Guest Blog – Whitson’s Impasto Plaster

An Example Of Whitsons Impasto Primer Used To Give Texture On A Wall
You can use Whitsons Impasto Plaster to texture and interest to walls.

We are relaunching our “Decorative Plaster” as “Impasto Plaster”. Why are we relaunching? Because we want to make a big thing about how great and versatile this product is and we needed a different word to describe what it did. Hopefully the word “Impasto” will help artists, decorative painters and gilders understand a little more what this product does.

Since we are relaunching we also thought it would be fun to share some techniques with the ever-wonderful GLS customers and show you something of what it can do.

Whitson’s Impasto Plaster is a versatile clay based plaster for adding texture to any decorative finish on interior surfaces. It is easy to use, comes in a neutral base – fully tintable with universal colourants – and dries to a hard, durable film. It can be used to create embossing and textured finishes, can be over-coated with all paints and enhanced with glazes, waxes, gilding and protective topcoats. Alternatively, it can be used as a finish without extra coats if required. It can be polished like a lime plaster too.

Apply with trowel, spatula, sponge or roller to an optimum depth of no more than 1- 2mm at a time to avoid cracking (although you can crack it if you want to… I’ll talk about that later).

An Image of A Striped Effect On A Wall Achieved Using Impasto Plaster And Metal Leaf
Using Whitsons Impasto Plaster and either metallic paint or metal leaf you can create your own fantastic striped effects!

The first technique is done using metallic foil beneath, but you could use Roberson’s Liquid Metal to equal effect.  We then used 6mm masking tape to mask off the stripes, we laid US style cheesecloth (a sort of open weave muslin) over the surface which has a more open weave than many fabrics however you could use all sorts of fabrics, like lace or a scrim type material or none at all…this is a product definitely worth playing with. Then the plaster was tinted using Mixol colourants and applied with a small trowel. You could also roller it on, just thin it a little with water beforehand. Then we allowed it to set up till it was beginning to become firm.  Do test pull away of the cloth, if it goes into nasty peaks it’s too soon. Don’t panic though if it does get peaks you can sand these off.

Finally, we used a white scumble glaze tinted with Polyvine Universal tints, which is a nice clean white.

If you want to encourage cracking then thicker layers can be applied and/or force dried with a hairdryer will give a more dramatic effect. You can also put some crackle glaze underneath it but practice that one first, you can only touch the plaster once as you apply it.

Cracked Plaster Effect

Here are a couple of examples of cracking –

This chest of drawers was primed, and the plaster was trowelled through a stencil. The plaster was then blow dried to encourage cracking. The surface was painted black, sized and we used foil, however you could use a foam roller and silver paint and “dry roller” over the top. It was then glazed with a black glaze (I used Polyvine acrylic glaze tinted with Polyvine tints) and varnished. A stage could have been cut if the plaster had been tinted black.

Flexibility

Because of its unique flexibility this product is perfect for use on flexible substrates like canvas and for off-site application of installation work. This flexibility means it can be applied to a variety of surfaces and shipped to site without concerns of delamination. The acrylic and clay formulation mean there are no concerns with incompatibility with other water-based products.

Here is a finish carried out by Lesley Anne Kinney of Bespoke Decorative Artisans. She has used a patterned croc roller to create the texture, but just check out how flexible this really is.

As this is a clay and acrylic medium – seal any raw substrate with a suitable primer sealer, for already coated surfaces apply Whitson’s Superior Adhesion Primer unless it is coated in an acrylic coating already.

Impasto Plaster dries in 20/30 minutes depending on the thickness of the coat applied.

Once the film feels hard and no longer cold you can recoat the Impasto Palster. To render the plaster scrubbable apply a good quality acrylic varnish.
After use cover the remaining plaster with plastic film and seal up the container, by doing so this material will keep for up 1 year.

Clean up and dilution is with water

We have more information about the product in this PDF download – https://www.caitwhitson.com/uploads/tinymce/Techniques%20for%20Impasto%20Plaster.pdf

TDS is here – https://www.caitwhitson.com/uploads/tinymce/TDS%20Impasto%20Plaster.pdf

and the MSDS – https://www.caitwhitson.com/uploads/tinymce/MSDS%20Impasto%20Plaster.pdf

More Example Finishes!

Client Showcase – Two New Completed Projects by Studio Peascod

Every time we feature a project by Studio Peascod we’re consistently blown away! Emma’s aesthetic design, artistic sense and knowledge of her craft of glass gilding are second-to-none. Nowhere is her mastery of verre eglomise more apparent than in her large, breathtaking installations. These two new completed projects, produced in association with Celia Chu Design & Associates show once more how the traditional art of verre eglomise can be blended with contemporary design to produce works of art!

The Translucent Fireplace
A contemporary interior with a modern fireplace featuring two panes of glass around a gas fire.
A unique modern fireplace design resulting from the collaboration of Celia Chu and Studio Peascod.

A unique modern fireplace design resulting from the collaboration of Celia Chu and Studio Peascod. This phantom vision of a fireplace, floating suspended in front of a fire is a striking vision that no-one is likely to forget! The idea of a ‘fireplace’ consisting of a gas fire sandwiched between glass panels was dreamt up by Celia Chu. The exclusive apartment called for a unique, contemporary design which this piece more than delivers!

The image of the fireplace is based on a traditional design but done in a way that’s anything but traditional! The ghostly image was created using silver leaf and using Emma’s trademark flair. The verre eglomise incorporates distressing to create an ethereal finish that is both reflective, with areas for the light to shine through. The light colours reflected in the cool silver contrast with the warm orange glow of the gas fire between the panes.

 

 

Golden Temple Tiles

In another collaboration with Celia Chu, Studio Peascod have worked together to create these spectacular gilded glass panels. The panels were designed and made for the prestigious Rosewood Bangkok hotel. Celia’s design takes inspiration from traditional Thai heritage and is brought to life through verre eglomise. The gorgeous panels are gilded in a mixture of precious golds in rose, lemon and yellow shades. The mirror finish of the gilded gold, along with the natural shine of the marble helps bounce light around the interior filling it with a light and voluminous feel.

To read more about Emma Peascod please visit her website at studiopeascod.com

For more information about Celia Chu Design & Associates then please visit their website at celiachu.com

 

New Product – The Richard Gilding Tip

A portrait of Richard Walker working with gold leaf.
Richard is a master gilder and teacher with experience in all forms of gilding.

Now available on our website is an innovative new gilding tip – The Richard! This tip breaks with the traditional design of gilders tip. Tips usually have of a strip of long squirrel hair for holding the leaf. Instead The Richard uses a square of suede. This allows the tip to cleanly pick up, support and then release whole squares of gold with little effort.

This new tip is the product of years of experience in gilding and teaching by its creator Richard Walker. Richard is not only a talented gilder but he is also a passionate educator. His website, watergild.com, has a range of useful projects and guides on it and Richard is also available to hire for one-on-one tuition!

The Richard was developed to make gilding quicker and easier, not just for beginners but also for tradespeople and gilders. The suede top is specifically sized to take a whole leaf of gold leaf or other precious metal leaves in an 80 x 80 mm leaf size. The main body of the tip is a piece of solid oak topped with a handle. This gives the tip overall a pleasing heft that aids in the process of both picking up and laying the metal leaves.

Each tip comes in it’s own padded box along with a small tin of Vaseline™ for charging the The Richard.

If you would like to read more about The Richard or find full instructions and a video on using it then please click here. 

Client Showcase – DKT Artworks and their new Asagao Tiles

DKT Artworks are London-based specialists in the production of bespoke artwork as well as contemporary and traditional high-end interior finishes. The craftspeople at company boast a wide range of skills and specialities. The ethos of the company is to champion classical hand-produced arts and crafts with modern CAD and technical design. This mix of time-honoured skills and contemporary thinking has made them sought out by renowned designers. DKT Artworks work has featured in a range of prestigious projects installations – in residential, commercial and marine environments.

The depth of skills and knowledge that DKT Artworks has access to means that when it comes to a project the company can provide original and innovative solutions. Many international designers have retained DKT Artworks for projects. In the course of completing these projects DKT Artworks called upon their expertise to use the techniques of –

  • trompe l’oeil
  • gilding
  • bas-reliefs
  • paint finishes
  • polished plaster
  • verre eglomise and more!

A culmination of DKT Artworks traditional skills with technical design is their modular tile system, Asagao. Named after the Japanese Morning Glory, this floral-inspired tile system boasts a unique profile that can connect together in a range of ways. Designed by DKT Artworks artist Eoin Ryan, the shapes are modular and can be rotated many different ways to create a variety of layouts. The tiles also feature a carved inner design, adding to the organic appearance of the feature.

Once approved, these hand-carved originals had moulds taken of them. These mounds were then used to cast the product in Jesmonite. This material is versatile, resistant to damage and, importantly, compatible with gilding. Once completed the gilders at DKT Artworks gild the centre details of each tile with precious gold, making it an eye-catching focal point. As each tile is hand-gilded this inner detail can be finished in a range of different colours or shades of gold, or left plain. The choice is up to the customer, allowing for a great deal of flexibility and customisation.

To see more of DKT Artworks portfolio and to see their extremely impressive client list then visit dkt.co.uk

Client Showcase – Henry van der Vijver and HVArt Ltd

Henry van der Vijver and his team of highly skilled artisans are one of the countries best and most sought after specialist finishers. Henry established HVArt in 1988 and the core of the team have been together for well over a decade. With all this experience under their belts the team boasts a wide range of skills and experience. Their skills encompass traditional gilding and marbling to polished plaster, trompe l’oeil, and more.

The team at HVArt has completed many prestigious projects over the years. Because of their professional skills, attitude and commitment to their projects their skills have seen them hired for jobs worldwide. They have completed commissions from as nearby as Jersey and Ireland, to as far away as Saudi Arabia and China and to plenty of other places in between!

The sheer range of finishes that Henry and his team are able to create for their clients is too much for one blogpost. We have picked out some of his most recent and most interesting to share. If you are interested in seeing more of Henry’s portfolio of previous work or more of the specialist finishes his team can create then visit his website hvart.co.uk

Client Showcase – Malcolm Murphy

Traditional signwriting is a subject close to our hearts. Once almost supplanted by vinyl and printed adverts it is seeing a comeback as people are coming around to the bespoke elegance of a uniquely painted sign. Malcolm Murphy is a traditional signwriter and commercial artist with many years of experience and awards under his belt. Projects have taken him all over the country and his work has graced traditional fairground rides, the attractions at theme parks, wall displays and a range of cars and other vehicles.

Below you can see some of his examples of work done on fairground attractions and signs. These projects have been completed using traditional materials including enamel paints, flat oil-based paints, aluminium leaf and gold leaf!

Like all master signwriters Malcolm is also an experienced gilder. The images below are combinations of the signwriter and gilders craft, incorporating both techniques and materials to create unique pieces to serve as eye-catching advertisements. The pieces below all use genuine gold leaf and 1-Shot Signwriting Enamels.

If you would like see more of Malcolm’s signwriting work or would like to contact him then you can visit his website at malcolmmurphycommercialartist.com

If you would like to see Malcolm’s fine art pieces then you can view his fine art website at malcolmmurphyartist.com

New Product Available – Modern Masters Metal Effects Reactive Paint Kits

Modern Masters Metal Effects paint is a high-tech acrylic paint with genuine metal particles mixed inside this. This unique formulation means that it develops patina or rust with time, giving an authentic aged look to any surface, indoors or outdoors!

These new kits have everything you need to transform a cupboard, a planter, or even a small wall into beautiful and natural looking oxidised metal finish. The kits contain a primer, the unique paint and a special activator to speed up the oxidation process! Using this activator, you can create your finishes by taking mere minutes to apply it! The kit also includes brushes and stirring sticks. It really is everything you need in one convenient box!

Click here if you’d like to read more about these kits or if you’ve got something around your home that you’d like to give a trendy, aged metal appearance to!

Gold and Diamonds – World’s First Helmet to Feature Elite Diamond Concept coating and 24ct Gold Leaf

These stylish helmets are the world’s first helmets to feature Elite Diamond Concept coating and 24 carat gold leaf finishing and are a result of a collaboration between Liquid Colour Design and artist Bradon Seaber, a long time friend of LCD.

Liquid Colour Design are a bespoke paint shop and studio and recipients of the 2017 House of Kolor Prestigious Painter award in 2017. In their studio, located in the village of Ballycarry, Co. Antrim, Iain Baldwin oversaw the application of the luxurious paint finish and the gold leaf. Working to designs produced by Brandon Seaber Designs both the red and blue helmet were produced over a period of two weeks.

The coating protecting the paint work and the gold leaf is a highly specialised coating produced by Elite Diamond Concept. This uniquely shiny and extra-tough finish incorporates glass and diamond flakes to make for an incredible finish. This Elite Diamond Concept Coating was developed for high-end interiors, such as luxury yachts and jet aircraft!

The bespoke paint and gold leaf finish on these helmets was designed for renowned Italian racing driver, Raffaele Marciello. He’s not the first driver Iain’s studio has painted helmets for, previous clients include former F1 driver Martin Brundle and WRC driver Kris Meeke! In addition, Iain’s specialist studio also handles other vehicle artwork, including bespoke liveries for trucks, cars and aircraft.

For more information about Liquid Colour Design you can visit their website liquidcolourdesign.com and more more information about the Elite Diamond Concept then you can visit elitediamondconcept.net

Renovation of the Chinese Room at the British Museum Completed by Kensington Gilders!

Kensington Gilders, a longtime customer of ours, have recently completed another prestigious project. The client they’ve added to their portfolio of high-profile and high-end work is none other than the British Museum. As part of their ongoing restoration and refurbishment of the Chinese and South Asia room they called upon Kensington Gilders for their gilding expertise. The goal of the project was to gild the large walls of the room to create a stunning backdrop for the exhibition of the collection of amazing antiquities.

The complex project took place over many months and presented several unique challenges. First, was matching the freshly gilded gold with the old gilding. For this project we supplied only the finest, superior quality 23.5ct gold transfer leaf manufactured in Italy. Matching gilding like this can prove a real challenge, particularly when the original gilding is old. The expertise of Kensington Gilders rose to the challenge and showed itself. They were able to meticulously select glazes and varnishes to apply over the leaf to match the new gilding to the old.

Another challenge was the ongoing works happening around them! Gilding is a precise craft and requires clean surfaces and conditions for the best effect. Dust and grime contaminating the gold size can lead to flawed, or even flaking gilding. Despite working amongst the ongoing renovation and other tradespeople making dust they were able to deliver a superb job. The key to this was the perseverance and will to succeed and deliver a perfect job  from all the members of the team at Kensington Gilders.

This project was overseen by Forcia, who were able to successfully coordinate the mammoth undertaking. The completion of the project was on time for its grand opening by Queen Elizabeth II and is now open to the public.

“I was extremely pleased with the service provided by Kensington Gilders. They worked very hard on a tricky site, under less than ideal conditions, but have left us with a superb end product. Their good humour and perseverance was extremely well received, and the dedication to their craft is evident in the high quality work that they produced.”

Jonathan Lubikowski – Project Manager – British Museum.

If you would like to see more of the magnificent work Kensington Gilders have done over the years or if you are interested in learning more about the company itself then you can visit their website at kensingtongilders.co.uk

Banner Photo: Benedict Johnson

 

Walk Between Worlds – A Collection By Kate Alterio

Currently showing in Gallery Thirty Three in Wanaka is Kate Alterio’s latest collection – Walk Between Worlds. This collection consists of 10 pieces, each one brought to life through countless hours of work – including hand-painting and gilding. ‘Beneath It All We Are Dancing’ contains over 721 individual elements, each of which were painted with 7 coats and ‘Hum’ contains 721 individual elements, all of which were gold-leafed by hand. The meticulous process of creating these pieces of the greater whole is described as being an ‘…opportunity for meditative practice, calling for presence, focus, care and patience.’. The process and attention to detail of this process is imbued into works, giving them a life and energy that is more than the sum of their parts.

You can see more of Kate’s work at her website here – katealterio.co.nz