This lovely two-light window, which was bowing and in need of restoration, is in St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Duncan, which is the oldest parish still operating on its original site (1866) in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island.
Once the windows were removed and in our studio, we conducted an initial examination to discern the ‘make-up’ of the cement that waterproofed and strengthened the panels, and ascertained that the paint was in good condition. We then created a rubbing to record the widths of the lead cames, and where each piece of glass was positioned in the window, after which the panels were put in a bath to loosen the cement and remove excess dust and dirt.
John then started to carefully dismantle each panel, and each piece of glass was then gently cleaned individually. A new cutline (structural drawing) was then drafted, and the window re-engineered to include a lap-lead and saddle bars instead of the T-bars. As one of the panels had copper ties soldered to the window, and another clearly showed signs of having ties soldered to it, we believe the original intention was to use saddle bars in the European method but the original installer of the window was unfamiliar with how that was done. The next stage was re-leading the windows then cementing and polishing them before returning to the church.
The installation turned out to be a little more time consuming than anticipated due to high winds, falling branches and an 11 hour power cut. In the face of all adversity, John prevailed; the restored window looks fabulous and was back in the church in time for the Remembrance Day service.