Tag Archives: gold leaf

A fleeting moment

Can you imagine spending many weeks preparing to install a work of art, followed by three weeks of the actual installation in a museum, only to have it painted over once the exhibition closed? On purpose?

Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Artist Richard Wright did just that. The Glasgow-based artist won the Turner prize last December in the Tate Britain Museum for his untitled, baroque-style fresco that is created with gold leaf on the entire wall of a gallery. Wright began with the traditional pounce method used in fresco: a cartoon (drawing) was pierced with holes through which chalk was rubbed. Once the cartoon was removed, a “ghost” outline was left. He then sized (applied a special adhesive for the gold leaf) the outlined areas, followed by the application of the gold leaf at just the right time. If the size is too dry, the gold leaf will not adhere. If the size is too “wet”, the gold leaf becomes dull. Honestly, how he did it in just three weeks amazes me!

AP photo / Akira Suemori

The fresco, seen from afar, seemed like an abstract design but up close, the design was composed of landscape images such as clouds and sun. It was said to be mesmerizingly beautiful.

Once the Turner exhibition was finished, the fresco was painted over. Whew! Wright said: “To see a work knowing that it will not last emphasizes that moment of its existence”.


France 24


Leave a comment

Filed under Design, Gold leaf gilding

Go For the Gold… As In Gold Leaf

An elegant addition to any décor is to add the touch of gold or silver leaf to furniture or accessories. Whether accenting the special molding on a table or gilding a picture frame, the gold surface adds a special opulence and shimmer that cannot be replicated with metallic paint. When held up to the light, the sheet of gold leaf is so thin that it is semi-transparent. As a result, gilding should be done in a draft free environment. Any drafts of air will cause the leaf to literally blow away.

My own gilded table

Gilded frame

Darnell Demilune Commode by Amy Howard in House Beautiful

Silver leaf table legs

There are two methods of gilding: oil gilding and water gilding. Oil gilding uses an oil size upon which, once it dries to a slight stickiness or “tack”, the gold leaf is gently laid on the surface and carefully pressed. Water gilding is a highly specialized craft used for applying gold on frames and furniture.

Create a screen like this with the fabulous stencils that are available now. An online search will bring up many stencil companies, such as Royal Design Studio or Cutting Edge Stencils.

Gilded screen Photographer: Erik Johnson

These arches were gilded with an oil size using Dutch (composite) leaf and sealed with Liberon wax.

Isola Bella gilded arches

Please join me again for Part two on gilding. I’ll explain the various types of gold leaf and offer reliable sources for supplies, books  and instruction. If you’d like any other facets of gold leaf gilding to be covered, please let me know.

1 Comment

Filed under Design, Faux finishes, Gold leaf gilding

Damask in glass and gold tiles

I LOVE this!
These glass and 24 carat gold mosaic tiles are arranged in a damask pattern that is fabulous!
Carlo Dal Bianco’s “Damasco Oro Giallo” tiles are seen at the website: http://www.carlodalbianco.it/

Glass tiles are everywhere right now…

glass tiles in damask pattern

Gold and glass tiles in damask pattern

This inspired me to create a faux finish for an accent wall with a similar feel. My first step will be to trowel on the “grout” layer using a metallic plaster. Then I’ll figure out what medium to use to give the look of glass tiles. A little tricky- I’ve been trying a lot of things, but it’s not quite there yet. The damask pattern will be an oversize one and the “gold” tiles will be created with gold leaf. Pics of the process coming soon…

Leave a comment

Filed under Faux finishes, Inspirations, Plasters

I hope to see you Saturday, 7-11-09,

at McDhurries in Rocky River, Ohio!  I’ll be demonstrating glazing, textures, gold leaf (gilding) and plasters at this FREE consultation from 1-4pm. Deborah Cunningham will also be there for garden and interior design consultations. A big thank you to McDhurries for generously hosting this event. Here’s the event info:http://www.mcdhurries.com/oriental-rugs-cleveland-ohio.html

Here is a metallic silk background with a tone on tone damask. Looks like fabric on the wall! 

PB Living Room 6-09 web

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized