Chapel St Joseph de la Garde
WOLF IN THE SHED
Here are a few pictures and words about this work so far.....
It was decided that the repair should reflect the designs on the bottom half of all the undamaged windows.
After lots of careful measuring I doubt that the bottom half of this window was actually ever the same as the others.....
Having taken lots of photos and made numerous visits to correct my initial drawings a final 'cartoon' was drawn. Thankfully scaffolding was put up to aid the process.
I spent many an hour repeatedly practicing the patterns. Painting is done with very finely powdered coloured glass which is then fired into the surface. Before firing it is very delicate but melting it makes it permanent.
The process has continued with the making of a test layout in clear glass, but leaded up, comparing glass samples to match up colours and many more measurements to try to ensure a good fit.
It will be almost impossible to match colours exactly but I hope to get very close.
During these visits I learned more about the techniques used by the original makers. All the painted pieces had been matted to help the painting process. This is very light and just looks like a pale white layer, but it stops them being perfectly transparent which helps the overall effect.
Work is progressing well despite the very cold workshop. Yesterday(19/01/23) the coloured glass order arrived from Bordeaux. I have begun to cut the border pieces and choose the colours I actually want to use. So far each painted piece has been fired three times up to 650' C. Most of the rest will only need firing twice. Each time there is a risk of breaking them...
After many hours of painting and firing of the paint all the separate pieces were completed. Then they were assembled and leaded togteher.
The leaded panel then needed to be sealed to make it waterproof. The sealant also stiffens the panel as it dries. It is brushed into all the gaps before any excess is polished off.
After the panel has had time to dry I get the first view with the light shining through and it is ready to be fitted.
Fitting the new glass took place on March 3rd 2023. There was scaffolding but a lot of trimming of lead was needed to get the the new panel into position.
Eventually it was done and sealed with special putty. Much cleaning up of the chapel was needed then to be ready for the official reopening on St Josephs day.
A service was help on the nearest day to St Josephs day and the chapel, which has no electricity, looked looked amazing with all the candles lit.
I am very proud to have my work in Chapel St Joseph de la gare in Fougerolles du Plessis. I am pleased to have done my bit to make the chapel weather tight again.
I would to thank my fellow villagers for their help a support throughout this project. Their trust has allowed me to make a lasting contribution. Looking back on the processes involved I am not sure quite how it all happened. Maybe I had an invisible helping hand......
Please visit the Chapel and support the local Heritage Association.
The first thing to do was visit the Chapel and assess the extent of the work to be done. The bottom half of one of the panels was missing and covered over to keep the weather out.