Water gilding help, please!

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Christopher Trenary
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:25 pm

Water gilding help, please!

Post by Christopher Trenary » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:29 pm

Hello everyone, my name is Christopher. I've been sign painting for about a year and I've ventured into glass gilding. I've done a handful of gilds and each time I learn a little bit more. I've done a lot of research, read some manuals on the subject, but I'm still encountering issues that I don't know how to solve/eliminate. Most recently, I'm working on signage on (fortunately for the learning process) a friends business. On my last guild, I noticed the overlap seams were more noticeable, along with some wrinkles. I have a thorn tip i use to apply the leaf and you can see a little bit of the screen texture. I've attached a detailed photo. I've has someone suggest that my size it too strong. I've been mixing my size with 5 letterhead sign supply gelatin diamonds. I recently bought some rolled cotton, but my concern is with how thing the leaf it that the rolled cotton will still scrape the leaf when trying to burnish it down.

My second problem is that my back up black outlines still tend to chip when burnishing off the excess resulting in me having to go back and touch up the lines. Is there a way of preventing that? I have a letterheads surplus brush, but I feel like that has made it worse. I've been using damp cotton balls and bon ami to remove the excess, but it's still causing the outline to chip.

Thanks you so much for any help you could give me, there really isn't any resource I can turn to in Wichita, Kansas.
IMG_0029.PNG (481.46 KiB) Viewed 2627 times

Jim Harris
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:31 am
Location: Washington

Re: Water gilding help, please!

Post by Jim Harris » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:19 pm

Chris, the following is from Nancy Thorn, the creator of the Thorn Tip. She asked me to post this.
Hi Christopher, I'm not a glass sign gilder as many on the site are, but I can address the Thorn Tip screen impression on the gold issue you're having. Like a hair tip, there is a happy place where there's not so much vaseline on the tip that you have to press it into the surface to get it to release. You also do not want the leaf to leap into the wet glass when it is an inch away. I have had the same thing happen when I've pressed the tip onto the surface. So, a little less vaseline. If the leaf starts to let go before you want it to, you can turn the tip over and blow the leaf back onto the tip. I usually place the tip onto the leaf to make it ready, wet the surface being gilded and then pick up the tip and lay the gold. Like with a hair tip, you may need to make adjustments to the amount of vaseline on the tip every 4 or 5 sheets. Let me know how it goes. Christopher, the photo is quite beautiful.
Nancy Thorn

From Jim:
Chris, I use the Thorn Tip when I gild on glass or any flat surface and I love it. When I pick up the gold leaf off of a gilders pad or if I cut the back off of a book and expose one sheet at a time, I get about an inch away from picking it up and drop it quickly onto the gold or silver leaf. That way, it does not have a chance to raise up if there is any static charge. Jim
Jim Harris
Phone: 360 980 1855
Golden Leaf Products
Email: jim.harris@goldenleafproducts.com

Doug Bernhardt
Posts: 1028
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 9:29 am
Location: Ottawa Canada

Re: Water gilding help, please!

Post by Doug Bernhardt » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:06 pm

Just a few asides to everything that has been said. !
1st it seems that you're not getting the gold properly burnished after your water gilds.

2nd the use of the gilders tip is "NOT" a science that you can write about. It boils down to experience. My first experiments using written instructions were a waste of time. I ended up taking a workshop with Noel Weber and all my questions were answered seeing it done in "life" the first time in only a few minutes.

3rd I'm not familiar with a "Thorn Tip" as such but have used many over the years. I look for a tip that will hold on to most of a leaf (in length) without too many hairs hanging out of the edges. Those tend to leave bits of the vaseline (which I also use) on the glass and make the rest of the gild impossible.

4th a firm "straight to the glass" approach works for me. Be direct with confidence, no hesitation but not careless. That is as good as a description I can give without being there in person. Most beginners start with half leaves but with a good gilders tip full leafs are as easy as pie....or should I say pye ;=)

Christopher Trenary
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:25 pm

Re: Water gilding help, please!

Post by Christopher Trenary » Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:35 pm

Thank you everyone for the help!

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