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Restoration & Conservation

From our first restoration project in 1986 for the derelict St. Mark’s Church in Cape Town’s former District Six, to our latest assignment at Smuts Hall – University of Cape Town, Stained Glass Masters have contributed significantly to the conservation of many heritage windows in South Africa.

A professionally made and glazed window will last a hundred years and longer. Then, if the glass was not, or only minimally damaged, the panels need re-leading. Otherwise professorial restoration will be required. We use pure milled lead profiles manufactured by ourselves. Guaranteed to stand the test of time, pure milled lead is the material of choice in international professional practice.

Lately, vandalism proved more damaging than the effect of time and elements. We are often given a basket or a box of smashed pieces from which we have to reconstruct the whole, much like an archeologist puts together an ancient pot from scattered pieces. Except that afterwards we have to do reproductions, as not all pieces can be mended.

In 2005 and 2008 Jan Biteno made study visits to Ateliers Loire in Chartres, France, where the medieval time windows at the old cathedral were restored and new techniques and conservation methods were developed.

Most churches and other public buildings do not have detailed photographic records of their windows. We offer this service together with valuations for insurance purposes.

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