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before restorationWindows to be repaired or restored are carefully removed from the building then expertly packed and transported to my workshop. Once the window has been repaired and reinstalled it should be good for another hundred years.

There are many variables that contribute to the life expectancy of a stained glass window such as the type of lead, the quality of the glass, and the skill of the original glazier.

The quality of previous restorations, the structural integrity of the design, and the climate are only a few of the components that determine the scope of work necessary for restoring a window.

Typically, the lead in a traditional window will last for approximately seventy-five to one hundred years. Over time the expansion and contraction of a window, as well as its weight, causes the structure of the lead to break apart. This, combined with the loss of brittle and cracking waterproofing material, allows the window to warp back and forth until the lead matrix breaks, causing glass to fall out, break or shatter. If the windows were poorly made, or the reinforcement was not planned well, the inevitable problems are usually accelerated and aggravated.after restoration

Restoring a stained glass window involves a number of standard procedures. The window is first removed from its wood or stone sash, and a rubbing is made of the lead matrix, outlining the exact position of each piece. The lead is then cut away from the glass, using a wet process to prevent exposure to oxidized lead dust. At this point the glass is cleaned, and broken pieces are either fused back together or replaced. Fragile painting must be painstakingly preserved and consolidated. The irony of the restoration process is that the windows may have been restored many times before and, depending upon the skill of the restorer and their commitment to restoration, it is sometimes difficult to "see" the intention of the original artist.

After all of the glass has been cleaned and broken pieces rejoined or replaced, the window is now reglazed using lead profiles as close as possible to the originals. Once the old glass is leaded together in its new framework it is now waterproofed, and the result is a sparkling window that, under normal circumstances, should remain strong and vibrant for a hundred years.

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