Clagnan Stained Glass Studio, Inc.
phone: 732-256-9410 * fax: 732-256-9411
Our Process: Saving, Restoring, Recreating
Quality Stained Glass Treasures
To truly appreciate the beauty behind restoring and conserving historic stained glass structures, one needs to understand the painstaking process involved and expertise necessary in bringing these unique works of art back to their original glory.
Since each project requires its own specific approach, Clagnan's team of in-house experts conducts surveys, examines documentation, and takes extensive photographs to better understand its history before panels are removed. At this time, studies are conducted to ascertain cracks, broken glass, and previous repairs. All sections are labeled and keyed to a small-scale drawing.
In most cases, removal of the stained glass is required. Then, scaffolding is erected, the existing protection is taken out to access the stained glass, and the windows are carefully removed, filling the space with protective material.
At our studio, the panels are photographed in reflected and transmitted light both before and after restoration. Paper rubbings are created of each panel, indicating the lead came lines and noting existing conditions; these rubbings serve as artistic diagrams for ongoing reference.
The panels are placed in a warm water and soap solution bath. While in the bath, the panels are disassembled, the lead cames discarded, and the glass cleaned and placed on the rubbings.
Broken glass is replaced (if mismatched) or repaired using the edge gluing or copper foil techniques. The location and type of break will determine the repair method. Then, the panels are assembled using new lead cames (Restoration Grade) to match the profile of the original lead cames.
All panels are weatherproofed using a linseed oil base putty, and new tinned 14-gauge wires are soldered to the lead came joints as per the original. Existing support bars are sanded, primed, and painted using a rust inhibited paint. Support bars or fins may be added as unobtrusively as possible, if needed.
Completed panels are photographed for our records before carefully packing them and transporting them back to the site. During the installation process, in some cases, we install 1/4-inch laminated glass protection. Coming full circle, these historic pieces of art return to their rightful place -- once again vibrant, stronger, and showcasing cleaner, clearer images for future generations to appreciate.