Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cleaning the back of the Saint's head.

In March I worked for a few days for a company that restores stained glass windows. They needed a carpenter at a job over in Lewes, Delaware. The real restoration craftsmanship was done back at their studio in north Jersey. In Lewes they were installing a clear plexiglas protection layer against the window jamb. To prepare for the plexiglas we had to remove the old exterior protective layers. Some of these were weathered plastic; some were glass. After they were removed - which involved dealing with old, hardened caulk and glazing compound - the old pieces were used as patterns for the new plexi protection.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous for the three days that I worked there. The building was a slate-roofed brick church in the oldest part of Lewes, which bills itself as the first city in the first state. The church was in a property that covered an entire block and included a churchyard with the graves of the early congregants.

We worked on the building from small aluminum scaffolds that were moved from window to window.
Church volunteers paused to thank us - the work crew - for the transformation of their windows. 
After the old glass and glazing compound were removed, the jamb was caulked and given a coat of paint. The last step to be performed before installing the new plexiglas was to sweep off any dust and spray a glass cleaning solution on the outside of the stained glass.


I didn't ask which Saint's head I was cleaning from the top of the scaffold. When I went inside on the last day to see what I'd been working on, he was just beaming.

3 comments:

tina said...

Absolutely love the photo of the graveyard taken through the stained glass window. Could be the first in a series...

mary e said...

The second photo looks like an alien. Very cool.

MQM said...

Thanks - really posted because I liked the photos and the phrase in the title.
I'll say it here - so that friends don't have to feel bad for thinking this - I'm aware of this tendency of mine to tie things up in a cute package with a summation that makes the post sound like a little three minute local color piece on the evening news. Either I'm too lazy to work on the piece more or I'm not confident enough to just let it stand without the ribbon on it.
Thanks for letting me tell you that.