I am often asked to refurbish or repair stained glass windows that have been dented, cracked or have sections missing. Often they also need a jolly good clean. Mostly, these windows have been made with traditional lead, but one request was to repair a pair of large stained glass windows that, unusually, had been made with the copper foil technique.
These two large panels were saved from the Wheatsheaf on the Green pub at Esher, Surrey, when it was being refurbished, as the new owners wanted to keep them as part of the redesign.
Sadly, several pieces were cracked and damaged – and they were also filthy, having been in a smoky pub environment for many years.
The light amber background glass had been made by a German glass company which went out of business over 10 years ago, so to match the colour and texture as nearly as possible, I had to sandwich two layers of another glass together. The bold green, red and blue glasses I managed to match with similar glasses and I was also able to find a blue-green glass that matched the edge strip perfectly.
Each broken or cracked piece was carefully removed by melting the solder around it and extracting the glass with pliers. The old foil was removed and replaced with new and replacement pieces of glass were cut to fit these spaces. Once foiled, they were positioned and soldered into place – on both sides – and then a black patina was applied to match the existing colour.
As these were quite large panels, they had reinforcement metal ‘rebars’ to support the structure. The wire ties connecting these to the panels had perished so I replaced them with new. The bars lock into the frames to prevent the glass bowing.
Both panels were thoroughly cleaned on both sides to remove the dirt and tar build-up and then they were ready to return to their original home. You can see them in the photo in pride of place in the entrance to the pub – or in real life if you visit the pub of course
The owners called it “Fantastic restoration work of our stunning entrance”. I am delighted they wanted to preserve them.
I welcome stained glass window repair and restoration projects so please do contact me if you have one that you would like to discuss.