We Are Now The Official UK Distributor for Kölner Gilding Products!

It pleases us to announce that starting this month we are now the exclusive UK distributor for Kölner products! Starting from today we will stock and distribute their range of high-end, German-made gilding products.

Our relationship with Kölner started with a workshop in London last winter. An enthusiastic group of our most talented clients braved the freezing weather to take a class in gilding using the Kölner Instacoll Gilding System. Peter Voshart, one of the owners of Kölner demonstrated this and Kölner’s other innovative gilding products. Under his expert tutelage the class was treated to a demonstration of finishes possible using Kölner’s revolutionary products.

Our clients have years of experience with traditional gilding and products. In spite of this, Peters infections enthusiasm and confidence in his product soon swayed even the most dubious of them. The initial apprehension on how well the product would work vanished as soon as Peter guided them through their first application of the Instacoll Gilding system. After laying leaf onto the Instacoll Base all it took was a buff to create a glossy finish. The brightness and gloss of the gilt finish blew them away, even the biggest naysayers!

Pictured, from left to right: Steve, director of Gold Leaf Supplies and Armin, Claire and Peter from Kölner

We were so impressed by Kölner’s products that we needed to know more. One of the directors of Gold Leaf Supplies, Steve Rees, decided to visit the factory in Germany. The staff of Kölner showed the warmest hospitality and offered Steve a guided tour. After touring the factory Steve saw examples of items gilded using the Instacoll Gilding System. The finishes that trained German gilders have created using Instacoll are breathtaking. The visit convinced Steave that Kölner would be an excellent company to work with. Kolner’s staff and directors were friendly and impeccably professional, and their product excellent. The magnificent range of work on display was all the proof that their range would fit well with our client base and existing products.

Kölner’s range of products for gilding is quite broad, with a product for almost any use, including stone, ceramics and more. Their flagship product is the Instacoll Gilding System. This water-based system creates intense high-gloss gilded finishes on both interior and exterior surfaces. For stonemasons we recommend Kölner Rapid Stone. This product designed for stonemasons and letter cutters looking to gild blasted or carved stone. Another specialist product is Kölner Miniatum. It’s designed for use on flexible surfaces such as paper, leather, and vellum – it’s perfect for illuminating manuscripts. If you are looking to gild, or repair previous gilding, on ceramic items then Kölner’s Ceramic Size is the best product for the job. Finally, Kölner Permacoll is a superb, water-based adhesive size. It’s well-suited for large interior projects, such as gilding walls and ceilings.

All the above products mentioned above and more are available for in our online shop. We stock smaller sizes for enthusiasts and hobbyists alongside larger pack sizes for trade users. Our range of products also includes professional quality gilding tools for any gilder.

Click here to view the Kölner section on our website.

We will be organising further tutorial workshops from Autumn onward. Please watch this space for details or contact our office.

Studio Peascod – Hotel Adlon Kempinski & Highlight Collection

It’s always a pleasure to feature Emma’s work on our blog. We’ve had the privilege of supplying her for a number of years now and we’re always blown away by the creativity and quality of the finishes she creates. Emma is a talented designer who creates unique verre églomisé (or reverse glass gilded) pieces incorporating precious metals, dyes and textured Japanese papers to create a uniquely detailed aesthetic. You can see more of Emma’s exquisite work in these previous blog posts.

Emma has done commissioned work for a number of prestigious projects, including private residences and high-profile places such as the Ormer Mayfair restaurant at the Flemings Hotel, London and Spring, Somerset House (which we featured in this post). Recently, Emma has completed a piece for the famous Hotel Adlon Kempinski, Berlin – a luxurious and storied hotel, with a history that stretches back decades! As part of an extensive renovation of the lobby area Emma was commissioned by Jagdfield Design to create a backdrop for the lobby bar. To tie both lobby and bar together the piece contains motifs of elephants, frogs and lotus flowers which feature prominently on the centrepiece of the lobby – a recently restored fountain, a gift presented to the hotel by the Maharajah of Patiala in the 1930s. The stunning, 4 metre wide piece was handmade by Emma and incorporates hand-dyed textured paper and meticulously gilded 22 ct gold leaf.

In addition to her commissioned work Emma and Studio Peascod are now offering a range of handmade, elegant furniture. Each piece incorporates Emma’s signature handmade verre églomisé glass panels, pairing the exquisitely patterned glass with and elegant and clean lines of brass and wood to create stunning contemporary furniture and light fittings.

There are four verre églomisé finishes available in the Highlight Collection.

To see more of Emma and Studio Peascod former projects then click here to visit their website. Alternatively, for all enquiries regarding Emma or the Highlight Collection then please contact her directly by email at: info@studiopeascod.com.

Emma Peascod in the process of creating one of her unique verre eglomise panels.

Modern Masters Metal Effect Paint

From the world leader in water-based aged metal finishes comes Modern Masters Metal Effect Paint. Whether it’s a small, DIY project, or a high-end decorative finish or large architectural specification this paint can do it all! We’ve seen it used on small outdoor planters in a garden, to extensive use throughout the treetop walkway in Kew Gardens!

The key to this authentic aged finish is the actual metallic particles that are kept within suspension by Modern Masters high-tech acrylic binder. When you apply the appropriate Patina Effect solution to the paint it acts on the particles, oxidising them and developing a genuine patina of rust. This finish can be applied on practically any solid, sound substrate and is suitable for both interior and exterior use.

The Rust Effect finish is by far our most popular finish and has been used extensively on large-scale projects. The finish you can achieve with the proper and careful use of the Rust Effect Patina looks incredibly close to that of Corten, or weathering steel, and costs a fraction of the price of weathering steel cladding!

The Copper and Bronze Effect paint are very popular for use on statuary, as the effect they give is very close to the genuine appearance of age on classic copper and bronze statues. The Green Effect and Blue effect patinas can be used interchangeably on the Copper and Bronze, allowing for the creation of the just the right type of oxidation on the surface to suit your project.

Below you can view a short video showing just how simple it is to create a gorgeous, heavily-weathered effect on a wall with just the application of Metal Effect products!

Click here to view our brief guide to the application of Modern Masters Metal Effects paints and click here to view our range of Modern Masters Metal Effects products.

Gilding a Hindu Temple – Rachael Linton, Sound Vision Studio

We rarely get the chance to view the fascinating process of gilding but thanks to Rachael Linton of Sound Vision Studio we get a chance to view a time-lapse of the incredible work and effort she puts into every gilded project.

The project this time is a beautiful Hindu Temple that Rachael has hand-decorated with pastiglia and plaster cast ornamentation before finishing the entire surface using traditional oil and water-gilding techniques. The result is a glorious, incorruptible mirror finish.

We’ve featured more of Rachael’s masterpieces in this following article – Rachael Linton, Gilder & Decorative Artist or you can see even more of her portfolio at her website – soundvisionstudio.co.uk

If you’re interested in contacting Rachael directly or commissioning a piece you can contact her at soundvisiondesign@gmail.com or on her mobile – 07881046100

Grace of London – The Art of Bathing

“Everything is a miracle. It is a miracle that one does not dissolve in one’s bath like a lump of sugar.”
Pablo Picasso

We are lucky to have lots of lovely clients and Robert Grace just happens to be one of them. He is such a positive, inspirational person and totally dedicated to his craft which is why he produces such incredible one off exquisite bath tubs. His story should be an encouragement to all those young people contemplating choosing a career in the craft industries.

A little about the man himself…

The Art of Gilded Baths by Grace of London

Grace of London is a creative designer and manufacturer of unique bespoke furniture specialising in mosaic and gold leaf designs.

Award winning Artist and designer Robert James Grace has turned his attention to highlighting the importance of guiding future artists and designers on a career path where the sky is the limit. His belief, shared by many others is that the creative industries are the driving force that develops and brings wealth into the country. He feels that it is acutely important to guide the next generation of bright imaginative youngsters into the world of craft and that now is the time to show the world that it is possible train and build an army of super skilled artisans who are capable of creating stunning pieces of craftsmanship that will be the envy of the world.

The Art of Gilded Baths by Grace of London

Having started with a city and guilds apprenticeship in ceramic wall and floor tiling some 30 years ago, Robert has travelled the world working for an array of high net worth individuals and landmark properties. After spending many years designing and creating handmade bespoke furniture, predominantly within the area of mosaic finishes, Robert decided to expand his portfolio based around hand gilded glass mosaic pieces and this new direction led to the birth of Grace of London http://www.graceoflondon.com

“My craft has allowed me to work with some of the most talented and creative designers in the world creating beautiful pieces of functional art.”

Typically, each unique bathtub is made from anything up to 15,000 pieces of hand decorated, hand cut glass which is reverse gilded with 24ct gold, 18ct gold, Platinum and decorated with Sworovsky crystals.The Art of Gilded Baths by Grace of London

Over the years, Robert has built up a team of the finest craftsmen in the world that assist in creating these incredible pieces, two of them are Royal Warrant Holders. This group of individuals are all British former apprentices that have started at the bottom and worked their way to the very top. Collectively they have worked for Royal families and Palaces around the world.

One recently completed project that you may have seen in the press was a bespoke 24ct gold bath tub with a “foam” of 250,000 crystals cascading over the sides. It took up to 12 weeks to produce and at a cost of £100,000 it was snapped up by a Middle Eastern client who wishes to remain anonymous. The client commissioned it from interior designer Celia Sawyer  www.celiasawyer.com  who worked closely on the design with Robert Grace and his team.

The Art of Gilded Baths by Grace of London

It is always exciting and refreshing to see what work of art Robert produces next and we wish him all the very best in his creative business. Giving such a lot of his time back to youngsters as an inspirational mentor and having such a passion for his craft he deserves the absolute best.

“My message now is to show the younger generation that choosing a career in the craft industries can lead to becoming a hugely skilled, sought after artisan.”
Robert James Grace, Grace of London

We’ve launched a great new Website!

Finally, after much effort, we would like to welcome you to our new website which we hope will give you a far more user – friendly shopping experience.

Our aim was to look at the site through the eyes of the customer and make it easier to identify the products required for specific projects. We also tried to look through the eyes of the artisan or craftsperson and we have had the majority of our products re-photographed in a way that makes it easier to see exactly what you are buying and where possible we will have images of the effects that you can achieve for inspiration.

The new website is built on modern technology
Technical and design expertise were essential in creating our new site

We enlisted the help of our trusted web designers Daly Design www.dalydesign.co.uk who, having worked with us since 2007, understand our business inside and out. We can’t recommend Paul and his team highly enough as their technical & design expertise were essential in creating this new site.

The new website is built on modern technology, offering a suite of new features with the prospect of more still to come. It is fully compatible with mobile devices and will automatically resize itself to give the best experience regardless of device.

The brief for Daly Design was to create a clean, uncluttered space that flows easily from section to section and gives clear information about the products that we sell. In addition to this we also wanted to reinforce our brand as a major world supplier of gilding and specialist decorating products, providing quality products at competitive prices and full technical back up from our knowledgeable staff. It was also important to showcase our clients work as we are always impressed with the talent of our clients and the wonderful finishes that they create using our products. All the images in our banner heading are of clients work and we have also improved our client gallery making it easier to search for images according to the type of works produced. We decided to add contact details to the gallery so that you can make contact if you like what you see and would like to discuss further projects with them.

Building the new Gold Leaf Supplies website
We don’t use any stock photos on our site. New high-resolution product images were produced in-house using high end cameras, lighting and colour calibrated digital hardware.

We don’t use any stock photos on our site as we wanted it to be a true reflection of our clients work and the prestigious projects that we supply for.

The manufacturing companies that we work with have provided us with some great photographs but we have also enlisted the help of a professional photographer for our gold leaf section. We are very lucky to have Adam working with us who is an excellent photographer and has contributed so much to the development and visual aspect of the site. I don’t think he wants to photograph another brush for a very long time!

Our logistics was another area for improvement and we have streamlined our carriage costs and options and have also opened up our online shop to a wider geographical area. As well as the UK and Europe we can now accept online orders from the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. If you are outside any of these destinations, please email us and we can quote you for delivery costs and process your order in this way instead.

We will be continually adding new and interesting products to our online shop and also lots of interesting information to our Tips & Techniques and Client Gallery so keep popping back from time to time.

Thank you for your patience whilst we were creating this new site and we hope that you will find it interesting. We welcome any feedback and please feel free to contact us with any suggestions for new products or features that you would like us to add to our site. We are always looking for ways to improve the site for you, the customer – to make our site the premier destination to visit for purchasing gilding and specialist decorating supplies.

If you haven’t visited before we look forward to welcoming you to our shiny new world!

New and utterly fantastic – Whitson’s Super Adhesion Primer

No more sanding and extensive prep on difficult surfaces!

WHIT-GROUPMade from natural soya alkyd with a small PU content, Whitson’s is a water based, no fuss primer designed to give high adhesion to factory finished kitchens, cabinetry and problem substrates. It will allow you to easily transform any existing painted or sealed surface without hours of preparation and with no unpleasant smell. This Super-Adhesion Primer can be applied directly to tiles, plastic and melamine as well as high lacquer surfaces.

The primer was developed by Cait Whitson and Gibson Donaldson from Carte Blanche Decorative Painters (http://www.decoratescotland.com/) who are Specialist Painters and Decorators with over 30 years’ experience. One of their specialities is transforming cabinetry and furniture. Whitson’s Ltd came about when they had the opportunity to join forces with a really great formulations chemist, Nick Dubbels, who was the catalyst to allow them to invent products that helped solve problems – they are the painters making paint for painters!!!

Cait and Gibson were so frustrated over the years with what they had to work with to re-vamp kitchens, furniture, factory finished doors and contract materials like veneers, foils, melamine etc. that they decided to develop their own product.  What they found was that the products on the market that were nice to use, water based with easy clean up didn’t work very well; and while there were ones that worked very well, those were smelly, sticky, difficult to get a good finish with, expensive and ruined brushes!

They wanted something that worked brilliantly, flowed nicely, didn’t affect your health, taint food or leave a home or commercial project smelling terrible. After much research and development, Whitson’s Superior Adhesion Primer was the result! It adheres to many problem substrates – oil based paints, varnishes, plastics and tiles.

Is there anything it doesn’t do? Well there are no particular stain blocking properties; it is designed for interior use – however it can be used outdoors as long as it is not applied in humid or cold weather which will have a delayed effect on drying and curing. Of course testing before working on an unknown substrate is advised.

“This primer is the best adhesion primer we have ever used. Fantastic Cait & to be water based is amazing. Brilliant work!” – Henry Van Der Vijver and the HVArt team give the Whitson’s Superior Adhesion Primer a massive thumbs up!

Makeover using the Whitsons Super Adhesion Primer

Fireplace transformation – painted by Gibson Donaldson of Carte Blanche Decorative Painters

This fireplace was varnished pine and composite moulding and was very shabby. The client was looking for a makeover and wanted it to match her fabulous new radiators in antiqued pewter.

It needed a thorough sand before applying a coat of Whitson’s Superior Adhesion Primer. With it’s great coverage and superior adhesion the fireplace barely needed sanding before the next phase. Once the primer was dry it was caulked and filled as necessary and then a coat of Liquid Metal Acrylic – Warm Platinum was painted over the whole surface. As an aside,  if you want to work with metallic paints and brush apply them then you need the right brushes, there are special ones specifically for the Liquid Metal Acrylic paint and they are more expensive than other, cheaper general purpose paint brushes but they are well worth having.

Liquid Metals are dry very quickly and can be recoated in a short period of time. After the first coat Gibson did a quick dry brush over all the high spots that will be revealed after second coat just to solidify the coverage. Then a coat of Liquid Metal Acrylic – Graphite was applied. Gibson masked off the detail and stippled it and then with a damp cloth pad wiped off the high spots to reveal the colour below. Then he painted the flats with the Liquid Metal Acrylic Brushes, wiping back only the edges of the contours.

Then once dry he used a patinating fluid – he made this using General Finishes Black Glaze Effects and a bit of Extender. This glaze dries fast so for this small project it was perfect, the glaze was stippled on and then wiped off with a soft cloth. This left the glaze in the crevices, lending more definition to the carving and enhancing the effect of the highlights. Once dry a coat of Robersons Universal Lacquer was applied over the whole of the fireplace to protect it.


And after four visits of varying lengths we have this finished result and a delighted customer!

Chelsea Flower Show 2016

We are proud to be sponsoring the incredible Marion Labbez, who will be showing off her beautiful verre églomisé at the prestigious Chelsea Flower show, organised by the Royal Horticultural Society.

Chelsea-Flowershow-2016-Marion-LabbezMarion Labbez is a London based French artist specialising in verre églomisé. Marion started work as a designer for a London based company of specialist finishers. It was there she started creating patterns and learning techniques which eventually led to a new found love of gilding.

Marion creates custom bespoke furniture for clients, featuring verre églomisé. She further draws influence from her love of London, its environment, people and history. This inspiration allows her to apply contemporary thinking to an age old craft and produce such beautiful work.

Marion will be producing verre églomisé glass panel’s incorporating floral designs, giving the real flowers a run for their money! We are pleased to be sponsoring Marion and wish her the best of luck at the show.

You can view Marion’s site here and view the Chelsea Flower Shows site here.

“Sacred”

“Sacred” by the wonderful Kate Alterio is the latest piece to catch our eye! Its originality speaks volumes as not only being a stunning contemporary piece, but also boasting deeply symbolic meanings.

Kate Alterio is a New Zealand-based artist whose journey has led her to explore many different styles and mediums. Kate began with jewellery making, before moving into painting and now more recently has progressed into photography. She views each medium from a different perspective seeing the precision of jewellery, the fluidity of painting and the ability to capture and hold time using photography.

Kate seeks to connect the physical and spiritual worlds through her work bringing the formless into the world of form, and exploring various themes such as diversity, spirituality and human interconnectedness.

There is often a journey Kate explores whilst creating her work, with an overall intention to create a “sense of stillness and potency, that invites viewers to feel a corresponding resonance within themselves”. Kate’s work is held and shown in both private and corporate collections in New Zealand and overseas.

Sacred
Sacred is Kate’s ode to the honey bee. Kate stresses bees are essential to our survival and symbolize unity, renewal, immortality, resurrection, new beginnings and community. We have a lot to learn from these small yet powerful insects.

Historically bees and beehives have been held in high esteem throughout the world. Bees have an incredible work ethic and function in harmony to achieve a common goal. They support not only their colony but also enable the human race to thrive by perpetuating floral growth and pollinating agricultural goods, and by producing honey, bee propolis, royal jelly and wax. Without them the world as we know it would be a very different place. The relationship that bees have with nature is one of benefit and enhancement, a beautiful illustration of unity and working towards the greater good.
Bees are incredible architects and mathematicians. Sacred geometric forms are the basic building blocks of our universe so it’s no surprise that these tiny insects chose a hexagon for the hive. Not only is it a sacred form but the hexagon is also the most efficient shape as it stores the most amount of honey while using the least amount of wax, which indicates the deep intelligence of bees.

Sacred - Kate Alteiro

To create the effect of shading and different dimensions Kate has used a combination of 24ct yellow gold leaf, 23ct red gold leaf, 22ct moon gold leaf and 22.5ct champagne gold leaf. The red gold’s slightly darker and richer tone adds the dimension to the piece while the softer lighter tones of moon and champagne gold create a shading effect.

This piece is incredibly eye catching whilst holding a deep, significant meaning, and we hope Kate continues to create such great pieces in the near future!

“The Aureus”

This week we have a very special project to showcase with all the details and pictures very kindly provided to us by Danni Bradford. Danni has recently collaborated with Ellie Miller, the only professional female surfboard maker in Europe, to create a one-off, limited edition 24 carat gilt surfboard!

Danni and Ellie collaborated to create LUX surfboards in order to explore the gap between art and functionality. As well as gaining admiration for their aesthetic beauty and eye-catching elegance LUX surfboards also gain recognition for their craftsmanship and performance as contemporary wave riding craft.  The board itself was inspired by the iconic single fin shape of the 1970’s. The board named “The Aureus” is the first in a short series of one off limited edition surfboards celebrating a rich surf heritage, so watch this space!

The use of our 24 carat leaf in this board marks a first in surfboard construction techniques. The gold is striking yet elegant giving the board a polished and classy look. The use of gold throughout the construction of Aureus enhances the subtle wave of the fibreglass and imbues the curves of the board with a delicate luminosity. We can’t wait to see the rest of the series. To see more of Ellie’s custom-made boards under her “Miller Surfboards” label then you can visit her website at millersurfboards.co.uk

From the Large to the Little!

AUREUS-BODY-6Danni Bradford is an artist, gilder and surface designer specialising in verre eglomise (the reverse gilding of glass). She produces bespoke decorative and functional pieces from her north Devon studio. You can find out more and view her extensive and impressive range of work at dannibradford.com  We particularly love Danni’s intricate 24 carat gold skeleton leaf. As said by her – one of the smallest pieces she has ever gilded! We’re sure quite a difference from gilding a surfboard.

We love supplying to Danni and enjoy her versatility and individual range. We cant wait to see what she comes up with in the future!