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The Thorn Tip is a modern innovative take on the traditional tip that makes gilding easier, quicker and more economical. The Thorn Tip is perfect when gilding flat, or slightly curved surfaces and is ideal for glass gilding. The innovative see-through mesh that holds the leaf allows for perfectly precise placement of the gold. The large size of the tip allows it hold larger sizes of leaf, like silver, supporting the whole leaf to allow for more accurate laying.
Using the Thorn Tip is as easy as using any other gilders tip. First, rub a small amount of petroleum jelly over the back of your hand. Then, draw the mesh of the Thorn Tip over the back of your hand to pick up some of the jelly on the mesh. This will help the leaf to cling to the mesh.
To pick up the leaf, you can either empty your loose leaves onto a gilder's cushion to pick up, or cut away the spine of a loose leaf booklet and pick the leaf directly from the book. Then, holding the Thorn Tip by it's frame, press the mesh gently to the leaf to pick it up. Using the visibility afforded by the see-through mesh, you can place the leaf exactly where you want it, before letting the size take it from the tip.
The Thorn Tip was conceived in July, 2013 by professional gilder Nancy Thorn. Nancy, along with nine other gilders, was contracted by the Legion of Honor to restore their 18th-century French period room, the Salon Doré of the Hôtel de la Tremoillé. During this job Nancy created this innovative new tip to allow her to lay leaf with not only precision, but with greater speed than a traditional tip.