The art of gilding | Katie Lamb Guilding Restoration Long Crendon Oxfordshire
There are two forms of gilding – oil and water.
Oil gilding, the simpler of the two, is more durable and less vulnerable to damp, but cannot be burnished to give a high gloss finish. However, by transferring the leaf onto the size at different stages during the drying process results in varying depths of sheen.
Water gilding provides subtle variations in both matt or high lustre finishes, but is not as hard wearing as oil gilding unless burnished. Generally used more on flat surfaces, the leaf is cut with a gilder’s knife on a special cushion and laid using a ‘tip’ made from badger hair. Once dry, the gilding can be burnished if desired with an agate stone or simply toned.
A Victorian carved giltwood stand has been carefully reproduced to make a pair. All new sections have been sanded, edges softened and the detail cut into the base layers of gesso. Coloured bole has then been applied and smoothed to give the correct ground on which to gild. A combination of oil and water gilding produces high and low lights and by toning and distressing the new gilding is aged to match the original.