Sunday, 10 March 2013

Gordon Webster Domestic Window

Recently I have been given the opportunity to take out one of the last windows that Gordon Webster created for his house from scraps around the studio. This house has remained in the family until now. With the requirement to move elsewhere, the family decided that they wanted to take the windows that had been installed as secondary glazing by their father and grandfather.

Hall windows and front door panels

I was chosen to remove, pack and store the panels of the windows and to create windows that were in keeping with the originals. The family took me into the basement area which had functioned as Gordon Webster's studio to show me a number of the things remaining. In amongst the material was a small rectangular panel which proved to be the original fanlight above the door.

Door panel with fanlight

This enabled me to create a design that was in keeping with the original windows of the house. Removal of the windows began this week and will continue next.

Progress of the removal and installation
As the weather was pretty cold this week, we decided to do a panel at a time to reduce the cold getting into the house, and to enable us to have reasons to come out of the wind.

The removal of the windows took remarkably long. The panels were installed tightly within the wooden frames inside the primary glazing outside.  At first the panels appeared to need to come to the inside of the house.  However the putty that had oozed behind the clear external glazing had stuck to the interior panels.  A re-think on the method of removal was required.  We decided to sacrifice the external glazing to make the removal of the Webster windows to the outside possible.

Each of the three windows is made in three panels - one above the astragal and two below.  It averaged approximately 1.5 hours for each panel to be removed and replaced - much longer than expected.

The replacement panels
The Webster panels are remarkable for several things.  They are made from his scraps which now are highly sought after.  They are made from thick glass pieces requiring high heart leads that even then were almost too small to contain the glass.  The panels are incredibly heavy - more than twice the replacement panels.  

The design is also interesting as there are horizontal lead lines only where the glazing bars are in the main part of the panels.  So, although there are vertical "folding lines" there are no horizontal ones, preventing any "accordion" style collapse.  This might be a lesson for me and others when designing regular glazing patterns.


Anonymous said...

Nice article & nice job, too. Thanks for sharing. - Tod

Anonymous said...

I just Googled Gordon Webster and got quite a treat browsing pics of some of his work.
Thanks some more! - Tod