RESTORATION AND REPAIRS
Stained glass is surprisingly resistant to weathering, but in most cases will require maintenance every 100 years or so. This may be as simple as removal and replacement of old loose cement from the lead channels and re-soldering of joints but sometimes a full replacement of lead is needed, with replacement of any cracked glass. Re-leading is only carried out when absolutely necessary, in particular with painted or historical glass where a minimal intervention approach is normally taken. We follow CVMA guidelines for conservation and restoration. If windows are situated in a particularly exposed position, or have other environmental stresses such as repeated jarring through opening and closing of a door, they may require earlier intervention. Larger panels require reinforcement to prevent movement and subsequent damage, and external protection may be required for more vulnerable or valuable windows.
If glass is missing or extensively damaged, we will replace it, matching colour and texture closely to the original where possible. We have a large collection of salvaged glass, so often genuine period replacements can be made.
For damaged painted glass we stabilise the piece or make a replica. Cracks can be edge-bonded or joined using thin lead or foil strips to preserve the original piece. Often the pieces are completely missing, but we relish the challenge of recreating historical windows and take care to research them fully. We source original images or descriptions of missing glass where possible to make sure it is true to the original.
A full record is made of the work and made available to the client, along with the original glass, if required.
If you are the custodian of historical painted glass that has been broken please retain all fragments, however small, to help us restore it. We are committed to preserving our stained glass heritage and take great care to return stained glass as closely to its original condition as possible so that future generations can enjoy it.
Minor damage can sometimes be repaired satisfactorily in situ without removing the window. However, in most cases the best result is obtained when the panel is removed and repaired fully whilst flat on a workbench. We will board up the window or install temporary glazing (meeting current safety regulations) whilst your panel is being restored.
In our studio waste lead and glass is recycled, and where possible it is re-used in ongoing repair and restoration. In fact, since many glasses used in period stained glass are now obsolete, we keep most of the original broken glass from restoration work because it can be used in future projects. We are always on the look-out for old stained glass to add to our extensive collection of salvage for use in restoration work, so if you have any unwanted stained glass, even if it is damaged, please contact us.