Stained Glass Restoration for Boulder Churches, Chapels, and Cathedrals
Timely repairs and restoration are key to preserving stained glass. When the structural integrity of the window frame and stained glass begin to suffer, the glass is at high risk of cracking, breaking, and falling out. Unfortunately, many priceless works of art have been lost for this reason. By addressing signs of deterioration as soon as possible, you can keep your stained glass in optimal condition and ensure that the colors and imagery stay vibrant and beautiful.
Our unique process for church stained glass restoration in Boulder allows us to repair stained glass in a conservative, minimally invasive manner. We work hard to ensure that we preserve and reuse as much of the historic glass and original work as possible. Our excellent attention to detail and talented team make us the most qualified and skilled stained glass restoration experts in Boulder, Colorado.
Restoration Process for Boulder Church Stained Glass
Our restoration process begins with a visit to your Boulder church. One of the team members from our office in Centennial will schedule a time to visit your church for an inspection and consultation. During your appointment, we will carefully examine the stained glass, note any signs of deterioration, and spend some time discussing your concerns. Then, once we’ve gathered all the necessary information, we’ll formulate a plan for the repairs, which will be compiled into a proposal for your review.
After you’ve signed off on the proposal, we’ll schedule a time to commence the repairs. In an effort to save time and money, we’ll try to complete as many of the repairs as possible onsite. However, operating onsite does place some limitations on what we can accomplish. In some cases, the best option is offsite repair. In this situation, we’ll remove the stained glass by chipping away the glazing putty holding it in place. A piece of tempered glass is put in its place, and the stained glass is brought to our studio.
Once at our studio, we begin by carefully documenting the stained glass. This is accomplished by taking rubbings, photographs, and measurements of the glass. The stained glass is left to soak in a bath of cleansing solution so that the cement dissolves, at which point it can be cleaned and taken apart. Then, we lay the stained glass pieces out in their original sequence. If possible, we will try to recycle the old leading, but many times we end up replacing it. The windows are rebuilt with stronger lead.
If necessary, broken pieces of glass are replaced. Hand-painted pieces are recreated by one of our artists and are fired in our kiln. The joints are soldered together and sealed with a mixture of molten lead and tin. Next, a thin black cement is forced through the gaps between the lead and the glass. This helps to make the stained glass stronger. After the cement dries, the window is polished, cleaned, and returned to the church where it is reinstalled. Now, the stained glass can be enjoyed by the members of your church for several decades longer.