Decorex International 2017 – Celebrating 40 years – Vegan Gilding Method!

Visiting Decorex International is always something to look forward to each year – a chance to catch up with clients and to meet new faces in the design world. There are so many great design ideas on show and we always come away feeling very inspired and upbeat. And the location, Syon Park in Brentford, couldn’t be lovelier!

This year will be special for a number of reasons. Apart from Decorex celebrating its 40th year, we are also very excited to be involved with the consultation and supply of gold leaf for part of the magnificent chandelier which will be the centrepiece of the Decorex Champagne Bar designed by award winning designer Shalini Misra in collaboration with Clartes of Bohemia and Erfre of London. The theme for the exhibition this year is the celebration of the Great British exhibition in 1851, the first international exhibition of manufactured products so we are looking forward to an elaborately decorated Champagne bar!

Paul Wilson begins to carve out of one of the parakeets.

The gilded wooden parakeets making up part of the huge chandelier called “Paradise Fountain” were expertly carved and gilded by one of our clients, master carver and gilder Paul Wilson (@paulwilson_woodcarver_gilder). Paul has over 30 years of knowledge and experience with traditional gilding methods and has worked on the most prestigious projects around the world including the Royal Households and the restoration of Windsor Castle to name a few.

Following the lead from fashion Industry brands like Armani and Net-a-porter this month who are going fur-free, the gilder’s brief was to produce a high gloss gilded finish without the use of any animal products, so the rabbit-skin glue often used in traditional water gilding methods was a no-no.

A close up of the statue of Victoria atop the Victory Column in Germany after it’s restoration using the Instacoll System.

The challenge from top designer, Theo Vanderzalm – who is coordinating the design of the Chandelier, was for Paul to create a high gloss gilded finish but to keep the project entirely vegan. Here, following consultation, we recommended an alternative gold size – Instacoll by Kölner! After many years of research, they formulated a secret recipe that does not use any animal products, yet performs extremely well, producing either a very high gloss gild or elegant matt gild. Instacoll stands the test of time and as proof, is used extensively for exterior gilding projects – The statue of Victoria on top of the Victory column in Berlin, gilded using Instacoll Gloss is a perfect example, having been gilded over 20 years ago.

Paul, who is entirely used to traditional gilding techniques took up the challenge and mastered the technique of Instacoll application producing the fabulous results below. He was very circumspect about the product at first but had to admit that the results were very good and he would certainly use this size for specific projects in the future. At Gold Leaf Supplies we aim to offer gilders a wide range of materials to work with to suit all projects. Kölner gilding products are not designed to replace traditional water gilding or oil gilding techniques but as a complement to them and so we offer the complete range. The carved and gilded parrots do indeed show off the Instacoll product and its outstanding capabilities.

Three large, woodern plumes that have been gilded.
These large plumes were gilded using the Instacoll Gilding System. A vegan gilding system that creates bright, mirror-effect gilding!

The gold leaf used in this project was chosen for its excellent quality and perfect tone to match in with other elements of the chandelier – German caplain leaf manufactured by Noris Blattgold in Schwabach, Germany. The managing director at Noris confirmed that there are no animal products used now in the beating process of the leaf, so the leaf is also vegan!

Well done Paul, you smashed the brief! We can’t wait to see the chandelier all complete and assembled at Decorex this weekend.

Photos of the completed Chandelier to follow in a few days…

To read more about the Instacoll System please visit Kölner’s website at: http://kolner-vergolderprodukte.de/en/offer/koelner-instacoll-system/

To read about fashion brands embracing ethical, cruelty-free fashion please view the following link:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/09/fashion/yoox-net-a-porter-fur-ban.html?mcubz=3

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.

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.

Customer Showcase – Ruth Sadler

Last week we had the absolute delight of receiving this stunning canvas from the very talented Ruth Sadler. After a brief in-office scuffle one person emerged victorious and the canvas is proudly displayed on her wall!

Ruth is one of our much appreciated and creative clients whom we have worked with for some time now. Her style and approach to art is much admired by us here and we love sending her new and exciting materials for her to experiment with! Ruth has worked a lot with our Dutch metal gold leaf and it features in many of her pieces. Its beautiful finish and versatility allows for layered looks with various materials, creating exciting and abstract pieces.

Here are some pieces depicting the great Jimi Hendrix Ruth has created using different metal leaves and gold paint alike to achieve a vintage look. We are also lucky enough to have one of these brightening up our office.

Ruth’s priority in Art is “freedom, freedom to translate emotional value through her brush, not accuracy through measure. By painting like this she finds that she has the freedom that allows the magic to happen, the intrigue to be created and it’s then that the Art introduces itself.”. Ruth’s love of animals (especially horses) presents itself within her work, creating beautiful horses using our gold to give them a very regal finish. The overlapping of the different imitation leaves adds dimension to her piece.

We are excited to see what Ruth will produce next and can’t wait to work alongside her in the future!

To see more of Ruth’s work, visit her webpage at RuthSadler.com or follow her on Facebook.

Rachael Linton, Gilder & Decorative Artist

Rachael Linton is a talented freelance artist and Director of Sound Vision Studio (www.soundvisionstudio.co.uk), who specialises in the creation of artworks using precious metals and other mixed media.

Rachael has been a client of ours for many years and due to her extensive skill base and flexibility we are always supremely confident when recommending her work to clients. Originally from New Zealand, Rachael loves to travel all over for projects – have bag ..will travel!

In gilding terms, Rachael covers the complete skill spectrum with vast experience in water gilding, oil gilding, restoration, chinoiserie and verre eglomise.

A recent project we supplied for was the gilding of the Holy Palki that houses the Shri Guru Granth Sahib (the sacred text and teacher of Sikhism) in an active Sikh temple in Southall, London. 23.5ct Gold leaf was used for this project and the results speak for themselves.

In 2014, we supplied the leaf used for a large project that Rachael was working on, at Westminster Palace London. The work was carried out by eight conservators and gilders in the Queens Robing Room.

When not up to her eyes in gilding and restoration projects, Rachael also produces her own fine artworks which can be purchased directly from her website http://www.soundvisionstudio.co.uk/fine-art.html

1066 – A Medieval Mosaic     www.1066.co.nz

RACHEL-LINTON-BLOG-TAPESTRY-1

One of Rachael’s greatest artistic achievements to date is actually a Guinness Book Record breaker – an incredible piece of work titled 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic – which is set to tour the UK in 2016 to honour the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. The tour starts in Hastings itself in with the exhibition running from August to October in the crypt of St Mary in the Castle, Hastings.  This colossal artwork is the longest steel mosaic in the world and is a complete re-creation of the Bayeux Tapestry with many new scenes painstakingly researched and added. This is a family project of combined talents with Rachael working alongside her father Michael Linton.

Michael and Rachael spent eight years researching historical and contemporary literature on every aspect of 11th century history in order to draw a truthful depiction of the events preceding the Norman conquest of England. This has led to Michael Linton becoming one of the world’s most educated historians on 11th- century medieval history.

Rachael Linton researched the design style to match the Bayeux tapestry and studied the illuminated manuscripts and iconography of the time and meticulously designed the artworks.  Michael researched the written stories and documentation of medieval records. As a period piece, it was important that the extension depict the people, events and culture accurately, while maintaining the appropriate artistic style, colour and composition of the original tapestry.

An exhibition not to be missed!

Apart from being an incredibly talented lady, Rachael is always so enthusiastic and a pleasure to work with. She has a genuine hunger for new and exciting artistic challenges.

If you’re interested in retaining Rachael’s services then please contact her at – soundvisiondesign@gmail.com

Mappa Mundi by Ewan David Eason

Inspired by ‘mappa mundi’, the circular ‘charts of the world’ created by medieval scholars, these modern maps render urban centres of the world in vivid, intricate golden detail. The homes, offices, parks and other spaces people occupy are created in our pure 24ct gold leaf. There’s no categorization, no separation between rich or poor, residential or industrial – instead every space is rendered to an egalitarian ideal with the gold representing the inherent nobility and sacredness of Man.

Traceries of negative space spider-web their way across the golden disk, these lines of black or white define the roadways, pathways and rivers that shoot through our cities like veins. Viewed from above, without benefit of labels or colour these charts almost seem like abstract fractal or geometric patterns, at least until your eye comes across a familiar landmark and it all comes into focus.

Ewan David Eason is the artist behind Mappa Mundi, the idea that would eventually become culminating from both mappa mundi and the poverty maps of Charles Booth along with his own artistic interest in exploring the concept of contrasts. Ewan’s work has been well received and has been exhibited in shows and galleries worldwide.

You can read more about Ewan’s Mappa Mundi and purchase a piece for yourself at mappamundi.cc

Customer Showcase – Alexandra Spyratos

In an effort to better capture the essence of their subjects, contemporary artists are turning to mixed-media, incorporating non-traditional elements into their paintings . One such artist and valued customer of ours is Alexandra Spyratos.

Alexandra, whose art has been featured in shows and galleries across the whole world, was born and is based in Kenya.  Her paintings are colourful depictions  of the majestic splendour of the wilderness of her birthplace. On her canvas copper and variegated gold leaf becomes the shimmering heat-haze of the landscape, a bright space for her playful and vibrant acrylic paintings of elegant zebras, regal cheetahs and bold elephants. Alexandra is also at the forefront of experimenting with the variegated metal leaf and coloured silver leaf, using it to create bold accents and and bring texture and life to her paintings.

If you’d like to see Alexandra’s art in person then her upcoming shows include:

Affordable International Art Show, Hong Kong , May 2015
Kasser Rassu Gallery, Marbella, Spain: July 2015
“Space For Giants” , London (venue and dates to be announced)
Art In The Yard, Franschhoek, South Africa 2016

Alexandra was recently chosen by Luciano Bennetton as one of 140 artists representing Kenya in a roaming show recently viewed at Museo Bilotti di Villa Borghesa, Rome.

Alexandra was also recently featured in an episode of ‘Color In Your Life’, an Australian TV show showcasing contemporary artists at work in their studios. If you’d like to watch the episode featuring Alexandra you can find it on CIYL’s website here.

Customer Showcase – Sarah Caswell

Horticulturalists and fans alike are bound to be excited by the brightening of the weather and the turning of the seasons to Spring once more – not only are the flowers beginning to bloom but Spring also means the beginning of the Chelsea Flower Show! A premier event for the RHS the Chelsea Flower Show is a showcase of all the best arrangement and exciting trends in modern gardening. Alongside all the exquisitely arranged gardens are the trade stands, with the finest in plants, gardening essentials and horticulturally-inspired products.

Exhibiting for her fifth time this year is Sarah Caswell, a long time customer of ours. Sarah continues the tradition of lifelike botanical art , capturing the essence of flowers, bringing out their elegance and beauty with her vibrant, colourful style. Sarah makes frequent use of upscale canvasses, producing pieces that boldly fill space with natural beauty. While usually painted onto canvas Sarah has branched out onto painting onto other media including gold, creating shimmering background fields of sunlight gold for her flowers to stand out against.

Sarah’s work can be found in private and corporate collections worldwide. Sarah has also been commisioned to produce artwork for prestigious clients including P&O Cruises, whose ships Azura and Britannia are decorated with her paintings.

If you’d like to see more of Sarah’s art or are interested in purchasing prints please visit her website – www.sarahcaswell.co.uk or if you’re lucky enough to have tickets for the RHS you can see her paintings in person!

L’Infinité by Joann de Morges

5335665_origIt’s easy to forget with all the interior decorating uses that we showcase that gold leaf has a long history in art – after all, for all of human history the lustre of gold has been one of the most alluring and intoxicating colours. It’s no small wonder that gold has been a staple of artwork for millennia with it’s scintillating finish has come to represent purity, warmth and incorruptibility.

Joann de Morges is a Swiss artist who specialises in bringing out these true meanings and spirits of materials by using it in new and interesting ways and her latest piece, L’infinite, is no different, making clever use of gold and Swarovski crystals to represent the glorious past, happy present and bright future of the United Arab Emirates. The gold finish clearly represents not only the opulence and wealth of culture of the Emirates but also it’s future, a glittering and untarnished one that will last until infinity, giving the piece it’s name – L’Infinité.

 

To view more of Joann’s work or to learn more about her you can visit her website – JoannDeMorges.com

 

‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’

 

For months this thought-provoking memorial to the tragedy and heroism of the fallen soldiers of World War 1, ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, has been making headlines. The large-scale installation consists of thousands of individually hand-made ceramic poppies that have then been planted in the Tower of London, each one representing the ultimate sacrifice made by a member of the British armed services during World War One. The memorial has grown to encircle the Tower of London, filling the moat in a poignant sea of blood red, evoking the tragedy of the war.

This project has been the brainchild of Paul Cummins who we’ve had the pleasure with of working with in the past. Taking inspiration from a line in the will of a Derby native who went off to fight in the Great War only to tragically lose his life in Flanders. He wrote: ‘The Blood Swept lands and seas of red, where angels fear to tread.’, a line that serves as a tragic reminder of the horrors those who have given and continue to give their all for their country have suffered.

Each of 888,426 poppies have now been sold with the proceeds of each sale going towards charities supporting brave men and women who have served, or are currently serving, the country. The final poppy will be planted in a ceremony on Armistice Day, November 11th.

All poppies have now been sold but if you have a loved one who has served or is currently serving in the British Armed Forces or if you simply wish to make a donation you can leave a dedication on the Tower of London Remembers website here: https://poppies.hrp.org.uk/make-a-dedication