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THE IMPORTANCE OF STAINED GLASS CHURCH WINDOWS

23 Oct 2014

Posted by Bob Egan

THE IMPORTANCE OF STAINED GLASS CHURCH WINDOWS

Many worshipers have been touched by the sight of stained glass church windows as a visual first impression when they enter the sanctuary.  The process of coloring glass was probably invented in ancient Egypt, but it was during the Middle Ages that they became an important feature of Gothic Style churches.  The wider windows of the Gothic architecture allowed for the rise in stained glass demand.  Artisans of the day would blow the glass into varying forms and sizes. Pieces were then cut into smaller fragments and sorted into a particular design.  As the artistry advanced, certain details were painted on the glass pieces so that gestures and clothing could be represented.

What was their purpose?

Certainly the beauty of stained glass windows within the church walls is mesmerizing, as light streams through and dances upon the colors of the glass. Perhaps you have admired them in your own house of worship, or have been lucky enough to visit some of the famous examples like the stained glass church windows in the Notre Dame de Paris, Sainte Chapelle cathedral http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_window.

The beauty of the stained glass church window is not only to enhance the worshipers spiritual experience, but also to serve an educational purpose.  Especially in the original cases when there were no bibles or books available, the windows became an important teaching tool in depicting Christian bible scenes and lessons.  Therefore, the most intricate stained glass scenes are not just simple decoration, but in fact are an earthly piece of glass, elevated into something more divine.

Restoration

Stained glass church windows are too precious an entity not to be properly maintained.  They are too important to the integrity of the church building and represent religious beliefs fashioned as art, in order to comfort worshippers during prayers.  Aesthetic beauty does matter in the worshiping experience.  

Upkeep and protect the windows as valued pieces of art and as the focus of prayer.  Consult with Egan's Church Furnishings & Restorations for all of your stained glass window renovations.  Egan's team of expert stained glass restoration specialists follow the highest standards for preservation.  Review the careful and skillful restoration process that they follow.  Browse through their gallery of completed restorations and you will be impressed. 

Committed to serving the northeastern states since 1965, contact the caring experts at Egan's Church Furnishing & Restorations and begin the conservation of your stained glass church windows today.


How to Protect Church Stained Glass Windows

01 May 2014

Posted by Bob Egan

How to Protect Church Stained Glass Windows

Protecting your stained glass windows is an important part of maintaining your church building. Your stained glass windows are a big investment, and keeping them protected from damage helps protect your investment as well as save you money over time.

Correcting Poorly Installed Stained Glass Protective Coverings

Many parishes have incorrectly installed protective covering that were quickly put up in the 70’s to help save heat. What no one realized back then was that “stained glass protective coverings must have a ventilation system (air flow)” to prevent moisture buildup between the layers of glass. This moisture will rot wood frames, rust steel frames and vents and cause damage to stone frames. In addition, the moisture will oxidize the lead in the stained glass window.

The National Preservation Society funded a study that found “ more damage has been done to stained glass windows from unvented protective coverings, than all the fires, storms and vandal damage, combined,”!

When considering any stained glass window frame painting project or stained glass repair project, serious consideration should be given to replacing the protective coverings with new materials (choice of: plexiglass, plate glass, laminated glass or lexan) with a properly installed venting system.

How to Protect Church Stained Glass Windows

One of the best ways to protect your stained glass windows is by installing a protective covering over your decorative church stained glass windows. This protects your stained glass windows from breakage from rocks, tree branches, storm debris, and vandalism. These protective coverings can also help to decrease damage to your stained glass windows due to UV rays, pollution, and exposure to acid rain. Installing stained glass protective coverings over the outside of your stained glass windows does not affect the window's natural light nor the look of the artwork displayed on your windows. The same level of natural light is still let into your church, without affecting the integrity of your windows. Stained glass Protective coverings are one of the best ways to protect your stained glass windows and is recommended for all stained glass, old and new.

Further, for coastal parishes, we have certified “hurricane code” stained glass protective coverings for wind loads of; 90 mph, 110 mph or even 150 mph. Since hurricane Katrina, many insurance companies are now requiring coastal parishes to upgrade their stained glass protective coverings to prevent storm damage in future “super storms”.

NEW! Stained glass protective coverings with an “Insulated Glass Unit”

Egan’s now have available a stained glass protective covering system with insulated glass (2 layers of glass-like an Anderson window). This new stained glass protective covering system can be easily retro-fit to most wood framed windows, whether stained glass or simple clear glass. Now any fixed stained glass window or other windows in your parish property can be upgraded to help save big dollars in heat and energy usage.

Egan’s Church Furnishings have the skilled craftspeople to assist your parish with almost any frame repair and protective covering replacement. Call (800 440 1202) or email us (info@eganchurchfurnishings.com ) for more information or to set up an appointment for a free consultation and quote.

Many Stained Glass Church Windows Need Historic Restoration

09 Dec 2011

Posted by Joseph Coupal

Stained Glass windows in churches and places of worship are a beautiful part of the design and the décor. However, over time, they can deteriorate and the window frames begin to rot.

Years ago, a lexan protective layer was installed over the outside of the window for protective purposes. However, over the course of time that lexan yellows and traps moisture in between it and the stained glass window.

This moisture causes the lead in the windows to rust or oxidize. Additionally the moisture causes the wooden frames to rot. These windows are extremely heavy and the deteriorating wood and lead can cause the windows to break and fall apart.
 
As the stained glass windows deteriorate they allow for quite a bit of energy loss. Egan's Church Furnishings and Restorations does historic restorations on stained glass windows. Through our stained glass restoration process, we can repair the lead in the window, and repair or replace the wood where necessary. If the frame needs to be replaced, we can replace the frame with mahogany or aluminum, which creates a passive solar frame, which is excellent for cutting down on energy bills.

Contact Egan's Church Furnishings and Restorations for more  information on historic restoration of stained glass windows and stained glass window repair.

Stained Glass Window Restored at Staten Island Church

01 Dec 2011

Posted by Joseph Coupal

A stained glass window to the past was painstakingly restored by Egan's Church Furnishings and Restoration and reinstalled at Our Lady Queen of Peace R.C. Church, Staten Island, just in time for the parish’s 90th anniversary mass last Sunday.

The stained glass church window, which is about 22 feet high and about 12 feet wide, depicts Our Lady Queen of Peace as the main figure surrounded by other saints. It is thought to be as old as the parish.

The main problem was that the wooden frame of the stained glass window was rotted, rendering it unable to securely hold the weight of the window. The glass pieces alone weighed up to 800 pounds.

The window had to be taken apart and then reassembled in what was described as “an incredible jigsaw puzzle” by Robert Egan of Egan Church Furnishings in Shrewsbury, MA. Each piece of glass was cleaned, repaired if needed, releaded and then encased in an aluminum frame at Bovard Studio in Fairfield, Iowa.

Egan’s engineers did a detailed study of the original wooden frame to copy its shape exactly with the new aluminum frame, which won’t rust or deteriorate, but looks beautiful. Now, if window repairs need to be made in the future, the new frame is a simple track that can be snapped out, the glass can be removed and the channel snapped back in place. The patented frame is touted as the only one for stained glass that vents to the inside of the church, a major energy saving feature. One of the reasons Our Lady Queen of Peace chose Egan's Church Furnishings and Restorations for the job.

Parishioners celebrated the return of the window, and kicked off the church’s year-long anniversary festivities with a mass officiated by the Rev. Pancrose Kalist, pastor, and his brother, Bishop Francis Kalist of Meerut, India. They left on Monday for a pilgrimage to Lourdes.

The theme of the event was “Reflect & Renew,” and the church, which holds about 400 people, was standing room only for the mass, followed by a reception.

The year-long celebration will culminate with a dinner planned for Oct. 14, 2012, at the Excelsior Grand, Staten Island.

For information on Stained Glass Windows whether you are repairing existing ones or need new ones designed for your place of worship, contact Egan's Church Furnishings and Restorations.

Original Article - Maura Grunlund- Staten Island Advance


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