Willow Tea Rooms Trust (Mackintosh at the Willow)
In 2018 I was asked by the Willow Tea Rooms Trust to conserve and restore the leaded art glass in the original Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow.
In 2018, I was asked by the Willow Tea Rooms Trust to help Conserve and Restore the original Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchihall Street, Glasgow. Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1903.
My original brief was to fully conserve any original leaded glass work, but as the project progressed I also got involved with the wire-wrapping and hanging of the two lead-crystal chandeliers in the Salon-de-Luxe.
I had previously been involved with the historical research and group discussions to consider the original schemes and layout of the Tea Rooms, as much of it had been removed over the years.
My role was to conserve and clean any original art glass: The Salon-de-Luxe wall mirror panels, which were badly deformed, slipping, and covered in 100 years of paint and varnish splashes and tobacco smoke; The main green staircase tiles, which were covered in multiple layers of bitumen,lead paint and modern oil paint; Making copies of the original front salon screen which are in the Huntarian Museum in Glasgow; Making new slender wall panels for the back salon; Cutting and wrapping lead around dozens of glass inserts into metal lamps, furniture and sculptures; Cleaning the original Salon-de-Luxe doors; Wire wrapping hundreds of glass drops; Working out the original layout for the chandelier hanging system, and helping to thread and hang the two chandeliers to match the original Annan photographs from 1904.
The job was very time restricted, and in the last month of the project, most nights were worked into the wee small hours.
The whole project was successfully opened by Prince Charles and Camilla in September 2019, and I was pleased to talk to them about the work.