By Nick Fonda
In 2022, when the stained-glass windows of St. George’s Anglican Church in Drummondville were found to be in need of restoration, it was Sylvie Savoie that St. George’s Foundation turned to. The first thing the Drummondville-born stained-glass artist did after she took the commission was fly to France.
“There are only two glassworks in the world where what is known as antique glass is made from blown cylinder glass. One is in Germany and the other is in France, in St. Just, about six hours by car south of Paris.”
“My husband, Luc LeClerc, and I went for a month so I could follow a training session and study glass as it was made and worked a century and a half ago. The stained-glass windows at St. George’s are dated between 1855 and 1866. This was my first restoration project, and my work had to be like the original,” she says.
“I’ve been working with stained glass for over 18 years, so I was quite familiar with much that was covered, but nevertheless I did learn a few new things including a technique called ‘sertissage’ that is seen in France but not often in North America. It refers to the way the lead canes are laid and soldered to hold the stained-glass panes in place.”