Greetings!

I am reporting this as it is part one of two, which will be posted on Monday.

I am gearing this towards the scribes, but these materials and techniques will work on other media (such as wood and plaster) quite well.

The first thing you need to know about gold, silver, or any other metallic leaf (which from here on out I will be referring to as gold leaf) is that it can make a scroll like absolutely beautiful! There really is nothing else like it when it catches the light and sparkles just so.

The second thing you need to know about gold leaf is that if you work in a common area in your home, and you have a cat, the cat will become shiny. I have 2 cats. One is fluffy and the other is just “big boned”. Guess which ones likes to roll in the shiny dust? You guessed it, the fluffy one!

The third thing you need to know about gold leaf is that you really should work cleanly with it around your pets, if you do work in a common area in your home. I know my Vet doesn’t recommend metal in my pets diet. If you do make a mess, try to clean it up before your beloved pet looks like a furry disco-ball.

Things You Will Need/Tools and Materials:

Paper (Acid Free, or pH balanced) or Vellum/Parchment (animal skin prepared for manuscript arts)

Pencil or Silver Point (I prefer a pencil because you can usually erase those lines)

Kneaded eraser (if using paper only)
(Erasing on vellum makes the pencil marks smudge, discoloring the surface.)

Ph balanced (non-acidic) art pen (Micron, Rapidosketch, etc…)

Gesso, Aquasize or other binder (do NOT get the stuff at Michael’s that says it’s for gilding. It may work on old furniture, but it will not work on paper arts.)

  • The Cennini Gesso Recipe is the Bomb, the Fashizzle, the grooviest one out there. But, you do have to make it yourself (unless you know someone who likes to make gesso).
  • The easiest binder to get is garlic juice. Just extract it from the garlic cloves.
  • Aquasize is great! It is a modern binder, it works similar to an animal hide glue, without the muss and fuss.
  • Easy Gesso is also great, but sometimes it is not sticky enough. I usually go over mine with the Aquazise to get it tacky enough for the gold to stick.
  • Both the Aquasize and Easy Gesso can be purchased through Natural Pigments web site.

    Metal Leaf (Gold Leaf, Silver Leaf, etc…)
    I prefer to get patent leaf, which is already on the paper backing. It is very easy to work with as opposed to loose leaf. If you use loose leaf, a gilder’s brush (or pinbrush) will be very useful. It is very wide and flat for picking up the leaf.

    Paint brushes
    One for applying the binder (this needs to be a gesso dedicated brush) I have two, a flat brush and a small round brush.
    One for picking up the excess metal leaf (this should be a big, fluffy round brush that can hold a static charge when rubbed on fabric, like your pants leg)

    Silk (a silk handkerchief from Dharma Trading works well, or a piece of smooth scrap silk, no damask, please)

    Leather Gilder’s Cushion (or a piece of un-corrugated cardboard, and a piece of mid-weight suede leather)

    Acetate (the kind that looks like wax paper, but isn’t wax paper)
    If you can’t find this, the Post Office uses it for envelopes they send with you if you purchase some loose stamps.
    Or you can find it at art supply stores (I know Jerry’s Art-a-Ramma has it in store, but Michael’s does not.)

    Polished Stone (very smooth with no inclusions, cracks, or rough spots) or Agate Burnisher

    Next week, we will get gilding! So, stay tuned!

    Hopefully Helpful,
    Hrefna