Though stained glass has been around for quite some time, the movement gained most its popularity during the Middle Ages. However, in the 19th century, stained glass saw a revival, and this also happened again in the 20th century, when the movement spread to the US. As is such, many of the stained glass windows in the United States are now reaching a point where there are starting to deteriorate, calling the need for restoration.
This is the case for many antique stained glass windows in historic churches and homes throughout San Antonio. Historic stained glass restoration can be conducted safely so long as it is executed properly. A glass studio that has experience working with antique glass will know what techniques and methods to use to preserve the glass and prevent any further deterioration.
What causes stained glass to deteriorate?
The exact cause of deterioration for stained glass tends to vary from one panel to the next. However, for historic stained glass, it is often one of three things: issues with the leading, issues with the glass itself, or flaws in the construction/design of the panel.
Issues with the leading often arise from heat build up. If the lead comes into contact with too much heat, it softens and loses its shape. This puts pressure on some glass pieces while causing others to have a lack of support. Often, in these cases, the glass cracks or falls out.
Issues with the glass itself usually are the result of moisture build up. For certain types of glass, moisture can cause a chemical reaction that leads to corrosion. The glass wears away and/or is left with holes or pockets. Additionally, flaws in the design of the panel, such as with the support bars, can also cause problems to arise and lead to deterioration.
Minimally Invasive Techniques for Restoration
In most cases, when dealing with historic stained glass, a minimally invasive approach is advised in order to protect and preserve the original work. There are a number of ways that this can be accomplished. Gentle cleaners, thorough record keeping, and other techniques help preserve the original glass and materials.
Additionally, when repairs are being made, there are some techniques that can be used in order to avoid glass replacement. One of these is “plating” broken pieces of glass by attaching a small thin piece over a broken one in order to avoid total alteration or replacement.
Trust Scottish in San Antonio for Historic Stained Glass Restoration
Are you looking for a stained glass studio in San Antonio? Choose Scottish for historic stained glass restoration! Call us today to receive an estimate on your project or schedule a free consultation!