Monday, July 11, 2016

We Get Questions....

We get questions about gilding quite often. Many from artists,craftsman and designers around the globe.

It's our intention to post some of those questions -and answers!- right here on the blog so that we may reach as many people as possible.

Do you have a question about gilding? Please feel free to respond with any of your own and we'll make every effort to answer you in a timely manner.  We hope you'll find the information helpful and this blog a valuable resource.

This one is from Dom in Australia:

Q:What glue or adhesive would be best to gild paper? 

A: Concerning gilding paper, the traditional method for manuscript illumination is a method of water gilding using gesso sottile and clay bole. The bole contains a binder such as glair which is beaten egg white. Other binders have been used for many years for use on paper including gum arabic and gum tragacanth which is a gum derived from a plant in the Middle East, mainly Iran.

This form of gilding, however, is a very specialized process. So, for your purposes you could just experiment with making glair by beating an egg white with a little bit of distilled water (enough to fill one half of an eggshell); let it sit overnight and drain off the froth the next day. Dilute the egg a little more till it flows freely from the brush. Apply one coat to the paper and let it dry to seal it, then add another coat and apply the leaf. You can read about this method in the 15th Century Florentine treatise written by Cennino d'Andrea Cennini: Il Libro Dell'Arte (The Craftsman's Handbook).

A modern day product, aptly called Paper Size, is simple to use and provides a bright burnish. It's manufactured by Kolnar Glanz in Germany and distributed by Sepp Leaf Products in New York. 

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