I employ traditional methods to construct stained glass panels.
All the glass is cut by hand and the panel assembled using a matrix of lead came and solder. The panel is brushed to remove excess flux and to clean the lead from any residue of grease. After this, the panel is cemented using a special stained glass cement.
This is applied and brushed into the lead came on both sides of the panel. This process weatherproofs and helps give the panel a degree of rigidity. The panel is then dusted with whiting to draw out the oil from the cement allowing it to dry. Once dry, the excess cement is removed and the completed panel is then ready for cleaning.
The integral strength of any given stained glass panel is very important. The method to ensure strength and robustness varies on the overall size and location of the panel.
The traditional method to secure and impart support and strength is by the means of saddle bars. These are bars situated on the outside of the panel and positioned either horizontally, or vertically.
The panel is then secured to the saddle bar by means of copper ties.
Although saddle bars are quite visible it is possible, in most cases, to design the panel and to set the saddle bars so that they are not so obtrusive.
In some cases, depending on certain factors, steels can be incorporated into the lead came during assembly. This provides extra support and strength and as the steels are fitted into the lead came, they are not visible.
Repairs to stained glass panels are determined by a number of factors, namely, the severity of damage to the glass and the condition of the lead came.
In some cases it is possible to carry out repairs with the panel in situ, however, if the panel needs to be removed for repair the frame is temporarily glazed, or boarded with osb board.
Any broken, or damaged glass is matched as closely as possible and replaced. On occasion, if the glass is old, or of particular interest, I will lead along the break to preserve the integrity of the panel.
On removal, the procedure of repair maybe a partial rebuild of the damaged section, replacing lead came with new, re-soldering any broken lead joins and matching and replacing damaged glass.
In some cases, if the lead is old and perished, the entire panel may require to be rebuilt and re-leaded with matching new lead came. This is a perfectly standard procedure and ensures the preservation of the panel for many years to come.
If this is the recommended approach, the panel is carefully removed from the door, or window frame and the frame boarded up, or glazed for the duration of work.
The frame is measured and an accurate tracing, or rubbing is made of the panel. The tracing is then numbered and the corresponding piece of glass numbered, so each piece fits precisely back into its original position.
The panel is re-assembled precisely as detailed above and during this procedure the glass is cleaned and polished.
Get in Touch
You are very welcome to come and visit me in my workshop in Firle, though it is usually best to call and make an appointment first.