making stained glass

How we make a stained glass window.

Once the location has been established the next step will be to take accurate measurements. If however you wish to fit the panel yourself we will need you to supply the accurate measurements to us.

We will then talk in depth about the subject / content of the window/s either from our existing portfolio or a new design idea.
When all ideas are gathered and agreed we go back to the workshop and produce a hand drawn design full size, so you can visualise your design as it will be when completed.

The next stage is to choose the glass textures and colours, this can be a time consuming exercise, however one of the most important because once chosen the next stage is to cut the glass.

The construction of the panel now begins, by this stage the client must be sure that they are happy with the chosen design and glass choice.

Firstly we black in the cut line that is required to act as the heart of a piece of lead.

We then cut the glass out by hand according to the chosen design.
cutting stained glass

When all the glass has been cut to millimetre accuracy we then progress with the leading up of the panel.

leading a stained glass window

We then solder each individual connecting lead with a propane gas soldering iron, this creates a solid frame to support the individual glass segments.

soldering a stained glass window

Our next job is to waterproof the panel by applying stained glass cement into every gap in the panel, for example all the gaps between the glass and the lead. This is a time consuming job, however a very important one.

cementing a stained glass window

The cement is allowed to dry, then the cleaning up process begins, this requires us to pick every part of the panel with a pick stick getting all the dry cement off all the glass and lead leaving just the cement between the glass and the lead.

The panel is left to dry a little longer, and then polished with a darkener giving the lead a blackened look and this in turn polishes the glass, the panel is now ready for installation.

Stained glass Restoration.

Pictured below christ hospital school, we restored and conserved 180 windows, whilst the stonework had extensive restoration work undertaken at the same time.

christ hospital restoration

The Restoration process.

Once we have taken the panel out of its existing location we then measure the size of the opening and the size of the panel that will be restored, We also take a rubbing of the panel much like a brass rubbing and as much detail including photographs of the panel before the main work begins.

With the panel on the bench we begin taking the panel apart with the greatest care possible so not to break any pieces of glass, we do this by cutting the old lead away from the glass and placing the pieces on the bench on top of the rubbing. Once the panel has been stripped we then clean each individual piece of glass using various cleaning techniques. Sometimes the glass will have to be soaked for a period of time to help remove tough dirt.

All the pieces of glass that need replacing are cut either using the rubbing or if possible from the existing broken glass segment, with the closest match possible to the glass available to us. In recent years there has been a greater increase in the amount of restoration glass available.

If glass painting is required we then work from our initial photos and any other historical information avaliable to us, there are complex methods such as coldpainting for conservation that we adopt if not replaceing from new please refer to our traditional glass painting page for furthur details.

Then the process of leading, soldering, cementing and cleaning begins.

2010 Divine Art & Craft Ltd

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