Windows For The Soul
Cementing and Cleaning

Cementing and Cleaning

The assembled window is now ready to be cemented. This important process will stiffen and strengthen the leaded panels, making them weather tight, and adding an aesthetically pleasing dark "patina" to the lead surface. The cement or putty is pushed into the space between the flanges of the lead came and the glass on both sides of the window, then the excess is cleaned off with a compound called "whiting". The whiting also polishes and cleans the glass surface. There is division among stained glass professionals on the best formula for glazing cement. Primarily if a hardener (such as plaster) should be added to the glazing formula, or if an unaltered commercially produced linseed oil based glazing putty is best. Our experience is that if a protective exterior covering is part of the final installation, simple linseed oil putty without hardener is adequate. However, if no protective covering is to be used, we have found that a cement containing plaster results in a stiffer, more solid panel that is less prone to water leakage, especially in wind-driven rain.

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Kris Lambert uses a brush to fill the space between the flange of the lead came and glass with glazing cement. This process stiffens the stained glass window and makes it weather tight.

Left: Some cementing compounds have a black dye component added to enhance the new "silvery colored" lead with a dark, richly colored patina on the surface of the came to give it a more mature appearance.

The excess cement is cleaned off with a compound called "whiting" which also polishes and cleans the glass surface.
When a client wants a new stained glass window, the first and most important step is to listen carefully to the client's request. Of course, we must consider the architectural space, adjoining windows, building style, light source intensity and direction, plus look for any trees, buildings, mountains, or other obstacles that may block the available light. All these variables must be taken into account during the process of forming the core concept, but in the end, it all comes down to fulfilling the client’s desire. - R.B.

Proposal rendering showing two of the fourteen Stations of the Cross for The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish.

Computer rendering for Redland Baptist Church, using a Dove, Cross and Grape Vine design.

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