Working in London, and cycling most days, I spend a lot of time looking at leaded windows and door panels. In the Islington area of north London there are many beautiful examples. The following pictures show how intricate and interesting these panels are and I was determined to do one as soon as I could.

Then, out of the blue, I was having a conversation with my cousin and he mentioned that his daughter-in-law had a leaded panel in her door, which was damaged. I immediately offered my services and shortly afterwards had the opportunity to sort it out.
The original panel:

The original panel was on the verge of falling apart. There were a couple of joints that had failed and much of the original cement had disappeared.

I had thought that I would simply repair the window, but once I had examined it I realized that it was too far gone to do that, which was also an opportunity to do something really interesting instead. So that’s what we did.

The cartoon:

I really wanted that tear drop shape, but had little idea how to do that well. It is quite a specific shape and would be difficult to get right and symmetrical – not that I wanted it exactly symmetrical; in fact, I was going to be happier with it slightly asymmetrical. I had the idea that french curves would help and so bought some off the web and after a few practice runs figured out a really neat technique for making the shape I wanted and getting it roughly symmetrical without being too pedantic about it. Another useful skill learned.

Assembling the new window:

The panel is quite small, just 58cm x 28cm, but it turned out to be quite tricky to put together. Practically all curves, which are notoriously fiddly.

Working as usual from bottom left hand corner, across and up, I immediately hit a problem I’d never encountered before, and that is that there was only one straight edge. Until now, all my lead projects had been oblongs, but now I had this arch to contend with, and everything moves all the time especially when fitting the arch, made from 12mm lead.


This picture shows the blue centre part quite nicely. It gets swamped by the light in the photographs from the inside.

The result:

Finally it all fitted into place and the result is great.

This picture shows it from the inside and the one below from the outside. Really nice, although the photograph shown does not do it justice; the colours are much more vivid.

A fun project, and I’m looking forward to the next door panel.