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Small-Business Scene: Repair work gives stained-glass company a break in tough times

Post Time:Dec 08,2008Classify:Company NewsView:366

Jack Young, who has been working with leaded glass for decades, holds up a leaded window in the shop at Seattle Stained Glass.

Most people look at stained-glass windows and see just colorful windows. But as Jack Young, above, explains, they are works of art.

A designer creates often complex patterns, then glass is hand-cut, wrapped in lead and glazed. Installations can be challenging, and removal for repairs just as tough.

Seattle Stained Glass has been in the business of making colorful, puzzlelike windows for more than 25 years."Three years ago, we were overwhelmed building new windows," owner Jim Nelsen says.

But people have scaled back and are fixing what is already there, he says. Today, business mainly consists of repair and work with area churches.

But that is plenty to keep the business thriving.

Many older Seattle homes are adorned with leaded-glass windows, which were desired among wealthy people building large Craftsman-style homes on Capitol Hill and other affluent Seattle neighborhoods around the turn of the 20th century.

Over many years, the lead began to weaken as it flexed and oxidized. Seattle Stained Glass has taken on many of the resulting repair jobs.

The company also has a do-it-yourself retail store and classes in which students learn to create their own stained-glass projects.

"It is a good indoor winter hobby," says Young, one of the instructors.

Source: seattlepi.nwsource.comAuthor: shangyi

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