Posts Tagged 'alter box'

A hard day’s restoration

A couple of posts back I shared some photos of an alter box I had picked up to repair. Well today I finally got a full day in my workshop to tackle this old beauty. It has been rattling its doors at me every time I walk past it, so it was good to finally get on with it!
I have never restored something in such a bad state; very little of the glass was broken, but the lead was bowed and buckling and all the glass had just popped out.
Firstly, I had to remove the panels from the wooden doors, which was quite a task in itself as the wood is very old and I did not want to damage it. Eventually I prized them out and the full extent of the damage was apparent. I had already realised that the reason the lead was so distorted was because it was very thin lead holding in very heavy, thick cut glass central diamond bevels, more of that later.
Usually I would have taken a rubbing of the existing leading to use as a pattern for remaking it, but the lead was too badly distorted to do this so I moved straight onto taking the old lead apart. When taking apart an old lead panel it is important to damp down the lead and wear protective gloves and mask, lead starts to deteriorate after around 93 years and this means that is starts breaking down into powder, which is when it is at its most dangerous as it is easily inhaled. So first of all I gave both the panels a good spray with water and put the old lead aside to be recycled.
Next I started work on the new pattern. Only 3 pieces of clear glass were missing, so this was easy to match; but measuring out and drawing the new pattern took a while, especially as I decided to use various thicknesses of lead to hold the heavy glass in place more securely.
I then built up the lead and glass and soldered the finished pieces together to secure.
I still need to cement and paterna the piece, but I think you will agree that an afternoon’s work can make a huge difference!

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A sorry sight

I have just picked up my new restoration commission, an old Alter box, which has really seen better days! I have ordered some lead and I am working on matching the colours, but as the owner informed me, “..anything will be better than whats there at the minute..” and I cant help but agree!

I will start getting down to work on it in a couple of weeks, hopefully there will be less daylight showing through when I have finished!

I have also finished, sold and sent this piece of Heacham beach for a wedding present, it is engraved with L & B and the date of their wedding.

I have also made and sold a large leaf window hanging, with 5 strings of 5 leaves, going from light green through to dark red. This is a 40th birthday present and I really hope she likes it, especially as the other part of her present is a stained glass lesson with me in my studio! I have started teaching now, more news of this to come later!

Last but not least, I am trying to list an item a day for the rest of the month on Folksy. There is a group on Folksy called the July Jesters who have been doing this all month and I have been inspired to join in, lets hope I can keep up!

I am hopefully having a stall at Torquay Carnival this weekend, on the Sunday (yet to be confirmed) in the marque, so look for me there if you are around. To which end, I need to get making more stock! I took lots more stock to Otterton Mill this week so that they can give me a larger display in the upstairs gallery. Which is lovely, but it has left me a bit low on stock! Right enough chatting, back to the workshop! OH, one last thing, the boat sculpture is still there! It has weathered its first week of high winds and rain, thank goodness!


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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