Recently I was invited to a lovely home, with equally lovely owners, to carry out a stained glass window repair in situ. The stained glass window in question was one of several contemporary glass panels in and around the front door. Unfortunately, the wind had caught the door and slammed it, causing a couple of the clear glass areas to crack.
Although it wasn’t a large area of damage, it was detracting from the couple’s enjoyment of their stained glass front door.
On my initial visit, I traced off patterns of the damaged pieces so that I could prepare the replacement glass back at the studio. I was able to source a perfect match for the broken textured glass.
While I prefer to carry out stained glass repairs in the studio, where the panel can be worked on horizontally, sometimes it is not possible or desirable to take out a whole window for a small repair job.
On my return, I began by scoring and knocking out the two broken pieces of glass, picking out all the fragments that were left inside the lead surrounds. Next, the lead had to be carefully opened out one one side to enable the new glass pieces to be inserted.
Although I had cut the replacement pieces in advance, I knew that they would need adjusting to fit into the spaces. This was the case and I used a small glass grinder that I had brought with me to refine the shapes until they would slot in.
Next, the leads had to be smoothed back down to keep the new glass in position, before the messy job of adding stained glass cement around the edges. Normally this would be a simple job in the studio and the filler could be left for several hours to set. Working vertically has its challenges, but gradually the filler was applied and the excess cleaned off.
I advised the owners not to use the front door for a couple of days, in order to allow time for the filler to fully harden, which they were happy to do.
Even on a wintery day, their attractive stained glass front door design was a delightful feature, letting the light shine through and lift the spirits. I was pleased I could renovate it and return it to its full glory.