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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Gilding on PaperApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2019-04-03 15:16:04 ... Most recent comment 2019-04-04 12:54:12

    ​What is the best practice for gilding on paper? 

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    It would really depend on what you need for a final effect. If you intend on burnishing, like a medieval illumination, you would generally need a bulked up animal glue based mordant (or one of the curious variants including garlic juice, etc. I have not tested these but may work this into an advanced undergrad seminar or such).

    If you are simply attempting to adhere gold leaf (or another metal leaf) to paper one of the polymer gold sizes should be appropriate. There are a few on the market (Wunda, Aqua, etc.) Probably any acrylic dispersion medium would work depending on your particular need (ie open time requirements, and flexibility).

    Brian Baade
    2019-04-03 23:20:44
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    One word of caution should likely perform some tests on your intended paper substrate as any water-based adhesive/mordant could potentially cause some wrinkling and/or planar deformation, particulaly is the paper substrate is thin. 

    Kristin deGhetaldi
    2019-04-03 23:25:37
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​Could I apply a fixative to the paper to prevent any adverse effects from the size on paper and then gild? Is it possible to oil gild on paper if the paper was first prepared with something like shellac?

    2019-04-04 01:36:28
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    You could apply a size to lessen potential planar deformation but if you are careful and test, this may not be necessary. Additionally, if you do use a size, make sure that it is compatible underlayer for your chosen mordant. Oil mordants become very brittle, making it inappropriate for use on a flexible support like paper. In addition, as oil gilding is not burnishable, it offers no advantages in this circumstance other than a longer open tine.  

    Brian Baade
    2019-04-04 10:18:18
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​Thank you for these great responses. I have one more question. I was recently using the Kolner Instacoll gilding system for a project. I used a small brush to apply the size to a specific area. The area, however, maintained my brush strokes when I applied the leaf. Is there any way to maintain a smooth surface or increase the leveling effect when applying something like Instacoll so the leaf won't be affected by the inconsistencies of the brush marks? 

    2019-04-04 10:47:45
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    I have not personally used that system. You do point out one of the shortcomings of polymer sizes. They gel so quickly that artifacts from the brush strokes are difficult to avoid. Kolner advertises that their product is sprayable. That would certainly avoid this problem. In addition, they do suggest a size (they mention shellac but this seems to be in relation to gilding architectural interiors, this would not be appropriate for paper). Sorry that I was not more of a help. Perhaps others have more salient comments.

    Brian Baade
    2019-04-04 11:10:58
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    I just read the directions for Instaclay provided by Kolner and it says that if you have drips you can remove them with sand paper. Have you tried that?

    Brian Baade
    2019-04-04 12:34:50
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​I was using the Instacoll System and not the Instaclay. So the one I was using is not clay-based and according to the directions there isn't sanding involved. I just watched some online videos of people using it, and it appears that a careful pooling and dragging of the size to fill an area without over-brushing creates a smoother surface. I will give that a try. Thank you again.

    2019-04-04 12:54:12

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