The Process of Creating a Stained Glass Window:
Prior to starting the commission process, Fred meets with the client to determine placement and any special requirements needed due to the placement of the window. There are a number of different ways a window can be incorporated into an existing window or opening. It is at this time that various factors required in the design will be discussed. In many cases, Fred will personally visit the site to become aware of any factors relevant to the installation and to take any measurements. Fred will then create a custom design based on input from the client.
After approval of the design, the types of glass to be used are determined. The creation of a leaded stained glass window is a time intensive process and requires many steps. Below is a brief description of what goes into the creation of a window. It is by no means a complete list, but an example of the many steps that go into creating a window.After the pattern is designed and approved, a larger pattern is drawn to scale. Multiple copies of this pattern may be required for various steps in the process that include patterns to cut the glass, laying out the window or a reference copy. Other factors in this step take into account the size and complexity of the design.
Each piece of glass is cut and numbered based on the pattern. It is then laid out in a manner that is similar to putting a puzzle together using one of the copies of the scaled drawing ensuring that each piece of glass is placed in the correct location.
The window is assembled using lead came to hold the various pieces together. Each piece is cut as needed matching the pattern and maintaining the structural integrity of the window.
Once all pieces of glass and lead are assembled, lead joints are soldered together.
Putty is then applied to fill the gap between the lead came and the glass. The putty serves a number of purposes including strengthening the window and sealing the window against the elements if it will be exposed to the weather.
Any remaining putty is cleaned off the window once it has set up. The window is also cleaned and buffed at this time.
On larger panels and architectural ones in particular, steel reinforcement bars are soldered to the window spaced evenly but also with the design in mind. These reinforcement bars serve a number of purposes including the support of the window, strengthening it and preventing it from sagging in the future.
The window is cleaned a final time making it ready for installation and delivery to the client.