Monday, December 29, 2014

Rescuing Antique Stained Glass

I'm not sure I realized how big a job it is to repair broken, antique stained glass.  But the glass panel in the Owner's Unit is so lovely, it really did need to get fixed.  And total elapsed time was about 6 weeks, because there were lots of steps required to complete the job.

Starting point - broken section
To start with, the guys had to remove the entire window - including the fixed pane below the fancy one.  And this is a big window!!!  They carefully extracted it from the opening and removed the stained glass unit.

Then they delivered it to Phoenix Studios, so they could start to work their magic.  Unlike modern stained glass, which would allow you to replace just the broken piece, antique glass requires the window to be disassembled from the outside edge, to reach the broken piece.  And once Jane got our piece in the studio, she realised that matching new glass to the 90 year old glass was going to be a challenge.  She had to order a couple of different samples, to see what would work best.

So here's the thing.  New glass won't match exactly.  And if she replaced just that one piece, it would be very noticeable, due to the symmetry of the design.  But we can use the symmetry to our advantage and replace the same piece on both sides of the design - and once they're both done, it will look great!  So Jane ordered a couple of samples for the replacement and found one that had the best match.  And to add to the complexity - they moved their studio during the process!  But thankfully everything went smoothly.

Once the glass was repaired, the guys needed to - carefully - reinstall.  They remounted it into the frame and then double glazed it, for energy efficiency.  Then, Kyle and James carefully remounted it into the opening.

It still needs caulking and painting, but doesn't it look fantastic?  What a beautiful accent to the living room!

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