What do you mean when you say it has a few breaks?
We are frequently asked this question, and the answer is really a judgment call. We have over 150 windows and we always tell our customers that all of our windows have cracks. This is turn-of-the-century glass and therefore will have a crack or two (or more), they actually add character to the pieces.. I don’t mean large breaks, with any window that we sell, if there is damage that we feel jeopardizes the safety or beauty of the window, repairs are done in the shop by an experienced stained glass expert. It is very rare to find a window that is perfect.. When buying antique stained glass you really shouldn’t let a small break bother you.
How do we display our windows?
It is sometimes hard to have a vision that will help you to decide how to display a piece of stained glass.. We suggest that people hang the window in front of an existing window. That way the window can be taken down to be washed. If you move you can take it with you. In our shop, we display most of our windows with an eye and hook and sometimes chain.. we hang them in front of our large bay windows where the sun can catch them and make them sparkle.. This way, you don’t have to make exact measurements or worry about how weatherproof the windows are. This is not to say they can’t be built in; this decision would be made in each case according to how tight and strong they are, and what your climate is like.
What other ways can you use stained glass windows?
Some people have used them as room dividers, some have put a pair on hinges to be used like shutters.
Where do you get all these windows?
We travel all over the New England area to find our windows, we do not get them directly from salvage people, but ultimately that is where a lot of them originate. While we do not usually know the provenance (origin) of the window, We do stick with American turn-of-the-century windows, bought in the Northeast..
How delicate are they?
They are really very durable.. they should be carried on end and not flat, with nothing touching or rubbing against the glass. Under each frame is a piece of lead surrounding the window that holds everything in tightly.. Most windows also have reinforcement bars that reinforce the window.
What’s with the frames?
Some of our windows are in the original frames, usually this is a thick window frame. Sometimes the original frame is broken or rotted, or if it is in a state of disrepair, we then have a local window maker George Elias of Elias woodworking in Madison Maine, make some new frames up for us.. Also sometimes the window has come out of the frame of the house without any frame attached, especially sidelights and transoms. They were set right into the casings. Then we receive it with just the leaded frame around it and it needs to be framed. If someone buys an old frame and wants a new one, we can get George to do it for you.. it is very reasonably priced. So we have a mix of old and new frames on our windows, but ALL of our glass is OLD…
What if they break?
As long as they are not smashed they can be repaired pretty easily. As I said before, they are encased with lead around the outside, and around each individual piece of glass, making them accessible to work on individual sections. A stained glass person can be found, make sure they have worked with antique glass before. Most have, and they will be able to take out some pieces and replace them with a good match or an old piece of glass, which many stained glass repair people have. We have two great guys that do work for us. One local, in town here, and one in Belfast ME.. we can give referrals to either of them. If you are far from us, you can ask at a local church that has some great windows, usually through the years they have used someone local to do repairs. The yellow pages for stained glass, or a spot that gives lessons on stained glass. Craft Fairs may also have someone who is known in your area.. Ask around you’ll find someone.