A lovely couple living in Alton, Hampshire, had an attractive real stained glass front door panel. Sadly, it had been damaged in various places, with some glass broken, some cracked and some missing completely.
I visited them to examine the extent of the work and measure up. I also took a selection of glass samples so we could get the best match to the existing glass.
In addition to the stained glass that needed replacing, one of the four roundels (handmade, spun glass circles) in the design was damaged.
We agreed the closest matches to the glass and I made templates of the areas that needed replacing.
Before I returned to do the work, I cut new pieces of glass ready for fitting.
Unfortunately, the replacement roundel I needed was no longer available at the size required from any of the suppliers. It turned out on that the UK manufacturer is discontinuing the range. My solution was to buy a larger size of roundel and cut it down to fit the space.
To carry out an in situ stained glass repair, I have to take my ‘mobile studio’ of various pieces of equipment and small glass grinder. I also take extra glass supplies in case I need to re-cut any pieces.
All the damaged glass has to be carefully removed and the leads cleaned of fragments and old filler before new pieces can be fitted. The leads are opened out so the new glass can be positioned in the hole. Inevitably the glass has to be trimmed just enough to fit, without being too small.
Once the glass is in, the leads are smoothed back into position. However, the glass is very loose and rattly at this stage. Special cement is applied around the leads and glass edges to hold it in place and ensure it is weatherproof.
Finally, the glass is cleaned up and the job is done.
I was pleased to get close matching stained glass for this stained glass door repair. In fact the owners said they couldn’t tell where the new glass had been used when they saw the finished repairs. That is the sign of a sympathetic and successful restoration.
Image: Left – the completed repair; top right – the original damage; bottom right – holes in the panel where the damaged glass has been removed.