Friday, December 09, 2011

Gilding The Doors Of Love

More gilding today. I'm not sure if this object actually looks good but it's certainly eye catching! It's rather wrinkly at the moment and very shiny. At one point I ran out of gold leaf but by chance found four older leaves and all went well. Applying this gold layer took all day but it was definitely worth it.

It's always worth trying new things, new techniques, new new new! It's always good to push limits. If I'm good at anything, if I enjoy anything, it's learning. I don't enjoy painting, I enjoy learning how to paint. And today I'm enjoying learning how to gild, and that means the joy of experimentation.

Key results...

Gold oil size and cotton wool are rubbish for gilding statues. After 600 years of tradition I've discovered that much in a month! Epoxy resin is much better as a size and seems to work as I stated in an older post. After 24 hours it was ideally tacky (I wonder what summer temperatures would have done for it....) and I'm confident that it will gradually set to a solid plastic foundation over the next four days.

The annoyingness of cotton tufts being smished into the gold was too much too. The rough surface necessitated smishing but the cotton wasn't working. I tried a kitchen paper towel instead and it was much better. Perhaps thin silk would be good too.. although one advantage of the paper was that I could fold it to push it into the tiny cracks and cracklets (I'm inventing lots of nice new words tonight!)

I've also gained an appreciation for the under colour. Traditionally, a red colour is applied beneath the gold and this shows through any little gaps and holes. I used to think that the aim was to coat the entire object in gold, but now I can see that in some cases it's inevitable that holes form, and not only that, that these gaps might act as a contrast and make the object look better. Next time I'll apply a base coat of colour.

That should be it for my reliquary cabinet doors. I've also designed a simple wooden stand because this thing is too delicate to leave on a desktop. The object will be screwed into the stand and, ideally, the stand bolted to a table. I'm going to make a custom carrying case for it too. I still hope that I can make the statue for the top that I'd planned, although this isn't easy due to the doors getting in the way. I will try though. If in doubt, try the most difficult, most impressive, most ambitious plan. You'll inevitably get something wrong, but you'll learn something, and the more things you try, and the more difficult, the faster you'll learn. Also, why work at all on something that you knew in advance would be mediocre?

Next comes a silver jewel for the central panel painting... that's next week.

In the mean time I'm working on some new music and the start of that is beginning to coalesce. It will be my most complex symphonic work to date.

P.S. I couldn't resist the title to this blog post which it evocative enough to be a song by ABC!

1 comment :

Robin said...

Your creativity is limitless, Mark.