Including stained glasses in architectonic design is a suitable solution for creating light atmospheres and unique spaces. Architects and riggers have used since ancient times to the use of stained glasses for closing interior and exterior openings, intervening for that the work of the stained glass master or master glassmaker.
The stained glass is an artistic technique that has some particularities that differentiate it from the rest of techniques and that we are going to detail in the following lines.
Professionals of architectonic design and restauration may have the necessary judgment elements when planning their work, whether they are new projects or design a master plan for restauration of the architectonic work.
1. The starting point of the architect
Every stained glass has its beginnings with the basis of an initial architectonic project in which is employed a trace that starts with the previous sketch (usually a scale 1/10) and in which the first proposal is collected. From here, the stained glass master transmits the preliminary sketch to the paper and, using the drawing, he tries to devise a solution when moving the glass the result he wants to obtain.
The stained glass workshop is a creative place where solutions are given to each particular case, providing own stained glass designs created by their drawers or by other specialized artists which are going to happen on the most adequate final solution for each space.
2. Install a glass or stained glass
Before starting work, the master should study the context in which the created stained glass or group of stained glasses should be inserted. The place should be also previously evaluated before starting the work, since all the lighting and constructive factors are will affect the final result.
This preliminary study will determine the success of the stained glass program and that the objectives to be obtained through the use of stained glasses are achieved. There are plenty of different glasses and colors that can be selected depending on the context, but there are many other factors external to the stained glass itself that the master must dominate and control.
There should have a thorough knowledge about the light that will influence over the future stained glass, to which a control of all the changes that are going to occur in it along the day and the annual cycle of seasons are added. Similarly must there a control over the lighting space that will create the other side and the light effects that want to generate and control. Balancing the lights is one of the most complex tasks of the stained glass master who must choose the most adequate crystals in each case, so they don´t result not too light or too dark. An equilibrium point, symmetry and inherent proportion to all the artistic work that ultimate pursue beauty or art for art.
The stained glass is worked by panels that don´t use to exceed the square meter of surface since the smaller, the more resistant and better results they will be and they are going to support better the pass of the time. Its installation does not differ much from the installation of a normal glass, but they require from other elements of its own.
They need to bring a frame where are attached by a ribbon, or a profile, or in some cases, using putty or polimers. In exceptional cases, lime mortar is used for fixing. All stained windows bring railing reinforcements whose ends are anchored to the galces.
3. Protection and conservation
Installation is the final stage that in some cases is done by specialized installers under the direction of the stained glass master.
A stained glass or window, as any other artwork, can travel easily as it seems. As artistic works, stained glasses have a consideration of movable property such as it is possible to transport them in wooden boxes protected with Z-Foam or any other kind of specialized lining which provides cushion and insulation.
International assignments are very common where the stained glasses are sent by plane with a full guarantee that arrive in perfect conditions as they travel well protected in security drawers.
For the exterior stained glasses protection with a great value, it is advisable to install laminated glass as a closure to secure them, which undoubtedly improves insulation, extends long cleaning periods and adds an extra strength to the whole set. It also helps the maintaining of energetic efficiency of the building. For years it is very common to see in many buildings bulletproof glasses installed to protect stained glasses against vandalism, especially in the center of many cities where vandalism is common in some weekends.
4. Restoration and recovery
It is always possible to restore and rebuild a broken stained glass. It is therefore advisable to keep all the fragments that have been separated or unbundled of the original work, and call a specialist as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration. He will know propose the most favorable solution in each case, while calculation the costs and develop a tight budget before the damage gets bigger and see the cost increased for this reason.
In the case of accidental breakage of any part of the stained glass it is always possible to practice a replacement of the damaged piece and in cases of very severe deterioration is always possible to make a full recovery and rebuild it. When specific fractures occur in the stained glasses windows, can be repaired in situ, this highly reduces the derivate costs of this kind of work. In the case of very damaged stained glasses, restoration must be completely done in the workshop and then be placed back in its original place once recovered.
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