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REPAIRS AND RESTORATION
HISTORY OF STAINED GLASS
HOW TO FIND US
A range of courses from learning traditional skills to children's workshops
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Phoenix Glassworks is launching a Garden Gallery, an outdoor space for local artists to exhibit. Garden Gallery: The story so far...
We are holding a Studio & Shop open weekend on 6th - 9th April, 10am to 4pm.
At Phoenix Glassworks we offer a full removal, repair and restoration service. Repairs are made in our workshop or, where it is impractical to remove a panel we carry out on-site repairs. We are happy to come and give a free quote for workshop repairs, on-site work and to undertake insurance work.
Please contact us on 01379 643244
When a panel arrives in the workshop for repair, the first step is to take photographs of the complete panel, and close ups of the different sections so we have a complete visual record. Particular attention is taken when photographing any damage. The next step is to make a rubbing of the panel; this gives us a guide pattern of the lead lines. We then start to carefully dismantle the panel. The solder joins are cleaned ready to remove the solder, so the leads can be gently removed, to allow the broken glass to be lifted free. When we match the glass colour and texture; we always aim to get the closest possible match. As much of the glass used in old pieces of stained glass are no longer made, and techniques of making glass and different fashions have changed, so has the range of glass available. There are however glass manufacturers that produce ranges of antique glass and restoration glass.
Once the panel has been taken back to where the broken piece can be repaired, the old glass is removed; this is used to create a pattern to cut the replacement glass. Where the glass is missing completely, the rubbing and cartoons created when dismantling the panel help us to cut the replacement glass to correct size.
The replacement glass is put into the panel, then each piece removed is put back and re-leaded in the reverse order they were removed. The last piece out is the first back in.
Once all the pieces are back in place, the new lead joins are fluxed using a tallow candle and then soldered. The new leads are cemented to strengthen the panel as well as making it weather proof.
The final stage is to clean the panel and blacken the solder joins and the leads using stove black. The panel is then left flat, while the cement dries. The door panels illustrated had too much damage to the flower heads to be able to remove only the broken glass. Both panels had to be completely dismantled and re-built.
When it is impractical to remove a panel to our workshop for repair we carry out on-site repairs. When we first arrive on-site we photograph any damage to the glass or leads. We can then fully assess what materials are needed and give a guide to estimated time for completion of the repairs. It is not always possible to give an exact quote. When the windows are old, the lead and glass are far more fragile. This can mean that when broken pains are removed the pressure in the panel changes and very old glass can occasionally crack.
We do make every effort to avoid further breaks but it is not always possible due to the unforgiving nature of glass. The lead cames in old panels can occasionally be damaged during removal. This is caused by the different tension in the leads, causing them to twist out of shape, if this happens they will need to be replaced.
The method for on-site repairs are similar to those used in the workshop. The solder is removed in the same way; the leads carefully lifted using an oyster knife. Once the broken pane has been removed the pieces are used to create a pattern to cut replacement glass. If the pane is missing completely several measurements are taken to allow a pattern to be created. The next step is to clean leads of all old cement, replacing any damaged leads. The replacement glass is then fitted and the leads lightly flattened. The lead joints are soldered, the leads cemented and flatten completely. The final stage is to clean off any excess cement and blacken solders and leads.