Religious & Church Stained Glass
As the art of glassmaking has evolved, so have the methods for producing stained glass windows. Modern glassmakers have found that certain techniques or materials help make stained glass last longer than those that were once used in the past. For example, while it used to be thought that placing plexiglass over a stained glass panel would protect it, modern glassmakers have found that this actually causes deterioration due to the buildup of excess heat. This techniques are now outdated and are no longer used by today’s stained glass studios. However, there are still many historic buildings whose stained glass has begun to suffer due to these technical flaws.
Such, unfortunately, was the case for the First United Methodist Church in Del Rio, Texas. The church had twenty-eight stained glass windows, all of which were made of high quality glass and had been beautifully hand painted. However, over time the stained glass had started to deteriorate due to a variety of factors.
Plexiglass had been placed on the outside of the building and was causing heat to build up in the space between the stained glass. This caused the lead caming to heat up and lose its shape, putting pressure on the individual pieces of glass. In addition, the plexiglass had turned a yellow color and prevented the windows from being fully seen from the exterior.
In addition, some of the caming that was used was made of zinc, not lead. Zinc was often used for stained glass back in the day because it is stronger than lead. However, it only does well in cold climates and Texas is quite warm, especially during the summer. Therefore, the caming was badly misshapen and in serious need of replacement.
When we arrived on the scene, we inspected the glass to decide what had to be done in order to preserve the beautiful windows of the church. Upon inspection, we determined that a complete restoration was necessary. Therefore, we removed the panels one by one and began work at our studio.
Each panel was carefully cleaned and disassembled. Fortunately, much of the glass was in good condition and able to be saved. We found this to be incredibly good news since the original glass was especially important for preserving the historic value of the windows. The glass that was badly damaged was replaced with a matching color.
Then, the panels were reassembled using new leading and reinforced with steel bars. After a good cleaning, they were returned back to the site and reinstalled.
For us at Stained Glass San Antonio, it was a true joy to work on this project. The stained glass turned out looking even more beautiful than it did before the restoration and we were incredibly proud of our work. And now we would love the opportunity to work with you! If you are interested in finding out more about our stained glass restoration services for your San Antonio church, please contact our office.