1. First steps:
The artist visits the site of the proposed window to obtain accurate sizes, to assess the location and the light source, and discuss subject matter with those concerned.
2. The design:
A scaled design is made, using watercolour and ink, to give an impression of how the proposed window would look.
3. The cartoon:
When the design has been approved, the next stage is the production of a full size working drawing, in black and white, showing the painted details and tones and the positioning of the leads. This drawing is known as the cartoon.
4. Cutting the glass:
From the cartoon, a structural drawing or “cutline”, is made by tracing a line through the middle of the lead lines. This determines the exact shapes of the glass, which is then cut to the inside of this line using a hardened steel wheel cutter. Each piece of glass is carefully selected, with reference to the design for colour, from the racks of mouth blown “Antique” glasses.
5. Painting the glass:
When the cutting is completed the glass is then painted. There are several stages of applying paint to the glass, which combine to gradually build up the tonal values of the image. The glass is fired in the kiln after painting, and silver stain can be applied if required, which means it can be fired several times before it’s finished. During firing, the temperature of the glass reaches approximately 700C fusing the paint to the surface of the glass permanently.
6. Constructing the window:
The next stage is assembling all the individual pieces of glass together using “H” section leads and soldering the joints. The window is waterproofed and strengthened by brushing a special “cement” into the spaces between the flanges of the leads and the glass. Finally, the window is installed in position.
We use predominantly mouthblown “antique” glass in all our windows.
Completion time depends very much on the size and complexity of the proposed window, but usually 8 weeks for smaller panels and 3 – 4 months for larger windows.
The average cost is £600 per squared foot, depending on the complexity of the design, plus travel costs and installation.
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