Cut Glass Studio Ltd
Thomas Briggs London Limited
- Original design
- Thomas Briggs London Limited , 1815
The 2018 programme is now past. We will be launching the 2019 programme mid-August.
Cut Glass Studio is situated on the ground floor of the Briggs Building, which was previously occupied by Thomas Briggs (London) Ltd, a firm of government contractors which supplied tents and other equipment to the British armed forces and colonial governments.
Their range of manufacture was wide, an early advertisement listing “canvas, sheeting, sacking, hessians, sacks and bags, ropes, machine-made twines, jute, hemp, and cotton yarns, printed jute rugs and squares, lobby and stair oil-cloths, Dutch carpetings, railway waggon, cart, and stack covers, dressing for covers, roofing cloth, brattice cloth, tents, sail canvas, seaming twines, Briggs’ patent lined bags for sugar, coffee, &c., patent tarpauling, patent packing, and iron and steel hoops for packing purposes”.
Conveniently located by Rosemary Branch bridge on the Regent's Canal, the three-storey Victorian factory building is locally listed. The walls are made of dark sandy-coloured brick with a series of high windows which have ornamental red brick arches with a white keystone. The Thomas Briggs name is inscribed at the top and side and other more modern signage is still in place. There are twin gables each with a circular window beneath and the main entrance is through large double doors leading to a wide passage underneath the main structure, at the back of which high doors and a loading winch are still in place. The building is extended to the left and to the right forming a courtyard. You can see archive photographs of a Thomas Briggs van and an advertisement for the firm inside the entrance.
Thomas Briggs (London) Ltd continued to be associated with the building, latterly as textile manufacturers, until 1987, when the firm was listed in Kelly's Post Office Directory at 2-4 Southgate Road alongside Flirty Fashions, ladies' fashion manufacturers, two printers, D Sharp and Delmar Press, and Olnica, dress manufacturers. A variety of small businesses have occupied the building since that time, including Cut Glass Studio which was founded in 2011.
Here at Cut Glass Studio we pride ourselves on producing the finest quality hand crafted stained glass. We are often asked to reproduce windows that have been removed or damaged through time as well as producing one-off designs to bring life to and inspire other areas. Whether it is contemporary, ecclesiastical or period we cover it.
We have undertaken many different restoration and conservation projects. This is a process that is necessary when a lead light has reached the end of its life. This is usually apparent when the lead light starts bowing or leaking or single panes within start to break or crack. This is normal and easily fixed; the process involves removing the original lead lights and temporary glazing. We then take a rubbing of each panel and approximate measurements to ensure the end result is an exact interpretation of the original window.
We pay attention to the details in lead sizes and glass textures and types to recreate areas that may be too damaged to keep. Once all of the information is taken from the original panels we pull them apart disposing of the old lead, then each piece of glass is cleaned and re-leaded. The panels are then cemented, cleaned and polished ready to be re-installed into their original housing.
It is not always necessary to remove panels to repair areas that may be cracked or damaged. As long as the lead light is not too old and the lead work is not damaged it is possible to replace cracked pieces in situ. This involves us closely matching the existing glass and simply replacing each piece by smashing out the affected area, cleaning out the H section of the lead that houses the glass, opening up the lead flange carefully and offering up the replacement glass. Once that glass has been cut accurately we close down the lead flange and putty in the pieces to seal them in.
This process does leave some visible damage but this is minimal. If you require a consistent finish we advise a full restoration of the lead light so that all lead is replaced, leaving a fresh clean finish.
We use many different processes to produce our wide range of stained glass. The most common aspect is kiln fired glass painting. This appears frequently in Edwardian and Victorian glass and of course in ecclesiastical works.
We pride ourselves in producing almost exact replicas of aged period lead lights as part of the restoration process. We also use this process to add depth and tone to glass for contemporary pieces alongside sandblasting and acid etching. These processes lend themselves well to adding details to transom panels for house numbers or names and enhancing contemporary pieces. Other processes used include fusing and copper foiling for more detailed pieces.
We love a challenge and believe anything is possible. We have undertaken many exciting projects from interpreting many different people's ideas for advertising to personal ideas for enhancing one's home.