Monday, 23 August 2010

Derix Glass Studios - Continued Pt. 1.

I cut the lead from a large sheet that came in a role. It is the same stuff that is used in roofing only a little thinner and so more pliable and easier to work with. I cut the sizes by laying the leaded up glass on top of the lead sheeting and drawing around the edge with a nail. On the smaller windows the extra lead was to be 3cm wide and on the larger windows it was to be 5cm wide. To get this exact width squares of wood were cut to these sizes.

(Fig, 29. One of the Lipertz panels cut to size and polished.)

The wood was butted up against the edge of the window and the nail drew along the edge of the wood. As the wood was moved along the glass edge, so the nail was moved along the wood edge. Once the strips were drawn out in this way they were cut with a stanley knife. Edge strip was cut a little long at the ends so they could overlap. This makes the solder joints stronger and also helps when the glass is being installed.

(Fig. 30. Brass strips cut to size, drilled and coated in solder.)

(Figs. 31. Brass strips soldered to window leading.)

Once all the lead is cut to size it is soldered onto the leading around the glass using liquid flux which is painted on. 5mm overlap between the lead I'm adding and the leaded border to make sure it is really secure. After soldering the lead is wiped with a tissue to remove the flux which dries black and is unsightly. The lead strips are then trimmed with metal cutters in some places to make sure they mimic the contours of the lead work underneath. Long flat brass rods are cut down to 3cm strips, each of which had a hole drilled in it. These are what will finally attach the windows to the stonework. A different flux is used on these called 'lot wasser'. It is an acid and a stronger flux which when soldered sizzles. I have to wear gloves to use it because it is so acidic. The tip of each brass rectangle is painted with this flux then soldered on both sides. These are then soldered onto the lead work around the edge of the glass, on top of where the strips of lead were soldered earlier. Nails will go through the holes in the brass and into the church stonework to hold the panels in place. Even although some of the windows were quite big and heavy enough that they were hard for me to lift they only had about five of these little brass attachments on each window. They told me they were very strong so they didn't need many.

(Fig. 32. Lipertz panels completed and ready for installation.)

Some of the solder leaked through to the front and this was removed by reheating the solder with an iron and wiping it with wire wool while it was still hot. The front face of the leaded strips was rubbed down with putty then brushed with a polishing brush to blacken up the lead. These windows were then complete and ready to be installed. I thought they looked really good and I actually quite liked the extra lead from an aesthetic point of view because it really framed the designs.I have now described all the work I took part in in the glazing department while at Derix glass studios. I will now explain what I did in the painting department. The most notable work I did in this department was to help with some restoration painting. They were working on a project originally by Johann Klaus in 1872. The windows were from Munchberg in the church of St Peter and Paul. The restorative work I did was exactly the same as what I had done in Peters Glasmalerie. The project was wrapping up when I arrived and they had some broken simple panels that needed to be copied. I painted black trace lines onto a newly cut piece of glass which was placed on top of the old piece so I could see through it and copy it. I mixed the paint with turpentine and an oil mix nobody could translate for me but was probably the same combination used at Peters. The tricky bit came once the trace lines were fired. A matt wash needed to be added on the front but the staff in the painting department could not reach a consensus about what colour to make it as they did not have an exact match and were in disagreement about what looked best.

(Fig. 32. Left hand side shows copied panel, right hand the original.)

This meant that I ended up painting the matt, firing it, then a few days later having to do the whole thing from the beginning with another matt, then another because this decision could not be reached. I did not really mind doing this and was just happy it was the colour they had chosen and not my painting that was the problem.

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