Our mission? Keeping the old art form alive. Atelier Mestdagh has developed from a traditional glazier studio to a modern conservation studio. We study, conserve, restore, and protect historic stained glass windows, based on the project and client requirements. Each project is unique and needs an original approach. Looking after our heritage ranges from minor regular maintenance to radical restoration projects.
Authenticity and sustainability in harmony
In fact, we always aim at our minimum intervention so that we can maximise the authenticity of the stained glass window. However, we also consider it our task to look for long-term, sustainable solutions, so long as they meet the Guidelines for conservation/restoration for stained glass, which were drawn up by the Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi in 2004. Tradition, knowledge and renewal always go hand in hand at Atelier Mestdagh.
We combine an ethically correct and academic approach with traditional (Neogothic) professional knowledge. A special way of working, but that is exactly what these beautiful stained-glass windows deserve.
Restoration? That needs a restorer
Every small or big restoration is led by Katrien Mestdagh (Master in Stained Glass Conservation and Heritage Management from the University of York).
She combines her academic knowledge with her craftsmanship that has been passed down from generation to generation in the studio. That technical knowledge is constantly expanded by study, interdisciplinary and international cooperation and numerous experiments.
All employees are given specific training in restoration in the studio and are personally supervised by Katrien. For specific projects, we also work with colleagues at home and abroad.
‘The nice thing about the study and conservation of historic glass is that it forces you to be humble and encourages you to do better every day.’
A study and analysis are essential for any restoration project, whatever its size. Thanks to a material-technical analysis, and if possible also an art-historic study, a good, clear damage pattern can be drawn up and we can detail the treatment of the historic glass.
- For small projects, that is limited to a thorough inspection and verbal consultation.
- For larger projects, much more may be involved.
- From a location visit and verbal advice to a detailed study on site with photos and damage report, treatment proposal and price estimate.
This is how we work for restoration architects, heritage organisations and heritage managers.
Minor repairs and maintenance of stained glass windows
Replacing a broken pane, resoldering binder and replacing glazing bars, a quick intervention after storm damage or a break in … Regular checks and minor maintenance work to historic stained glass windows can often prevent the need for expensive restorations or subsequent damage.
Maintenance contracts for the inspection of stained-glass windows are very useful for towns and cities, churches, monasteries or private owners.
Medium to large,
and unique restoration projects
Big restoration projects form the basis for our work at Atelier Mestdagh. These might range from historic city facades with simple decorative stained-glass windows to monumental stained-glass windows in churches, castles, town houses as well as unique museum pieces.
Often, a minor intervention (gluing, resoldering broken solder points, renew surround and binder) or installing protective glass is all that is needed.
Sometimes more radical interventions are required (partial to entire re-leading, making new stained-glass reconstruction pieces).
For unique masterworks and historic stained-glass windows, we are in close contact with the Heritage Agency and other organisations or regulatory bodies.