Our client found this very old came panel in the attic of his 92 year old father’s shop and he had no idea it was there. The story is that they used to be part of his great (or great-great) grandfather’s home in England.
The panel had held together quite well over the decades except for the 1 broken piece in the center. We were able to find a very close match with a Small Hammered Spectrum # 100HS. On the reverse side we carefully bent the lead came back, made a pattern and fitted in the new glass. Then after bending the came back, we soldered the joints and cemented in the new piece of glass. After using whiting and Kwik Clean to clean the off years of dirt and grim we applied Clarity Polish.
As this panel with it’s frame was over 4 ft wide we could only stand it up in our window to photograph the finished panel, which then required flipping the picture with our Picasa 3 system.
It is our clients intention to hang this panel in their new home under construction and eventually he will provide us with a picture. We also understand that there is another one these panels completely intact and all it needs is to be properly cleaned and polished.
Designer Unknown Repair/Restoration by Bob & Flory Wilkins
This old came stained glass door panel had reached the point where if it was not removed from the door it was in great jeopardy of collapsing and being ruined forever. As you can see in the picture below, the frame was coming apart. While not visible when you pushed slightly on the center, the whole panel moved in and out a lot and would completely fall apart if the door was slammed or someone pushed on the panel to open the door. Only 1 piece of glass was missing (the amber piece on the top right) while the rest was all in its original state. When restoring these old came panels we securely fasten a sheet of white freezer paper over the whole panel, then using carbon paper we do a rub to have a pattern for restoration.
The panel measured 22 inches wide by 26 1/16 inches high including it’s 3/8 inch zinc frame. The process involves carefully removing the panel and transporting it to our studio. In the restoration process we take multiple photographs and number each glass piece. The challenge in this restoration was the very wide came originally used and not replaceable. The reason for the wide came was for the bevels which were made from very thick glass.
This presented a problem for restoration as we needed to use H Round Zinc Came 1/4 inch face to ensure a strong interior strength coupled with 3/8 Zinc Border Came. We solved this problem by using a standard grit Aanraku Ripple Bit. This allowed us to grind down each side of these very thick bevels so they could be inserted into the new round zinc came. However it was imperative that we grind each side equally so we practised on a bevel that we had in stock. Then through trial and error we set up the ripple bit to ensure removal of the same amount of glass from each side of the bevel before inserting them into the panel.
The following photo shows a portion of the panel with all of its pieces numbered, we then carefully took the panel all apart and that is when we found out how very thick the glass was in these old bevels.
In the next photo we have now taken the rub pattern and set up a wooden frame, complete with the 3/8 zinc border came, ensuring that we have the measurements exactly so it will fit back into the original wooden door which our client was getting restored. Please note on the right side there are a couple of pieces of the very old came originally used.
The last photo is of the completely restored panel. Fortunately we had a piece of old glass that matched the one broken piece in the panel. We cleaned each piece of glass, carefully measuring and cutting the H zinc came. After soldering the joints we use Glass Pro Stained Glass Putty to cement the glass and then cleaned with whiting, after which we applied Clarity Polish. In this particular case we did not patina any of the zinc came as we felt it was not required in this restoration.
Designer Unknown – Restoration by Bob & Flory Wilkins
Coming soon will be the full story of this very old Family Crest Restoration. This picture is just a very small portion of this historic piece of stained glass, which had an amazing beginning, ocean travel, institution display, escaped the wrecking ball, travelled across Canada and eventually ended up in our studio to be restored. It is quite a story – stay tuned.
Artist to be announced at a later date
This is the 2nd Alberta Rose Came Window restoration. In the first one we combined pieces from the second one to have one that was all original glass. We believe these windows are 100+ years old.
The wow factor in regards to both of these restorations is that when we delivered the 2nd window we were informed that both were going to be installed in a new home on Negril Beach in Jamaica, sometime in the not to distant future,
In the second one we had to put in all new glass for the stems, the amber across the bottom and new leaves for the left and right roses while the centre rose leaves remained original glass. Also the roses and background granite clear glass is also all original. It took us quite sometime to find the best replacement glass, but well worth the effort.
The following 3 photos show the left rose with new leaves, the next one is the centre rose all original glass and the last photo is the right rose with new leaves. The pink petals of the roses were a very pretty glass which was quite thick.
Although the next photo indicates window #1 it ended up being the second one as we took pieces from it to be able to have one with all original glass.
The last photo is of the 1st restored window.
Brenda & her husband who live in Central Alberta, brought us this 100+ year old came window which is a family heirloom that they rescued from a century old family farm home.
This is what the window looked like when it was brought to our studio.
The following picture shows the window after it was cleaned and before removal from the the wooden frame. Unfortunately there were 3 broken pieces in the rose colored border, 4 greens in the center were all cracked and or broken along with one center clear.
In the next photo the came window has been removed from the old wooden frame.
In the next photo the numbered pieces # 2 top left – 4 top left center- 15 bottom right center (rose border pieces) 26 (clear center piece) 28 – 29 – 45 – 47 (the 4 center greens) were all broken. The best alternative we could come up for the dusty rose border glass was an English Muffle Dusty Rose #4902. Our friends at Rubaiyat Stained Glass Studio in Calgary helped us to locate an older piece of clear as well as a very close matching green.
We take lots of photographs of these old windows before taking them apart, as well we number each piece. We set up a frame then start in one corner and work our way across the window, cleaning each piece of glass as we go along (we also re-number after clean each piece to ensure that it is put back in the window in the exact manner that the original stained glass artist installed them. Having good photographs certainly helps as we can bring them up on our computer to ensure that we have replaced each piece as it was originally placed in the window.
What we did was replace the 4 corners with the new English Muffle #4902, then carefully working with 2 of these unbroken border pieces we used them to replace broken border pieces # 4 & 15. The 4 green pieces in the center were also replaced and the 4 center clears were all replace to even out the look of the panel.
Our clients were most appreciated of our work in restoring their family heirloom panel. They have now found an old photograph of the 100+ year old farm home and it shows 2 of these windows. They plan on residing it and there is a possibility that the 2nd window could still hidden away behind the siding. If so and they find the 2nd window there is a very good chance that it might be there in its original state with no broken glass, but no doubt will need to also be fully restored.