Monday, June 11, 2012

Stained Glass Panel

Alright, I've been dying to photograph this and show you guys. Like I said, it's in terrible shape, but I am confident that I can fix this.

As usual with any new medium, I've been doing a whole lot of research about stained glass, methods, restoration techniques, and online videos, tutorials, tools, etc.

I should be able to fix this panel with a tool investment of under 100$, plus the stained glass, assuming I can find near perfect matches for each type that's missing.

At first glance, the panel looks rather simple, having only 3 colours, but each section and each colour has a different texture. The purple is bumpy, the yellow is kind of sandy, and in the clear, there are at least 4 textures. The circles are deep pitted squiggles, the exterior border is chip glass (which looks like frost), and then the interior leaves have a wavy pattern.

I LOVE the beveled glass in the centre.

Photos! All of these are photographed in "as found" condition, including all the dirt, grime, and bits falling out.

The entire panel looks like someone sat on it. It's caved-in so much that I'm pretty sure I won't be able to straighten it to take a rubbing/pattern from it.

I should note right now that to fix this panel, it has to be completely torn apart (tear out all the lead came), and each piece of glass needs to be cleaned or repaired, new pieces cut, and then the entire panel needs to be re-leaded from scratch, then soldered. After that's done, it also needs to be cemented, cleaned, and polished. I'm also going to need to make a completely new wooden frame since this one is badly rotted.

This photo shows all the pieces that are broken or missing. Some of these can be reglued, others are too badly damaged and need to be replaced. I count at least 28 broken/missing pieces. It looks like I missed one at the top, but I have that piece (it fell out).

The next post (in a few minutes) will show the vanity so far.


  1. Nice score! If you can't find matching glass, and if you could tolerate extra lead lines, you could reuse broken pieces by putting came at the broken edges. It won't look as good as it originally did, but it would be usable.

    1. I plan to repair (reglue with very $$$ conservator glue*) as many of the old pieces as possible (the ones with not too many breaks). The really bad ones, and the ones with missing shards will need to be replaced.

      *Hxtal is a crystal clear epoxy for glass repair. It's used by museums and conservators, and I will need some to repair an 1840's painted glass clock tablet, so I can also use it on this project. It's around 40$ for a tiny bottle.

  2. Good luck! I have 3 leaded windows in my house (no stained glass but some beveled). A few pieces are broken (thankfully not any of the beveled ones). I think I will pay someone to fix it for me. I'm afraid to break it any more. I'm afraid to even remove the windows but I will. Good for you for taking on that challenge. Post pics of the process. There is a local guy who repairs them here, I've watched him a little bit.