Friday, May 15, 2009

Gilding--or--"Mommy, why is that lady's behind gold and glittery???"

Yesterday's day away from the blog was, in a way, GOOD, as I got more done and some photos shot. The first leafing I put on was the silver, as it was on the interior edge of the wood, and that was the smallest, soooooo, a wise place to start!
This shows one side of the wood with the leaf applied and then a coat of fluid acrylics and GAC 200, to antique it. I did not want it excessively bright. The second photo also shows the silver, but you can see there is adifference in appearence.
This is due to the texture of the underlying wood and the many coats of gesso, that build up the texture. In traditional gilding, the gesso base is made as smooth as possible to allow the leaf to look like real metal, or in the case of antique gilding, real gold. I like what happened with the rougher undersurface; I think there is a particular character to it and will work well with the finished piece.
Then I got brave and began the gold colored leaf. This may be psychological, but this leaf seems much softer and harder to work with. I should add here that I did NOT buy the usual gilders medium to apply this with. It's too slow to dry and gets to be a big mess. I chose to try the matte version of Collage Pauge and while your work time is shorter, it seems to do the job very well.

At this point you can see the red background and the very soft natural bristle brush I use to smooth the leaf out. You must--I repeat MUST--use an extremely light touch when smoothing the leaf with the brush. There is only so much you can do once it has hit the size/glue base. It is there. After it is set up, I use the brush to take off loose pieces and tiny areas I have had to backfill.
That is where the title of the post came from.....I discoverd that not only was the table covered with tiny bits of gold, but the floor, my shoes, the rug, the wastebasket and my chair. Which meant something else was probably covered yi yi......
This is how it looked after the last leaf application. There are rough spots, places where the red shows through but that will be okay. For my next step, I think the red should help to add to the overall composition.
I rarely show step by step process on these, and this is rather fun! I hope you are learning a bit from it, even if that is that you NEVER EVER want to try metal leaf!!! LOL!!!
Wait till you see the next part.....
Stay tuned!
P.S. One thing I did not place enough emphasis on is allowing proper drying time for the leaf to set up and then really cleaning the tidbits of unadhered leaf OFF the project. That's when your whole world begins to shine....because it is everywhere. It's a good idea to cover things with a disposable paper or plastic cloth. Saves time and sanity. ;)


Linda Moran said...

This piece just keeps getting better and better. I do have a question - are we losing the wonderful background? I don't understand how the foiling works, evidently....

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

oh, geesh - this is getting more and more exquisite. The richness of the finish is just gorgeous ... it really does look like antiqued gold leafing. Awesome!

I'm sending all my gilding projects to you. I'll include a drop cloth. :)

Leslie said...

Wow, It's gorgeous!

I about peed myself when I read the title of this post.

Thanks for that.

Jan said...

Better send some Depends to Leslie. I don't think I will be using any gold leafing but I sure like seeing what you do with it. Glad your internet is back up.

Georgina said...

Damn Lady,

I would say that is just down right "bitchin'." Wow, I'm dating myself, but who cares!!! LOL

I love leafing too...great fun and yes, I have been known to have that stuff all over me, but at least I glimmer in the sunlight!!! So glimmer on...can't wait to see it finished.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...


The red BG helps to tone the leaf. Always been that way; they used to use red bole (clay) for the undercoat. The color it goes on makes a diffeence in the finish. Plus there are always crack lines (at least in mine!) so it shows through!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Tristan, if you send me any gold leafing projects I'm coming after you with a board!!! With a nail in the end!!! Drop cloth or no.....
I was pleased with how it came up, especially the antiquing.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I think one has to be slightly crazy to *do* this stuff; but when it actually works, well, then there is that moment of pure pleasure!
I don't think I want to go into the business.
I need to try and figure out how to get it off the floor and everywhere else......yikes!!!!
It likes to stick to fingernails too...really well.

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