Going for gold…
Next year we are celebrating our 60th year in business..our golden jubilee if you will. And to say we like a bit of gold in our furniture and accessories may be a bit of an understatement.
Gold furniture has a warm, rich and bewitching effect. It draws in your eye and instantly elevates a piece of furniture giving it an extra dimension, that perhaps a more simplistic carved wood piece may be lacking. Like a fine wine, gilt furniture gets better with age, and although it requires some skill; should it begin to look a little lack lustre it can be brought back to its former glory no problem.
There are different methods for gilding;
Foil and leaf gilding – Gold foil is pressed onto the surface of an item and simply held in place in the folds of the item, no glues or boules are used. Gold leaf, the foils flimsy more tricksy brother crumbles in your hand, but despite this is actually quite strong in its properties, applied properly the leaf with stand the test of time, free from tarnish. Its downfall really lies in the glue that binds it, be that animal or vegetable based adhesives that decay and cause losses over time.
Oil Gilding – The process of using an oil-based glue to stick the gold leaf to the surface of an item.The glue is applied and leaf to reach the perfect level of tackiness and then the leaf is applied. Oil gilding is most often seen when looking at items that are destined for the great outdoors such as statues and architectural elements, it has high durability but its compromise is found in its shine, it will never reach the same level of lustre as water gilding and will always have a matte finish.
Water Gilding and Gesso – Water gilding can be seen on the finest of items, it is time consuming and involves many steps. Gesso; a time of plaster is first applied creating a smooth finish, which can often be chipped away at to create decorative detailing a yellow pigment is. then applied to cover any parts that may escape when gilding, and then a
red clay boule is applied, which adds depth to the gilding (you often see this peeking through on antique furniture) then water is applied and finally the leaf.