Now available on our website is an innovative new gilding tip – The Richard! This tip breaks with the traditional design of gilders tip. Tips usually have of a strip of long squirrel hair for holding the leaf. Instead The Richard uses a square of suede. This allows the tip to cleanly pick up, support and then release whole squares of gold with little effort.
This new tip is the product of years of experience in gilding and teaching by its creator Richard Walker. Richard is not only a talented gilder but he is also a passionate educator. His website, watergild.com, has a range of useful projects and guides on it and Richard is also available to hire for one-on-one tuition!
The Richard was developed to make gilding quicker and easier, not just for beginners but also for tradespeople and gilders. The suede top is specifically sized to take a whole leaf of gold leaf or other precious metal leaves in an 80 x 80 mm leaf size. The main body of the tip is a piece of solid oak topped with a handle. This gives the tip overall a pleasing heft that aids in the process of both picking up and laying the metal leaves.
Each tip comes in it’s own padded box along with a small tin of Vaseline™ for charging the The Richard.
Modern Masters Metal Effects paint is a high-tech acrylic paint with genuine metal particles mixed inside this. This unique formulation means that it develops patina or rust with time, giving an authentic aged look to any surface, indoors or outdoors!
These new kits have everything you need to transform a cupboard, a planter, or even a small wall into beautiful and natural looking oxidised metal finish. The kits contain a primer, the unique paint and a special activator to speed up the oxidation process! Using this activator, you can create your finishes by taking mere minutes to apply it! The kit also includes brushes and stirring sticks. It really is everything you need in one convenient box!
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.
Decorex International 2015 held at Syon Park London certainly didn’t disappoint this year. In fact, the show seems to get better and better. Full of inspirational British and International design, it was good to meet up with clients and also discover new and exciting products and finishes which will be seen in interior settings in the coming months.
This year there were some fantastic interactive installations on display. We were able to watch De Gournay’s artists as they hand-painted designs onto gilded wallpaper. It was mesmerising to watch such talented craftspeople in action! Alongside the traditional crafts there were examples blending modern technology with timeless techniques. Volta’s painters created stunning ceilings using virtual reality!
The Future Heritage area was particularly inspiring. On display was a showcase of new works by a select group of talented British craftspeople. The beautiful pieces on display are the hottest luxury collectibles in contemporary British design. The pieces truly pushed the boundaries of design and making in ceramic, metal, textiles, wood and plastic. It was a great experience to chat to the artists and discuss their inspirations and processes.
It’s hard to say what were our favourite stands but these are a few that stood out this year…
Last year we featured in our blog the Celebrity Doodle fundraiser for the British Glass Heritage Foundation. Allister Malcolm was inspired by the story Damien Hirst giving a cabbie a doodle as a tip, which the cabbie then turned around and sold for £12,000, the fundraiser aimed to take doodles from celebrities and glass artists would then turn them into unique glass art. These would then be sold to raise money for charity.
Jonathan Harris, a world renowned glass artist and engraver, has recently completed three stunning glass vessels for this fundraiser. Each intricately decorated vessel was handblown and engraved by Jonathan and features designs inspired by Elvis Preseley, his guitars and his famous logo ‘TCB!’ These designs were inspired by celebrity, Mark Hill – co-presenter of BBC2’s ‘Collectaholics’ and his lightning-bolt doodle. The designs were painstaking carved through multiple layers of 24ct gold and sterling silver leaf that we donated to the cause.
The complicated final stages of producing these gorgeous, one-off pieces was done in front of a delighted crowed at the International Festival of Glass in Stourbridge. Jonathan, working together with Allister Malcolm and Dan Ridgway at Allister’s studio, completed the tricky final reheat stages that go into creating these reheated cameo pieces.
These fantastic art pieces are generating a lot of buzz through Jonathan’s own private collectors, Elvis and music fans and glass lovers who are looking for a unique, one-off artwork to add to their collections.
All three pieces will be offered at auction at the Decades of Design Auction on 24th October with all proceeds going to the The British Glass Foundation’s charity. All of the other ‘Celebrity Doodle’ pieces, that also included doodles by other celebrity’s including Beverly Knight, Frankie Valley, Raymond Blanc, & Lenny Henry to name but a few, will be auctioned later in the year to raise funds for the Glass Foundation.
We’re pleased to report that Alexandra Spyratos, a fantastic artist and customer of ours has completed her epic climb to the top of Mount Kenya. Alexandra and the other members of the Leopardess Foundation reached the peak at Pt. Leana, a stunning 4,985 metres above sea level!
This climb has raised thousands of dollars in donations, with every last bit of money raised going towards preserving the environment and the elephants of Kenya. You can still donate to their campaign at – www.crowdrise.com/LeopardessClimbforGiants
We supplied all the gold leaf used to gild this impressive multi-faceted globe which is now suspended in the Thor Heyerdahl Institute in Larvik, Norway. Thor Heyerdahl is a famous explorer and writer who led the Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, a journey by raft across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian Islands. The Institute was set up to reflect his visions.
The Globe is described as a spherical LED “globe” and visualisation platform for live global information connected to climate change and migration.
Each sphere is gilded with a variety of colours of gold leaf including 23.5 ct., 22 ct. Moon Gold, 23 ct. Red Gold, 23 ct. Russian Gold, 20 ct. Citron Gold, 16 ct. and 12 ct. White Gold. The combination of colours adds to the effect of glistening light and shade and the effect is something to behold.
The project was the brainchild of Lise Autogena and Josh Portway from autogena projects, both renowned artists based in the UK.
Gareth Evans, owner of Watergilders and an experienced gilder, went out to Norway with Autogena Projects to lend a hand and consult with the gilding side of the project.