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For centuries Artisans have applied gold leaves to frames and furniture, performing the task in secret, with very few people allowed to watch. Now the technique of gilding is not as 'cloak and dagger' as it was - but still a very hard craft to master!


Gilding is the layering of a leaf of either gold or silver on a chosen surface. The leaf is fixed to the prepared surface with 'size'.


The leaf itself is paper thin. Though once beaten by hand, today it is produced by very specialised machinery. In some parts of Asia it is still possible to see gold leaf being beaten by hand.
GOLD LEAF- Normally 22 carat, the dimensions of gold leaf are approximately 37mm by 37mm, but the size varies depending on the place of manufacture.  All gold leaf is in books of twenty five leaves.  Each leaf is separated by rouge paper.
SILVER LEAF- Silver leaf bought in Western countries usually has a little alloy added. In Asia however, silver leaf is almost always pure silver.  Dimensions are usually 5cm by 5cm.


Sadly today, lacquering is thought of by many as varnish which can be bought from almost any shop, this is not the case.  Lacquering is an ancient craft which has been practiced in the orient for thousands of years.  It was usually black and many fine coats were applied with a brush.


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You can email Joy at Rosemont Studio: joy.leese@winsford.net

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