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Each individual leadlight panel is handcrafted and time is taken to ensure only the best of products result. However the cost of providing such a quality product need not be viewed as prohibitive. Given an understanding of the work involved, purchasing such work of art need not be expensive, with cost depending upon size, complexity and type of glass used. In order to answer some of the frequently asked questions, here is some information which may be of interest.

So what is leadlight and how is it made?

While it is not known where the first coloured glass was used, remains of windows have been found in Roman ruins. These were small with glass segmented into metal bars. Although in early Australia leadlight was considered somewhat of a luxury, it is now more affordable as glass is more plentiful and less costly to manufacture. Whether to tell a story as often seen in churches or for decoration, pieces of glass of different textures, colour and thickness of which there are many, many varieties, can create many different effects. Here is basically how:

> By creating and drawing the design to fill the required space.
> Selecting glass which best suits the design and tastes of the individual.
> Handcutting the glass and refining so as to fit together.
> Constructing the leadlight similar to a glass jigsaw by separating glass pieces by layers of lead came (strips) cut to exact size, shape and fit.
> Soldering the lead joints to a smooth finish.
> Puttying and cementing (to prevent rattle and strengthen), cleaning, polishing and quality check to produce the finished product.

Restoration and repair
What is involved in the restoration and repair of leadlight?

> Identifying areas of weakness and areas in need of repair.
> Partial or total cutting away old lead and cleaning of the glass.
> Matching of existing glass (where glass is available) or replacement of pieces, and if need be, complimentary pieces with a suitable substitute to ensure a balance.
> Rebuilding of the leadlight as shown in the above processes.





Would I be able to do it myself?
There can be some pitfalls for the unwary. Knowledge and experience regarding the complexities of leadlight design and construction of panels, particularly external panels - what it involves and how they are made to ensure adequate sizing, strength and weatherproofing - is a must and knowing about this can save many dollars.

Some interesting experiences and stories told by clients and colleagues have made us all too aware of D.I.Y. projects started with all good intention but given such limited information resulted in a non-ending fiscal nightmare or discarded materials and still no finished project in sight. On rare occasions we have been asked to take on such unfinished projects to which we have had to politely decline, given certain limitations!! One interesting case where a potential client had their leadlight window warping under pressure needed an entire panel rebuild, another wondered why the door rattled when opened and closed, it was a miracle the glass panel hadn't fallen to pieces. So it certainly pays to check out what it involves before contemplating the D.I.Y. project.

Here is some information concerning the potential pitfalls of D.I.Y. projects and some of the techniques. It could well save you money:

> Leadlight designs are created with knowledge of the different types of glass and lead came to be used and how it is to be cut. As the design is used during construction, alterations in design are difficult after construction has begun.
> Specialist tools and materials are required to successfully complete the task: grinder, lead cutter, solder, soldering iron, building frames - all at a cost. NOTE: Glass and materials are more costly retail than wholesale and money can be unwisely spent if the tools are not used again or glass wrongly cut.
> Skill and experience is required in cutting both glass and lead, such as curved shapes, in more complex designs to an exact fit - if the piece of the glass is not perfectly cut it will not fit correctly, so the completed panel is the correct size. Texture, thickness and type of glass and lead all play a part in the balance of creating and building a leadlight.
> A suitable space for building the leadlight is needed. Slivers of glass in the bedroom carpet (and in the fingers) can pose a real problem as can storing the project.
> Puttying, cleaning and polishing are quite dirty jobs, so a suitable area is required.
> And... will the window panel fit the space?

So, if you still really want to build your own leadlight...
...enjoy, have fun, and stand back and admire you work!

Otherwise contact us via email or by telephone on 02 6920 5662 or 0427 205 662.

With each piece we are able to create a unique feature for your home or workplace, or restore your existing leadlights to their former glory.


Mobile: 0427 205 662 (Glen) or 0427 299 270 (Les)


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