A Question of Age

So one of the projects on the bench right now is a Victorian lancet window whose memorial inscription is “Not lost but gone before” …

On the bench right now

Here’s a close-up of the top, just below:

Victorian stained glass

‘Not lost but gone before’

Broken stained glass

How’s this done?

And there are several broken squares like this one here on your left (plus another inscription which I’ll write about another time).

All right, it would be possible to edge-bond these squares, but the client asked us to re-paint them.

And the big thing about re-paints is … you don’t want anyone to appreciate your work.

No, the worst thing is when a re-paint is visible as such e.g. because someone used the wrong glass or chose the wrong paint or – indeed – made a piece which looks brand new.

And here today I just want to say how undercoats can help you age your glass.

You start by tracing the image onto paper, because it’s easier when you come to paint and stain:

Stained glass design

Quick paper-copy

Then – on the correct glass – you paint an undercoat, blend it smooth and let it dry. Once it’s dry, you trace the lines.

Lastly, with clean, dry hands, you lightly rub and push the undercoat so it gathers around the trace lines.

You need to be gentle and responsive, but you’ll see how the undercoat builds up around and against the trace lines.

Like snow that’s blown by wind against a wall …

A clever use of the undercoat

A clever use of the undercoat

Here we also applied an undercoat on the back, used a toothbrush to flick paint, then rubbed away until those spots you see appeared.

So … the undercoat doesn’t just help you trace better.

Nor does it just help you trace and highlight in a single firing.

It also – if that’s what you want, like we do here – helps you do an exact copy of a beautiful Victorian square.

Once fired, it’ll be time to stain it with oil.

Happy forging!

Stephen ByrneP.S. See here for a free quick video clip and also how to get the whole 21-minute demo where you see all the techniques we used. Do watch the clip because film brings everything more vividly to life than written words. (Words are fine for step-by-step instructions, but you do not see the spirit.) Here it is, the free and useful useful video summary.