Monday, December 3, 2012

One Funny Pane?

Aisle windowAll the windows that were being restored by Williams Stained Glass Studio have now been reinstalled. It is clear that work has been done on the windows, but, as I was not in the habit of studying the windows carefully, I cannot say definitively that they look better now than they did formerly. I am willing to believe that whatever was done was worth doing, however.

Generally, the windows look fine, but I do want to raise an issue about one window, the one in the (liturgical) north aisle closest to the narthex. That window is shown at the left. The window depicts the cross in front of a Bible opened to the first chapter of the Gospel According to John.

Particularly striking in the window are the panes of red glass. It is difficult to appreciate this glass in the photographs shown here. Like virtually all the glass in the windows in the two nave aisles, it is translucent, but not transparent. That is, one cannot see images of what is outside. The glass is wavy, or contains small bubbles, or has other patterns that make it interesting.

In all the windows, I have found a single piece of glass that does not seem to match other panes. This piece of glass, which is only a square inch or so in area, is transparent, red glass with no perceptible “flaws.” Its faces are perfectly flat and parallel, and it is without bubbles or patterns of any kind. One can look through it and see the trees on the church’s lawn quite clearly.

The pane in question is indicated by an arrow in the closeup below. Tree branches can be seen through the pane, something more apparent when viewing the actual window, since the scene changes when you move your head. One cannot see images through the pane to the right or through any other glass in the window.

I doubt seriously that the transparent pane is original. I suspect that Williams replaced this pane and failed to match the glass in the rest of the window. The mismatch is easy to miss, but it is annoyingly conspicuous once it has been pointed out. St. Paul’s should insist that the errant pane be replaced with a more appropriate translucent piece of red glass.

Closeup showing mismatched pane

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