Author Archives Martin Faith

Is Stained Glass Restoration Worth it?

Choosing whether or not to restore your church’s stained glass is a difficult choice. You would be surprised at how attached congregants are to these lovely relics. We frequently make the case for church stained glass restoration in Houston based solely on congregants’ affection for it. However, there are also more practical reasons to have it done.

Stained Glass Restoration Improves Glass Luster

Over time, the colors in your stained glass windows will fade due to weather and accumulation of grime and debris. When we return repaired stained glass to their homes in Houston churches, they appear brand new. Once the restoration is completed, the various hues appear brighter and deeper than ever before—restoring the window to its original splendor.

Stained Glass Restoration Reinforces Support Structure

Restoration of damaged stained glass windows isn’t only about how they appear. It’s also about ensuring that they last a long time. If your stained glass is more than 100 years old, the lead has most certainly become brittle. Lead that is elderly and brittle will bend and break under the weight of the glass, causing the entire window to sag over time. Stained glass restoration is a technique for replacing old lead with superior lead in order to extend the life of your Houston church’s stained glass windows another 200 years. Modern additives to lead increase the lifespan of antique stained glass by another 200 years.

Stained Glass Restoration Improves the Function of Your Stained Glass

We see stained glass break down all the time. Stained glass windows, like any other window in your Houston church, are useful for a variety of reasons. They keep out the elements and maintain heated and cooled air inside. If you have a crack or a hole in your church’s stained glass windows, they aren’t working properly. This might result in costly utility bills or dampness entering your church to cause damage to other parts of the building. When we repair stained glass, we take additional safe steps, such as adequate ventilation and protective glazes/coverings to further extend life These will also aid in the performance of your stained glass within the interior environment.

Contact us to learn more about how we restore windows and to book an appointment for a free church stained glass restoration consultation in Houston.

Should I Repair My Victorian Stained Glass Windows or Get New Ones?

Stained glass needs repair or restoration about every 80-100 years and the Victorian period was over 100 years ago.  This means for homes of this style with stained glass windows–restoration is overdue.  Many Houston homeowners come to us wondering if their stained glass is worth repairing.  We almost always encourage them to have it restored rather than removed or letting it fall into disarray. Read below to find out why.

Victorian  Stained Glass Is has Monetary Value

If your home is old enough to have Victorian stained glass windows, then you should give it some serious thought to restoration before replacing the antique with something new. The value of these windows will rise as they become rarer. Their final value will depend on many things including the quality of the repair.  However, vintage stained glass typically will appraise for 4x more than new stained glass.  

Victorian Vintage Stained Glass Is Historical Value

The value of Victorian stained glass windows is not only monetary. They have historical and cultural importance as well! This can be due to who commissioned the window, what types of materials were used in its construction, or where it was created. By restoring your Victorian stained-glass windows you keep a piece of Houston’s history intact for the next generation.

No matter what you decide to do with your Victorian home’s stained glass it is always a good idea to get it inspected and/or appraised to find out who made it and when.  Contact us today for pricing and to schedule an appointment. 

Stained Glass Options for Houston Homes: Traditional, Leaded, or Beveled?

Up until their consultation, many of our customers are unaware of the different stained glass options available to them. Most people assume that all stained glass windows have color, but this is not true. While this may have been the case long ago, there are now many different styles of stained glass that you can choose for your Houston home.

Usually, these styles can be broken down into one of three categories: traditional, leaded, or beveled glass. Below, we’ve discussed the differences between each type. That way, when the time comes for you to choose a style for your home, you’ll have a better understanding of the different options available to you. Continue Reading

Vernon A.M.E. Church Stained Glass Restoration Project in Tulsa

Stained glass windows are incredibly unique and beautiful pieces of art. Unfortunately, there are few professionals today who are experienced in stained glass restoration. At Houston Stained Glass, we’ve made it our mission to preserve this ancient art form that we hold so dear to our hearts. We are proud to be able to offer this service to stained glass owners all across the United States.  Continue Reading

Portfolio Update: Recreating a Beloved Stained Glass Window for Sam Houston State University

Here at Houston Stained Glass, we are part of our parent company Scottish Stained Glass. This means we get to be a part of some pretty outstanding restorations and repairs. Recently though we did a recreation. This project was a little bit different than what we usually do but incredibly special. It was a stained glass window recreation at Sam Houston State University.

Replicating Sam Houston State’s Historic Stained Glass Windows

Texas is full of schools, one of the oldest of which is Sam Houston State University which was founded in 1879. Back in its day, the campus was something to behold. It was made up primarily of lovely arched brick buildings, one of which had an amazing stunning stained glass window. This window was a point of pride for the school but had been destroyed by a fire in 1982. SHSU decided they wanted us to recreate the original masterpiece to commemorate their school motto “The measure of a Life is its Service”. The issue was, there was only one color picture of the window. So, we would have to work from a yearbook photo from 1964! Being one of the most prolific and talented stained glass studios in the country–we were up for the challenge! and we are so glad they did. We took the restoration journey with them as we navigated some of the challenges recreating a stained glass window presents.

Modern Technology for Restoring Stained Glass

As mentioned the stained glass window at Sam Houston State University no longer existed. This presented a major challenge in design and in keeping the window true to its authentic roots. We realized quickly this charge would require innovative solutions so we turned to modern technology to start the process. We use a combo of old and new techniques all the time when restoring stained glass windows–so this was nothing new. The first thing we did was scan the original picture into the computer then print it out full size. This allowed us to carefully trace the lines of the original. Once our drawing was perfect we put it back into our CAD program to make it twice as big since the school requested we double the size of the window. This process, while time-consuming, gave us a template that was an exact replica of the original work of art to work from. In other words, time and technology, paid off in accuracy!

Restoring Sam Houston State University’s Lost Stained Glass

Finding materials used more than a century ago is difficult if not impossible. We knew this would be a challenge from the start. Color formulation with stained glass has changed drastically over the years. So rather than attempt to find the same color formulas and materials we used a top conservation specialist to find colors that were as close to the originals as possible. And, the colors were pretty darn close. However, that was not quite enough. We are one of the country’s top stained glass painting studios and we knew our artists could paint over the “close enough” hue to make them an exact match, and they did!

The Results of the Recreated Commemorative Stained Glass Window

All in all the work on the commemorative stained glass window of SHSU took us about a full year. Long restorations are common when dealing with very large detailed stained glass artwork restorations. Since this stained glass masterpiece had a lot of shadows, clothing, and faces the painting required extensive layering to get the depth needed–ten layers in some places! Also, this window ended up with a staggering 3,000- 4,000 individual pieces of glass. But we are happy to pronounce that this window is a replica down to the last detail. The university could not be happier with the aesthetics of this new school icon! In fact, it has once again become the pride and joy of campus. The entire university–from staff to students–is just delighted by this beautiful stained glass replica. And, you know what? The Scottish Stained Glass family is too! Because we love paying respect to vintage stained glass by preserving it, in one way or another, for generations yet to come.

If you have a stained glass restoration or rebuild project we would love to speak to you about it too! Contact us at Houston Stained Glass today for a free consultation.

Houston Stained Glass Portfolio Review: Breathtaking Painted Stained Glass

Here at Houston Stained Glass, a wonderful part of our business model is being part of one of the most talented stained glass studios in the US--Scottish Stained Glass. This allows us to witness and even work on some of the most unique stained glass installations in the country. Each custom job comes with its own set of challenges–but our work is incredibly fulfilling. Our job is not only to transform churches but the lives of the people too. One example of this is our most recent in St. Andrew The Apostle Catholic Church located in Wray, CO.

The Scope of Our Custom Stained Glass Project

Wray is a small town of 2000 but this stained glass job was big. The church, built 30 years ago, wanted five custom panels. They did not have stained glass windows in the sanctuary and felt like this addition would make their place of worship feel more like a house of God. They reached out to us to design five new, custom stained glass panels. They asked if we could do this safely during a pandemic and the answer was, of course! We have been doing safe stained glass installations throughout the summer and were well-versed what to do to keep the aging congregation safe. We were thrilled to have a chance to do the custom work we do so well.

Customizing Stained Glass to Be Historically Accurate and Beautiful

The church congregation asked us to create a depiction of the five Luminous Mysteries (baptism, wedding, proclamation, transfiguration, and last supper). These depictions were very significant to their doctrine. For a job this special, we pitched custom painted artwork was an option. They absolutely loved the idea and we began our work. Not only is painted glass a stunning style of stained glass work but it is rare because not too many artisans do it. We are fortunate enough to work with an amazing painted glass artist–Maria–and she really came through on this one. She wanted things to look as life-like as possible so we used actual models. We also did thorough research for historical accuracy like:

  • The Appropriate background and foliage for the region
  • Authentic tile design for floors in that time-period
  • A historically accurate depiction of the town of Cana

The Beauty of Custom Painted Stained Glass

The outcome of our custom, five-panel stained glass project in St. Andrew The Apostle Catholic Church was–breathtaking. Mostly black and brown paint was used and we were able to really pull color from the glass background. The construction of the stained glass was geared to harness the natural sunlight. This created a lot of depth in her depictions of faces, hands, fauna, and flora. The result was a stunning three-dimensional appearance. The work came out both authentic but interesting. In the end, the congregation (who watched socially distanced) were amazed by the beauty of the process as a whole. One member even said, “Now we have a church”. It is affirmation like this that gives us that pride and makes us love our work in custom stained glass creation.

For more information on custom stained glass or breathing life into an old piece of stained glass with restoration–contact us at Houston Stained Glass today!

Privacy Stained Glass Solutions for Houston Residential Bathrooms

While many of us are spending significantly more time within our homes, it can be very easy for homeowners to start noticing different issues that may not have come up in the past. Especially with neighbors staying home more as well, you can run into a lot of privacy issues. One of the rooms in your home that really requires proper seclusion is the bathroom. When it comes to effective privacy solutions that are ideal for moisture exposure, the options are quite limited. Privacy stained glass offers an effective way to keep your Houston bathroom both private and beautiful.

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The Benefits of Historical Stained Glass Restoration for Houston Properties

Historical stained glass can offer so much unique charm and character for any property. Whether you have a residential or commercial building, stained glass can enhance aesthetics, wow guests, and much more. Having these stained glass features can provide incredible benefits regardless of your property type. When you start to see the signs of deterioration among your stained glass, it’s important to start considering restoration. Historical stained glass restoration can provide some incredible benefits.

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Stunning Entryway Stained Glass Options for Your Houston Home

Many Houston homes are known for their incredible architectural styles and grand appearances. With many of these residential properties promoting some of the most amazing entryways, it can be tough transforming yours. In order to achieve that highly desired custom look, stained glass is a perfect addition to any entryway. You can create a bright entrance and beautiful entryway by incorporating custom stained glass throughout your sidelights, transoms, door, and any surrounding windows.

The Benefits of Stained Glass for Your Houston Entryway

Stained glass can actually improve both the function and beauty of your entryway. By doubling as a privacy solution, stained glass can effectively block unwanted views from the outside in. This provides both safety and comfort for homeowners while boosting curb appeal and decor. Leaded glass and some traditional stained glass options can both obstruct views without compromising natural sunlight transmissions. Keep your entryway bright and inviting while boasting that custom-build look. Custom stained glass is perfect for creating a matching design throughout your entryway or adding accent pieces to your existing decor. There are countless ways that stained glass can transform your home and add property value while enhancing your exterior aesthetics. Entryway stained glass makes a great first impression for visitors and guests that enter your home.

Work with Houston’s Top Stained Glass Studio

Houston Stained Glass is honored to be the top stained glass studio serving the Texas area. We’re proudly providing free virtual consultations and can help you with your entire project through online platforms and over the phone. Our stained glass artisans would love the opportunity to help you design stunning entryway options that are a great investment for your home. We can bring all your ideas to fruition.

For more information regarding custom stained glass for your Houston home, please contact us!

Stained Glass Art Experts for Houston

Like many types of art forms, stained glass needs to be restored from time to time to combat the inevitable degradation as time takes its toll. There are two specific ways to properly restore stained glass art–true to the artist’s intent and true to the original technique. Which avenue you go with depends on your overarching goals for the restoration of stained glass in your Houston home, church or commercial space.   Whichever way you choose to have your piece of stained glass art restored is perfectly acceptable aesthetically and will have your stained glass piece looking fantastic again. Below we have gone into detail about both restoration types.

Stained Glass Restoration True to the Original Artist’s Intent

When we restore stained glass here at Houston Stained Glass we always utilize our well-trained stained glass experts.  We have them analyze the original stained glass intent in detail. This means looking at the style of the time of creation,  understanding the materials of the time and analyzing historical context. When we mimic the artist’s intent we use modern techniques to replicate the exact style of your stained glass artwork as closely as possible to that of the original artist.  This is the most frequent type of restoration we do. This is because new materials are easier to source, better for making the piece durable and are virtually indistinguishable from those used at the time in many cases. However, the appearance could be a bit different and under scrutiny, these changes could become apparent.

Stained Glass Restoration True to the Original Artist’s Technique

When we do restorations that stay true to the original artist’s exact styles and techniques–we do not stray from materials and techniques used by the artist at the time.  It is more difficult and more expensive and sometimes may be impossible to accomplish. Why? For example, let’s look at Tiffany’s stained glass. To restore a tiffany piece, and stay true to the very unique Tiffany process of blending glasses, we would need to source glass from another TIffany piece–since this technique is impossible to mimic. Therefore, the only authentic way to restore a piece of historical Tiffany stained glass–is by finding and using another piece of antique Tiffany stained glass.  This could be difficult and sometimes impossible. When we attempt this we are always in close communication with our clients.

Stained Houston for Authentic Stained Glass Restoration

No matter what type of restoration you choose for your stained glass art piece, we have many skilled stained glass art restorers who have advanced degrees in restoration.  They value keeping the intent and style of the original stained glass and always understand the original context of the piece. We don’t try to place this piece of stained glass in time in history but rather attempt to restore it by staying as true as possible to the original artist’s intent.  We are happy to work with you on an authentic restoration using materials that are true to the era or close to the original era but true to the intent.

Contact us for more information and to discuss your stained glass art piece restoration today.