Stained Glass Restoration & Training
Since 2015, Four Mounds has led, with our partners Heritage Works and Steeple Square, training of young people and adults in stained glass restoration at the Steeple Square Event Center, formerly St. Mary’s Church in Dubuque. On a daily basis, we’re working with under employed and formerly unemployed young people, in order to help build a capacity of knowledge and skill in those individuals and our community. Through the careful restoration of 100-plus year-old stained glass panels, we’ve been able to train over 25 people in our community… a community which formerly had no capcity to take on restoration of these types of windows.
Our participants assess and remove the stained glass panels and their storms, protect the openings, clean the windows, remove ground and deteriorated lead, and prepare the window for the restoration process. They then repair, or in rare instances, actually replicate severely broken glass, painting and firing new glass in a kiln. The windows are repaired through soldering, copper foiling or releading when necessary. They are re-cemented, re-cleaned and polished before being reinstalled. The window openings are repaired and when necessary, the wood is replaced with specially milled mahogany to last another 100 years.
We’re training our community to take care of its own, whether it’s our young people or the historic structures that make Dubuque such a unique place.