Stained glass conservation at Atelier Mestdagh

Atelier Mestdagh is a contemporary conservation and restoration workshop that follows the guidelines of the Corpus Vitrearum. Stained glass conservation is one of the primary activities of the studio, and can be demonstrated by some beautiful examples.

Every project is unique

Every conservation project is unique and is preceded by analysis and study. Finding advice from a certified restorer and conservator in stained glass in good time, is essential in avoiding high and unnecessary restoration costs. An important part of the preceding conservation study is the technical analyses and the art historical study.

Stained glass conservation has basic principles: minimal intervention and reversibility. Durability and high-quality restoration are essential. Every conservation or restoration project is executed with the highest regard in order to conserve the original work of art and to restore the aesthetic and iconographic significance of the window. Alongside the contemporary conservation materials & methods, traditional glass painting techniques can also be used if desired.

Atelier Mestdagh is available for the bigger conservation projects as well as for the smaller repairs of stained glass. These minor repairs can be crucial in ensuring long lasting, high-quality maintenance and the preservation of stained glass art.

Sadly many churches and chapels are being demolished nowadays. For this reason Atelier Mestdagh is keen to specialise in the relocation and reuse of stained glass in new architectural spaces.

Atelier Mestdagh, your partner in stained glass conservation

Stained glass conservation is one of the most important activities at Atelier Mestdagh. Katrien Mestdagh, their certified stained glass conservator (University of York, 2015), is personally responsible for advising clients, researching and managing projects, and executing stained glass conservation itself.

Conservation of our stained glass heritage is a privilege, for which knowledge and craft is required.

  • Advice and research
  • Small repairs
  • Conservation and Restoration
  • Reuse of stained glass

Advice and research

Professional advice and research are essential. To avoid escalating restoration costs, it is important to seek out advice and maintenance. A certified conservator or restorer in the art of stained glass is necessary in helping with this process.

Preliminary study consists of technical analysis and an art historical study. This is possible both on site at a particular location, or in the workshop. After the analyses, a condition report and restoration proposition are made, together with a price offer. This process can vary from very small to very elaborate, depending on the budget and the art historical value of the stained glass.

Because of our long tradition in conserving and restoring stained glass, Atelier Mestdagh is highly familiar with most of the likely damage scenarios, ethical conservation dilemmas, restoration techniques, available materials, etc. We try to be aware of the current changes in the world of the contemporary conservation of stained glass, something which is only possible by ongoing study and experiment.

Empain Brussel Restauratie
Restauratie empain brussel

Small repairs

To maintain and repair your stained glass before significant damage is done it is important to conserve your stained glass. Replacing broken pieces, checking the condition of the putty, painting the frame and putty of your window, and taking away the rusty saddle bars, are only a few examples of small procedures that can avoid consequential damage. Atelier Mestdagh can also help you with these minor repairs.

Please contact us if you are interested in advice or would like a price offer. In order to provide you with a quicker service, it can be helpful to send us some good pictures of the interior and exterior of the stained glass. We would also appreciate a few detailed pictures, description(s) of the damage, measurements of the panel(s), and your contact information (name, address and telephone number). Mail to: You can also bring your window or panel directly to the workshop. This is the best way to get a more detailed price offer, as we are able to fully evaluate the damage.

glas in lood atelier mestdagh
kleine herstelling atelier mestdagh

Conservation and Restoration

Conservation and restoration are important activities of Atelier Mestdagh. Three principles are essential:

  • To conserve the original work of art.
  • To restore the aesthetic and iconographic significance of the window.
  • To ensure a long lasting, high-quality restoration.

These goals are achieved by following the guidelines of the Corpus Vitrearum, by respecting our Neo-Gothic tradition, by utilising our academic knowledge with respect to our artistic heritage, and by having professional skills in all aspects of the craft, including glass painting. We do stay informed of the current restoration ethics, recent restoration methods and materials. Durability and authenticity are essential.

Katrien Mestdagh succeeded in getting her Masters in ‘Stained Glass Conservation and Heritage Management’ at the University of York (2012-2015). As part of this degree, she undertook her placement at the York Glaziers Trust (York).

schilderen Luc Mestdagh restauratie
restauratie atelier mestdagh

Reuse of stained glass

Chapels and churches are regularly being demolished or relocated, and the question that commonly arises as a result is, “what will happen with all the stained glass?” This question arises mostly within the private sector, for example when individuals are moving. Integrating old stained glass into a new architectural space is perfectly possible with small adjustments to the stained glass or to the structure. Making a clear plan in advance together with the architect, the client and the glazier, can produce a magnificent result. Innovative LED-lighting is often a solution nowadays to artificially light a stained glass window. Atelier Mestdagh has an abundance of creative ideas and solutions, which are always agreed upon in close contact with the client.

Oudenaarde herbestemming