highlights to create the 3D image. This is a pain staking process and cannot be rushed. Once the desired effect is created it is then fired in the kiln as before.

6) The final painting stage is to stain the glass yellow by painting on a solution of silver nitrate onto the areas to be stained on the back of the glass and fired in the kiln at 450 deg C. This final process is where stained glass gets its name because we are actually changing the colour of the glass by a chemical reaction.

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23 November 2020
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