Clay Bole is comprised of natural ingredients and is bound with such natural glues as rabbit skin glue, hide glue, gelatin.....
While there are some general guidelines on how to use our Bole Clays, these guidelines should only be used as a starting point to formulate your own recipe, depending on such environmental conditions as humidity and temperature. Additionally, different types of glue have different binding powers and therefore recipes need to adjusted to account for these fluctuations.
As a standard ratio, we recommend mixing our Rabbit Skin Glue, powder with 12-15 parts water. Once the rabbit skin glue has been soaked, it needs to be warmed in a double boiler in order to prevent the rabbit skin glue solution from coming to a boil.
Meanwhile, the Bole Clay needs to be thinned out with water, until it reaches a consistency of cream. Once the Bole has been thinned, then it needs to be combined in a one to one ratio with the warm rabbit skin glue solution (one part glue solution : one part diluted Clay Bole).
Apply at least two to three layers of the Clay Bole over a panel that has been covered in a traditional chalk ground. The recipe can be found here: Traditional Gesso Chalk Ground.
Once the Clay Bole has dried, follow the directions in the Watergilding Tutorial.
This brief entry is only meant to offer a starting point for using Clay Bole. Master gilders spend decades perfecting their own recipes which are finely tuned to their environment and working method. Therefore, there is no standard recipe for working with the Clay Bole.
Suggested additional reading:
Practical Gilding, by Peter and Ann MacTaggart, Archetype Books, 2007