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
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.
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!
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.
No more sanding and extensive prep on difficult surfaces!
Made 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!
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.
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.
Phil Shields, specialist decorator and gilder recently completed the gilding work on these incredible chandeliers made by Great British Lighting for Hereford Cathedral.
We supplied all the 23.5ct gold leaf used to gild the surface of the chandeliers to create a lustrous finish. The polished, golden sheen is a perfect compliment for the beautiful interior of Hereford Cathedral. It is hard to gauge the scale of the chandeliers, each one was 5.4m high x 2.8m wide! Phil said that working up close they seem enormous. Phil is a talented gilder and decorating finisher and all his work is gained by word of mouth – always the best way! He is always busy so that’s a good advertisement for his talents. We have worked with Phil for a number of years on various projects and nothing ever seems to faze him.
Great British Lighting are a global lighting manufacturer with over 100 years experience in making lighting to order. They work with architects and designers to create lighting designs, both traditional and contemporary which are installed worldwide.