Restoration Process for North Port Church Stained Glass
Stained glass restoration requires time, skill, and experience. Because it is multi-faceted, it is often completed in phases. For large projects, it may be best to restore one window at a time. Because of this, it is not uncommon for the entire process to take several months or a full year to complete. That’s why it’s best to start the process as soon as possible, before the condition of the stained glass declines even further.
We begin this complex process with an onsite consultation. During this onsite visit, we will evaluate the condition of the stained glass and attempt to validate its age and value. Then, based on the necessary repairs, we compile a report that outlines possible courses of action. Once you inform us of your decision, we will begin the restoration process.
We always start by trying to complete as many of the repairs as possible without removing the stained glass. This saves time and money. However, we are limited to what we can do when working in this capacity. In most cases, we need to remove the stained glass to complete the repairs properly. The stained glass is then taken out of the window frame, brought to our shop, and soaked in a tub of cleansing solution.
After the stained glass has soaked for several days and the dirty has dissolved, we carefully take it apart. A CAD blueprint is generated, documenting the original design. Broken pieces of glass are exchanged for new ones along with any deteriorated lead caming. Then, one of our artists recreates the hand-painted details and the glass is fired in a kiln. After all this, the panel is put back together using new leading and cement. Then, it is cleaned and possible to prepare it for its return to the church.
Reinstallation is the final phase of this process. The stained glass is returned to the church and mounted in the window frame. Sometimes, a protective covering is added to prevent future damage. Once the stained glass and the covering have been secured, the process is complete.