Watergilding Tutorial




Watergilding is the craft of adhering gold leaf onto a surface prepared with traditional gesso and a soft clay bole. The advantage of watergilding lies in the ability to polish or burnish the surface so that the leaf becomes highly reflective. Contrary to popular belief, the reflective surface is not created by polishing the gold leaf, but by burnishing the soft clay ground underneath the gold. A smoother bole ground under the gold yields a more reflective gilded surface. Watergilding is not a craft that can be learned from a simple on-line tutorial. Many atmospheric factors and material deviations affect the recipes and a skilled gilder learns how to make these adjustments as conditions vary. This tutorial offers an overview of the process, but is not meant as an in depth instructional demonstration.

For a basic recipe that can serve as a starting point, read our
Clay Bole Recipe Blog

See instructions below:
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Black Gilding Clay Bole Poliment
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Yellow Gilding Clay Bole Poliment
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Red Gilding Clay Bole Poliment
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