Rip it up and start again

This poor old window landed in my workshop just after Christmas, it is over a meter long, but not that wide and is the dinning room door to a house in Chagford. I dont think the panel is as old as the Art Noveau design suggests, as the glass is quite thick modern machine rolled glass. However, it has badly buckled and as a result some of the glass has cracked and fallen out!  The damage to the window is partly because it is in a high traffic area of the house, but mostly because it has been made without internal reinforcement, this is where thin steel rods are hidden inside the lead work and help keep windows straight and strong. These are used because large windows are heavy and lead is very soft and bendy, so over time if not properly reinforced the panel will bow and sag……needless to say I will be adding them when I put the window back together!

Taking a window apart is a dangerous activity, old windows used all sorts of  nasty compounds and chemicals in the cement and lead starts degrading after 93 years, so it is important that you damp down the lead to stop dust and wear a protective mask to prevent breathing it in.

Before I dismantled the window I took a rubbing of it to use as a template and I managed to take this window apart without breaking any of the intact glass and as you can see I have numbered each piece so I know where they all go. Now I am just trying to match the blue glass in the border of the window, so I am waiting for a delivery of glass. All the old lead gets recycled, the larger pieces of broken glass get reused in my recycled suncatchers and the small bits of glass I use for mosaics and appliqué glass sculptures, nothing is wasted!

Whilst I wait for the right shade of blue I have a mermaid window to start and the drawings for a very large seascape to scale up, so I wont be bored!

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1 Response to “Rip it up and start again”


  1. 1 Konnie Kapow! January 21, 2011 at 12.48

    oh you clever girl you! This is fascinating!


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I am a stained glass artist working in Exeter and a busy mum of 2; trying to carve a path through the tide of washing and children's toys that stands between me and making beautiful things.

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