Restoration Begins On Stained Glass At Methodist Church

As rich in history as in color, the stained glass windows of the First United Methodist Church are feeling the effects of old age.

Two of the windows, on the verge of falling apart, were removed by experts last week and will be restored to their original glory.Each panel weighs between 50 and 60 pounds, according to Craig Colombero of Hayloft Stained Glass in Shelburne Falls . He and colleagues Joseph Tracy and Bill Dodds used packing tape to reinforce the delicate glass, and then painstakingly removed the panels from the window frames, and from the metal reinforcing bars that hold them in place. “That first lift out of the opening is always the most precarious,” Colombero said with a grin. The colored glass, installed in the church sanctuary in 1897, is held in place by a framework of lead. Over time, the soft metal begins to break down, and the windows feel the pull of gravity. One of the windows, featuring Joseph in an Egyptian setting, had begun to buckle under its own weight. While some minor repairs have apparently been made over the years, this is the first time the windows have been restored.“They’re in pretty tough shape,” Colombero observed. He and his colleagues removed the panels one by one, gingerly placing them in custom-built packing crates for the trip to their studio in the Berkshires. There, they will be unpacked and placed on work tables, where they will make a paper-and-crayon rubbing—much like a gravestone rubbing. The rubbing is then made into a blueprint, and as pieces of the window are disassembled, they are placed on top of the blueprint to keep them organized.Chuck Hathaway, chairman of the church board of trustees, said the restoration is being done one or two windows at a time for financial reasons; the cost of restoring these two windows is more than $38,000, and restoring all 10 windows would cost upwards of $130,000 “at last year’s prices,” Hathaway said. While the church has raised enough funds to fully restore two windows, organizers will be seeking grants and donations to continue the work, Hathaway said.As rich in history as in color, the stained glass windows of the First United Methodist Church are feeling the effects of old age. Two of the windows, on the verge of falling apart, were removed by experts last week and will be restored to their original glory.

Each panel weighs between 50 and 60 pounds, according to Craig Colombero of Hayloft Stained Glass in Shelburne Falls . He and colleagues Joseph Tracy and Bill Dodds used packing tape to reinforce the delicate glass, and then painstakingly removed the panels from the window frames, and from the metal reinforcing bars that hold them in place.

“That first lift out of the opening is always the most precarious,” Colombero said with a grin. The colored glass, installed in the church sanctuary in 1897, is held in place by a framework of lead. Over time, the soft metal begins to break down, and the windows feel the pull of gravity. One of the windows, featuring Joseph in an Egyptian setting, had begun to buckle under its own weight. While some minor repairs have apparently been made over the years, this is the first time the windows have been restored.

“They’re in pretty tough shape,” Colombero observed. He and his colleagues removed the panels one by one, gingerly placing them in custom-built packing crates for the trip to their studio in the Berkshires. There, they will be unpacked and placed on work tables, where they will make a paper-and-crayon rubbing—much like a gravestone rubbing. The rubbing is then made into a blueprint, and as pieces of the window are disassembled, they are placed on top of the blueprint to keep them organized.

Chuck Hathaway, chairman of the church board of trustees, said the restoration is being done one or two windows at a time for financial reasons; the cost of restoring these two windows is more than $38,000, and restoring all 10 windows would cost upwards of $130,000 “at last year’s prices,” Hathaway said. While the church has raised enough funds to fully restore two windows, organizers will be seeking grants and donations to continue the work, Hathaway said.

600450 Restoration Begins On Stained Glass At Methodist Church glassonweb.com
Date: 13 December 2003
Source: Capecodchronicle.com

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