Stained glass restoration is an art all of its own. Replacing broken pieces of glass with in within deteriorated lead requires the skill and the patience of a master craftsman. At all costs the piece should stay as original, without changing the historical value or integrity of the piece. It is important to note that all leaded stained glass windows require periodic maintenance usually every 25 years. This could include replacing of deteriorated lead, broken solder joints, re-cementing, removing bows and broken glass.
The technique by which any type of glass is obscured then eroded, resulting in an etching, engraving, or bas relief sculpture. The eroding is accomplished by forcing a stream of sand or other free flowing abrasive grit through a nozzle under air pressure at the item being decorated. Those areas not subjected to the blast remain intact, resulting in the etching of a predetermined design.
Stained Glass Restoration
The act of re-establishing the legibility, integrity or intention of the object. It is not necessarily returning the object to its state when new. Stained leaded glass repair may involve replacement of deteriorated elements such as the lead or zinc, repair of deteriorated elements such as the glass, redesign of structural elements to alleviate bowing or sagging, and waterproofing, also referred to as cementing.
Often when older stained glass windows are fortunate enough to be found structurally sound and free from breakage they are still in need of waterproofing maintenance. This is more than the term implies. Waterproofing, also referred to as cementing, keeps the wind and rain from penetrating the window. It also give the panels the rigidity required to stand vertically.
The composition contents of the cement and the correct application of this have much to do with the longevity of the widow. The cement must adhere to both the glass and the lead or channels in which it was constructed. This adhesion must withstand the elements of water, heat and cold.
The cement must be able to remain somewhat flexible to allow the stained glass window to slightly move with wind pressure and allow for expansion and contraction. A professionally cemented stained glass window, exposed to the elements, should be able to performs intended for 75 to 100 years before needing re-application. These photos are two examples requiring the attention described here.
Our leaded glass repair experts have the ability and knowledge to meticulously restore and duplicate all forms of historical leaded glass and bring back the glorious beauty it was intended to bring for generations to come.