This window is in a church in Worley, Idaho. The original painting was fired by an exceptionally talented artist back in 1911. All we know about him are his (or her) initials: CR.
It is next to impossible to exactly match someone else's work. What were the properties of the glass they chose to work with? What mixes of pigments did they use? To what temperatures did they fire? Then, sunlight may also gradually and subtley alter some colors over time. There are so many variables it is next to impossible to make an exact match. What we hope to do is come pretty close.
With this window we made two copies of the face. The paint is mixed with water and gum arabic, and matted on. After it dries it is removed by brush. The result is fired, and the next coat of paint is applied. Lower temperature firings occur last.
This window required 32 firings in all. With each firing the temperature of the glass must be carefully raised up between 1000 and 1300 degrees Fahrenheit (550 to 700 degrees celsius), and then allowed to gradually cool. If it cools too fast, it can crack or shatter. If it gets too hot, the glass paints may burn off, or the glass may craze. Any impurities in the oven or on the glass can cause devitrification, spoiling weeks of work.
Sherry's final image is a little darker than the original, and the hair of Jesus's head and beard is coarser and not as light. All in all, we were pleased with the final result. CR was an exceptional artist, and with this job Sherry only got close to matching his creation. She has done a number of restorations where her final result I liked even better than the original. All of her original work is exquisitely beautiful. These photos don't do her justice. When the sunlight sparkles through the glass, her characters have so much greater depth and vividness than what we can show you here.
Paul Yost, September 2, 2007