On Tuesday 26th of March a group of clients at First Base took part in a Gilding Workshop with professional gilder Richard Walker.
Gilding is used in a wide range of heritage contexts and is particularly featured in the Royal Pavilion which we had visited a few weeks before. Richard started the session by showing the clients all the different kinds of metal and explaining all the other materials which are used in gilding. He talked about the range of situations when gilding may be used in a heritage projects.
Gilding is a lengthy process so the first part of the day was spent preparing the surfaces to be gilded. There was a lot of sanding down to be done and then Richard took everyone the process of applying various types of size. Starting with picture frames we waited until the surface was slightly tacky and the Richard showed us how to prepare the metal for gilding by setting up the boards, using the knife to cut the metal and using the brush to pick it up and apply. Everybody then chose whether to work with copper, Dutch gold, or variegated copper. We then had a go at gilding our frames.
In the afternoon the clients worked up to working with real gold which is much trickier to work with. John, one of the group members is a keen potter so he brought in a piece of pottery he had made to gild and other people had brought in various 3D items such as starfish that they wanted to gild using various metals. There was a lot of comparison between the different surfaces and metals used and the final effect.
A really interesting and enjoyable day.