This morning I went into my bathroom and was inspired again by the light coming through the window. We have a stained glass window in the bathroom, that’s an advantage of working in glass, and the sun was catching the colours and making them shine. It does cheer you up in the morning, all those colours and shape and light flowing into the room. So often a bathroom window in obscured glass, well we don’t want to flash at the neighbour, but the introduction of colour is so great. So I wandered in and out this morning and felt better as I washed that colour was flowing into my life and making my day have a better start.
Today I will return covered in the dust and decay of ages as I will be removing a church window. The window will be set in a stone surround and can have been in place for many, many years. Image that the window has been in place since before you were born! It is often true that church windows are not regularly cleaned so there can be dust and cobwebs inside as well as traffic dirt and other residue on the outside of the window. Removing a window is called a ‘hack out’. This suggests a violent attack on the window. It is more like the desperate attack of the stained glass artist attacking the surrounding stone working to remove the window without breaking the glass. It is a delicate job for such a term as ‘hack out’. As you get up close to the glass you can see how the window was made and it is here you make the connection with the original artist. The techniques of cutting, painting and creating the window using lead calms have changed little over the centuries. I will take the window back to the studio to clean and remake as the original artist would have done. Once repaired and restored the window will return and perhaps stay in place for another 100 or so years until the next artist returns to care for the window again.
One of the great things about stained glass windows is that if your delightful child, dog, beloved relative; have suddenly taken leave of their senses and played an excited game of total pandemonium, causing at least two small panes of stained glass to break, we can mend this. As long as the rest of the window is intact, and the leadwork is still strong, small pieces of stained glass can be removed and replaced. Like a fine piece of needlework, the lead can be opened and then the glass can be replaced. This does not work so well when the football has pounded into the door and the whole window has been pushed out like a small bubble. But even this can be repaired. Taking the whole window out the lead can be taken away and replaced with modern lead, making it as good as new. http://www.stainedglassstudio.co.uk/