Client Showcase – Gold Leaf On Glass Workshops With Dave Smith

A long-standing customer and friend of ours here at Gold Leaf Supplies, Dave Smith, will be running a series of Gold Leaf On Glass Workshops from June 24th through to December. 

If you’re looking to learn more about glass gilding, Dave is the man you need to learn from. It would simply be an understatement to call him a creative genius – with over 37 years of experience, he is an incredible artist and designer, that has a brilliant eye for details and creative compositions. 

We regularly recommend these courses held at his studio in Torquay, Devon, to our customers as it’s one of the few places where you can learn ALL the skills you need to create authentic “Victorian” reverse glass signs.

There is a selection of 1, 2 and 4-day workshops, with each of the options having different curriculums, so no matter where you are in your glass gilding journey, there’s sure to be a course for you. 

1 And 2 Day Workshops

The one-day workshops will run for 12-14 hours (which flies by as they are extremely fun and rewarding), and are suitable for any level of artistic ability, from beginners to the most experienced artists. With smaller class sizes to ensure that full attention is given to each student. 

You’ll make two 300 x 300 mm Victorian glass sign letters, as you learn many traditional hand brush techniques needed to paint letters in reverse on gold. 

Dave will teach you the following techniques:

  • Water Gilding (traditional gilding tip and cushion method, other application techniques)
  • Oil Gilding
  • Sign writing in reverse,
  • Shading
  • Blending
  • Brush control
  • Gold leaf blending, water and oil
  • Colour combination
  • Mother of Pearl inlay

In the two-day workshop, you’ll cover more techniques, including screen printing, hand lettering in reverse and glass edge scalloping. And will leave with 3 panels that you’ll have made using your new skills. 

4 Day Workshop 

This workshop is also suitable for beginners and will be limited to only 3 people per workshop due to the current restrictions, because of the pandemic. 

Over four 12–15 hour days you will create two themed glass pieces while learning different gilding and painting techniques.  

For the first sign, you’ll learn a variety of techniques including: 

  • Water Gilding (traditional gilding tip method and various other application techniques)
  • Oil Gilding
  • The blending of gradients of gold leaf
  • Signwriting
  • Screen printing
  • Wheel cutting and polishing (brilliant cutting)
  • Abalone inlays (mother-of-pearl)
  • Shading letters
  • Colour combinations
  • Incised carved lettering behind glass
  • Mica colour shading into gold size
  • Marbling and finger blending
  • Acid etching
  • Water marbling
  • Transparent Glazes

While making the second sign, you’ll learn: 

  • Glass edge scalloping
  • Sandblasting
  • Glue chipping (1900 process)
  • Painted silvered background
  • Brush blending and more.

Interested? We simply can’t recommend these workshops enough, and we’ve heard very high praise from past attendees.

If you book any of the three workshops, you are guaranteed to learn a lot from Dave, which you’ll be able to carry throughout the rest of your gilding career. You can find more information on his website here: https://davidadriansmith.com/gold-leaf-workshops/

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

 

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

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

 

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: [email protected].

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

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 [email protected] 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

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!