Restoring Victorian Era Transom Gilds.

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Andrew Lawrence
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:06 pm

Restoring Victorian Era Transom Gilds.

Post by Andrew Lawrence » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:19 pm

I just thought I'd post here on a typical gilding job for me. I am located in San Francisco and there are a real abundance of Victorian houses here - which means there are a lot of transoms. These are the glass panels above the door of a house that was just an architectural function to let in a bit more light. Luckily, these were often gilded with the numbers of the house and there is no shortage of them in the City. I've done dozens upon dozens of these and occasionally I get to replicate ones that are in poor shape since they are often decades old. These jobs are pretty quick to do and I really enjoy them as they are a point of pride for the home owner as well as the gilder. Being able to carry on a history and tradition is another aspect that I like about the work that I do.

Below are a few photos but the order of operations is as follows:

- Make tracing of the letters from front of glass on tracing paper (front of the glass)
- Scrape of old gild, hit with bon ami
- Gild 1st layer, gild second layer
- Make registration marks on paper pattern, remove, use a pounce wheel and trace numbers
- Put pattern on front of glass, pounce, check for holidays, patch accordingly
- Put pattern on back of glass, pounce, paint back up
- Clean off excess (shadazzle)
- Paint black shade, collect check, pack up and head home.

A few notes - I'll use a hair dryer for every single step that needs to dry. I'll push it in terms of timing because gilding on a ladder isn't the most comfortable thing in the world. The registration marks I typically make are just cutting a square into the corners of the pattern and then chalking over them or just hitting the edges.

Another thing to note is that these old gilders typically made the numbers about 5" or so high. They also made it so that there weren't a lot of straight edges in the gilds (not all but some). My thinking is that this allowed them to paint incredibly fast and organic, rather than having to razor blade or scrape to get perfect lines.
Attachments
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Last edited by Andrew Lawrence on Mon May 01, 2017 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mike Jackson
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Re: Restoring Victorian Era Transom Gilds.

Post by Mike Jackson » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:14 pm

Hi Andrew,
Thanks for making the post...and your comments prompted me to adjust the settings for attachments. It can now handle a full meg file, where before the default size was something like 257k. This board is brand new, software wise anyway, so it might take a few days to find and fix issues like this.

You can EDIT your original post, which might include deleting the two url images and inserting the two attachments.

Thanks again,
Mike Jackson
Mike Jackson / co-administrator
Golden Era Studios
Vintage Ornamental Clip art
Jackson Hole, WY

Photography site:
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Kevin W Betz
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:17 am

Re: Restoring Victorian Era Transom Gilds.

Post by Kevin W Betz » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:34 pm

Hi Andrew.

Do you put any detergent in your Size ?
Also, what do you use for Gelatin,
Capsule's or Diamond's ?

Kevin

Andrew Lawrence
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:06 pm

Re: Restoring Victorian Era Transom Gilds.

Post by Andrew Lawrence » Mon May 01, 2017 1:04 pm

Hi Mike

Thank you for the update. I figured out how to attach eventually.

Hi Kevin

No detergent is ever needed in the size unless you are gilding over an outline of a letter -
for example, you painted black outlines for the lettering and you need to gild inside the
letters.

4-5 diamonds per pint. I use silver grade bakers gelatin, but letterhead sign supply also sells it.

Terry Westlin
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:28 pm

Re: Restoring Victorian Era Transom Gilds.

Post by Terry Westlin » Mon May 01, 2017 4:52 pm

Nice job Andrew and nice that you have so much of it in your area.

I have not done much gilding so just a curious question. What would the drop of detergent do and when would a person use that.

Thank you for any info on that.
Terry

Andrew Lawrence
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:06 pm

Re: Restoring Victorian Era Transom Gilds.

Post by Andrew Lawrence » Mon May 01, 2017 9:50 pm

Like I said Terry, the only circumstance that you would use it in is if you painted the outlines of the letters first and then water gilded within them.

I don't know what it does to them chemically - it might make it a tad less bright but there is no reason to put a detergent in your water size unless you are doing the above described procedure.

Terry Westlin
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:28 pm

Re: Restoring Victorian Era Transom Gilds.

Post by Terry Westlin » Tue May 02, 2017 6:25 am

Thank you
Terry

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