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 –
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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…
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!
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.
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 blogposts.
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.
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.
“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…
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Marion 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” 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 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.
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!