How to replace a stained glass panel?
February 8, 2017 8:51 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to replace a stained glass panel, seen partially obscured in this photo. I do not have a lot of information about it, as it was violently sucked out of the window following a windstorm and I never saw it again.

It was in a metal frame, with a chain that could be used to hang it. It was approximately 2 1/2 feet long, and 8 inches wide. Those measurements are a guess.

It belonged to my (deceased) Grandmother, and was purchased over 15 years ago. I'd love to be able to replace it, but I'm having trouble finding anything similar. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
posted by turtlebackriding to Shopping (6 answers total)
Using that photo, a stained glass artist could replicate it. But have you looked at these options?
posted by beagle at 9:22 AM on February 8, 2017

That's very pretty! The first thing I'd try is contacting a stained glass workshop, if there's one in your town, or finding some artisans that do stained glass in their spare time. There are even folks on Etsy, if there's no one local, who could recreate it for you.

I see windows like that while antique shopping but they are kind of ridiculously expensive these days.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:24 AM on February 8, 2017

I'm going to second a professional stained glass artist, mainly because of the way stained glass panels are usually assembled --- the metal between the glass pieces is usually lenghts of lead backed by copper strips, and the leading is sort of 'I-beam' shaped: it is not flat, the glass is held in by slotting it into the channels in the leading.

If you want the missing glass replaced and don't want the leading to look beaten up, get a pro. (And a pro can find glass that'll match.) A good place to find such a pro might be at a good craft show.
posted by easily confused at 9:28 AM on February 8, 2017

Googling, the upright orientation seems to be called cabinet glass.
posted by SemiSalt at 10:28 AM on February 8, 2017

You can easily find smallish stained glass panels in online shops like Overstock, Houzz, and Wayfair. They're all mass-produced and the quality is questionable-to-alright, but they tend to be more economical. If you find something close enough to your original, something that size'll probably run you $80-110.

You can also contact local artisans (some stained glass studios do still exist - my family's, for example) or artists on Etsy. Most shops will probably do a decent job, if they're good enough to have kept shop open as stained glass business has declined over the years. Etsy shops, well, the worksmanship really varies. For custom work, I would expect to pay $300+ for a panel of that size.

Can't tell too much from your photo, but it's very likely to have been copper foil work, and U-channel around the edges. Copper foil work is cheaper than lead work, and there aren't too many independent folks doing lead work anyway.

If you just want something to evoke the qualities of that piece, you might try shopping for stained glass suncatchers with floral or bird elements - they're smaller, usually around 12x12, but will be financially easier to stomach.

Please, please avoid anything made with plastic, Plexiglas, or fake leaded lines on solid pieces of glass (Decra-Led). It's generally at least half the price of the real stuff, and looks hideous.

If you have more questions, or think you've found an artist to help you and want someone to evaluate their quality of work, feel free to message me.
posted by rachaelfaith at 10:40 AM on February 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

That doesn't look like it would be too difficult at all to replicate; any competent glass artist should be able to come up with a pattern for a replica of it. It's been a few years since I've done any glass work, but agree that it's probably copper foil work with a lead frame. I would agree with the recommendation of checking in to a local glass shop and seeing if you can find an artist who would do it on contract.
posted by jferg at 9:12 PM on February 9, 2017

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