From the 50gig of photos I took while we worked on a big church job here is a collection of time lapse videos covering the various procedures.
Ill put details with each one but generally the videos will cover
1- Removing the window from the church.
2- Tracing The Window (a record for measurements and rebuilding).
4- Cleaning the pieces with wire wool to remove years of grime and repairing / replacing broken pieces.
5- Replicating destroyed pieces with new cut and painted pieces.
6- Leading / Soldering / Putty
7- Installing back in the church.
Stage 1 –
Removing the windows from the church. A Stained Glass window can be made up of several panels all resting on top of each other. The panels sit with both sides in a stone channel. Also steel bars are fitted into the stone work at these location tying the meeting panels together and pulling it tight into the bar so the windows don’t move.
To remove the window you must first remove all the old putty from the stone work, this can be easy…. or very very difficult. It might take an hour, it might take 2 days.
This time lapse is of 2 windows nearly 6ft in length each that had iron frames. The frames were totally rotten and made for getting the windows out very difficult.
Left hand side was previously vandalized, restored (badly) and vandalized again. The Right was in good shape, other than having the leads replaced.
The general procedure is to cut the bar ties and chisel out the putty so the window can be lifted out.
Stage 2 –
Once the window has been removed and returned to the secret bat cave it is photographed, detailing as much as possible should something go wrong later… then traced twice. One tracing is marked with the details such as measurements and lead thickness’s and intricacies to that window, the second tracing is for working on when rebuilding the window.
Once traced the window is dismantled being careful not to break further bits of glass, the pieces are laid out in order then cleaned with wire wool to remove the years of grime and any pieces beyond repair will be replaced with new replicas specially made.
Left Side (vandalized) Trace Dismantle & Redesign. For this window the bottom half had to be redesigned due to the vandal damage.
Right Side Trace & Dismantle.
Stage 3 –
Any bits of glass that have to be replaced, or in the case of the vandalized window are totally new, are cut in an appropriate selected colour then if required fired in the kiln with any paint work. Possibly line work and shading for clothing segments, face and hand work, or script.
This time lapse is the reproduction of a section for the top of the left hand side vandalized window.
Leading up the window. The lead comes in lengths preformed in a ‘H’ form. The glass fits into either side of the ‘H’.
The lead comes in different widths, strong lines in the panel have wider leads for strength & to emphasize the line. More delicate lines, say surrounding the front of a face piece would use 1/4” lead for example. Lead is not just to surround & hold the glass in place, the clever use of various thicknesses add flow & emphasis to the design.
Once the panel is leaded the joins are soldered on both sides, and then putty is worked under the lead, the leads are ‘folded’ down, the excess putty removed and the panel is given a brush down.
Stage 5 –
Installing the window. The stone channels need to be completely free of putty so the window fits well. This can truly be a miserable task. Sometimes its a piece of cake. The windows have all been made exactly the same size as they were, the stone work is measured so the windows should go in with no problems…..
We have taken a full length measurement of the window(s) in the studio. When we get back on site we first take a full length measurement of the space… each window has the option to shave down the top lead and sides, this is only 1/4” but over several panels this adds up should we be running over hight.
If we are under length the panels can be jacked up slightly with wee blocks of wood, termed ‘chalks’ or additional leads put on.
The panel is slotted into the chanel with the depest side going in first, left or right, then side back across so its in the chanel with a equal amount either side. The second panel rests ontop, each window has a 1/2” lead on the bottom so it covers the panel below & a 5/16” possibly on top.
On windows with several panels we put the first few in and add the tie bars as we go, these are not tightened off till the end, at the moment its just to slightly stabilize the window. You don’t want the windows flapping about, especially if there is minimum channel grip or none at all. Sometimes the stone work tapers getting wider as you go up. Sometimes its getting thinner, sometimes you notice the entire Mullion (stone pillar) is actually moving!!! ahhhh danger danger.
Once all the panels are in the window is chalked. A chalk is a wee bit of wood individually cut to jam into the gap of the channel and stops the window moving about. Usually at the bar areas and in the midsections. Then the bars are tied. Each window has copper ties soldered on, at the bottom, mid and top.
At the meeting of 2 panels the bottom window top tie and the top window bottom tie are wound round each other over the bar which is slotted into holes in the stone work. When tied tight this pulls the window up against the bar. Along with the chalks, the window should be totally stable.
Then putty is worked into the sides, cleaned up and the window is given a wee wipe down for finger prints and such.
I will be adding extra video’s in time, as I have a lot of photgraphs to get through. This was the initial few covering the main stages.
|For the most part I took a photo every 10 seconds and then put them together at 0.09 fps, It was only towards the end of the project I started getting a hang on the camera settings but at least now I know what im doing.