York Glaziers Trust undertakes conservation projects on behalf of owners and custodians of stained glass of all periods, in historic buildings from great Cathedrals to the smallest of parish churches, in museums and art galleries and in private collections.
Based in a workshop in the centre of the historic city of York, the Trust offers a wide-ranging service, including conservation, repair and protection of medieval stained glass, of enamel painted glass of the 17th century and Georgian era, of Victorian and Edwardian stained glass, of twentieth-century windows and of historic plain glazing. Our staff also provide an unparalleled advisory service.
The Trust offers advice and expertise in the preparation of condition reports, quinquennial inspection reports, conservation plans, statements of need and statements of significance, historical evaluations and the preparation of grant-applications to national funding bodies, including the Church Building Council, The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Modern stained glass conservation combines a wide range of craft skills with an understanding of the chemistry of glass composition, materials science, environmental conditions and conservation ethics.
The team can assist in addressing the consequences of the deterioration and corrosion of glass. This can result in the pitting of glass surfaces, reduction in glass thickness, loss of surface decoration (paint, yellow stain, coloured enamels), and the accumulation of dirt and corrosion products.
Modern cleaning techniques not only remove damaging corrosion deposits, but can also improve legibility, brightness and translucency of a window.
Windows can also be endangered by weakening and failure in the structure of the lead net or by failure in the window's support structure. The failure of the waterproofing of the window causes it to leak, damaging glass surfaces and surrounding stonework. The lead net is nonetheless part of the historic fabric of the window, so re-leading should be undertaken only after careful evaluation.
Where appropriate, the conservator can also apply modern bonding techniques that allow the impact of insensitive mending leads to be reduced, if not eliminated. If necessary, our skilled glass-painters can provide conservation in-fills to replace lost glass.
Many of the symptoms of glass deterioration are triggered by exposure of the glass to moisture externally and internally. Further deterioration of a window can be halted with recourse to ventilated protective glazing (sometimes called isothermal glazing), which removes fragile historic glass from the impact of wind pressure and the damaging effects of external moisture and recurrent cycles of internal condensation. The Trust has extensive experience of design and installation in sensitive historic locations.
In locations where vandalism or break-ins are a risk, external powder-coated wire guards can offer additional protection.