The most important thing about stained glass restoration is to know when its worth repairing/ restoring and how best to proceed with the work. Understanding what is involved with restoration is the first step in making that decision. We repair/restore windows, lamps etc.
We will do an onsite inspection of the stained glass, if necessary, or the stained glass piece can be brought into the studio for inspection. The things that will be determined during the inspection include broken glass, availability of replacement glass, solder deterioration, bowing, stability and frame condition. There are times when the condition of the panel will require complete restoration when it might appear that it only needs repair. Additional information will be provided if the panel is lead came. We will provide an estimate of the restoration/repair cost. Signed authorization and deposit must be received before work begins.
Before we begin the repair process, there are a few things we would like you to know about the repair process to determine if the repair is the best option.
STAINED GLASS LAMPS
Stained glass lamps are assembled in one of two ways either by panels or on a form. Depending on the location and extent of the damage, we will determine if repair is possible. If the lamp was assembled on a form, the form may be necessary to reconstruct the lamp. The cost of repairing the lamp will be determined by the number of pieces of glass that needs to be replaced and if additional structural reinforcement is needed. Plus the hourly labor rate. Often the cost of repair may be more than the original purchase price. Many lamps that are mass produced at lower costs have issues with the copper foil thickness and amount of solder used. Repairing just the broken pieces without addressing issues like these and cap attachment may be the less expensive but not be the right repair.
STAINED GLASS PANELS – Leaded and Copper Foil
Leaded stained glass panels are most typical panels. They are assembled using H came. Neighboring pieces are inserted into both sides of the H and the lead is cut at the joints and soldered. The repair of a leaded panel requires the panel to be disassembled from the edge to the damaged piece. In some cases this disassembly uncovers additional damage. Also the age and level of deterioration of the H lead came may require all the came to be replaced. The existing pieces must be completely cleaned before work can proceed. Putty is used to keep H came panels weather resistant. Dried or missing putty may cause additional damage if not replaced. If minimum repair can be done using H came we may recommend someone who specialized in H came to complete the repair rather then do the repair in our studio. If historical preservation is requested or required for the stained glass panel, we will also recommend someone who specializes in this kind of repair.
The service we can offer is to remove the H came completely, clean all glass, replace any broken glass with the best option available in color and texture and reassemble using the copper foil method. The copper foil method was developed by LC Tiffany. Copper foil is like tape and it is applied to each piece of glass individually. Solder is applied to the foil with a soldering iron. If reinforcement is needed, restrip is placed between the glass.
Restoration of a stained glass panel includes creation of a template, dismantling, cleaning, finding replacement glass, often we must use something that is compatible in color and texture. Then cutting replacement glass, foiling, soldering and finishing.
Removal and reinstallation of windows will be done by an outside contractor.