Replication

 

Copyright © 1996-2012  Geoffrey Wallace Stained Glass

 

Where original glass has been destroyed or is missing from a stained glass window, it is possible to recreate replacement glass that harmonises seamlessly with the original, however this type of work is highly specialised and beyond the scope of all but a rare few.  To do this, one needs first of all to be able to match the colour and texture of the original pot glass.  Our studio maintains one of Australia’s largest selections of mouth blown antique glass and we are usually able to match from existing stock.  If not, it is possible to have matching glass brought in from Europe or, if necessary, custom made.

After being hit by a stray cricket, ball this window was ‘repaired’ by the local leadlighter who discarded the original glass.

The same window after replicating the missing glass in harmony with the original.

The replication of painted glass requires extensive knowledge of the many different paint mixtures and mediums, great skill and years of experience to accurately reproduce the techniques used by an artist who has usually been dead for several generations. Firstly the types of glass, glass paint and silver stain must be identified and matched. The method of application and number of firings must be ascertained before what is often the most difficult task, that of matching the bristles of the original brushes. Glass paint is built up in a number of separate applications with each layer needing to be fired in the kiln before the next can be applied.

Matched glass

Trace lines

First matte

Second matte

Third matte

In most cases the painting and design style needed for the replication is obvious through the adjoining unbroken pieces, as in the robe above.  In some situations though, as in this non-original face in the Shakespeare window, extensive research and study of other examples by the original artist is required to recreate the most likely resemblance of what was originally there.

The window was made by the Melbourne firm of Ferguson and Urie in 1862 and is the first known figurative window to have actually been made in Victoria.  Luckily we were able to access a newspaper photograph of the window from 1920, which gave the proportions, and through close study of nineteen other faces from 1864 to 1869 we were able to ascertain the most likely paint colours and mediums.