Welcome to Watergild Studios!

The Internet’s premier online gilding tuition workshop. This site has been specifically created to teach and encourage the fine art of gilding, for participants of all levels. With the art of gilding entering an international decline, there has never been a better time to develop this prestigious skill, whether as a hobby, occasional side-line or a full-fledged business.


So, let me introduce myself. My name is Richard and I live and work near the historic City of Portsmouth, situated on the south coast of England. I studied gilding at the University of Portsmouth and have now been gilding for nearly twenty years. It was whilst studying this ancient craft that I discovered that there wasn’t a lot of information or guides on gilding on the internet and so it is now my passion to bring gilding to everyone! Oh, and virtually all pictures can be enlarged for detail. Just click on them!

The aims of this website is to give you the full gilding experience. 

So lets start at the beginning, because that’s always a great place to start.  The aim of this website is to provide you with the resources needed to start with some basic gilding tasks and then lead you into the full gilding experience.  However.  A note of caution.  Gilding can be a very tricky business to learn from a book or website, so I am keeping it as simple and easy to follow as possible. 

Above, you will find the main menu.  This will take you to the main areas found within this site.  This menu is always available so you don’t get lost.

Gilding Basics. If you are new to gilding, take a look at what gilding is about.  Here you will find the history of gilding, how gold-leaf is produced and what it means today.  Here you will also find an overview of what types of tools are needed and tips on handling the gold-leaf and other metals.

Oil Gilding.  Here I give an overview of the oil-based method of gold application.  It covers areas such as preparation, oil-sizing, patterning, transfer and other interesting areas.  This section has a few small projects gilding a small metal object in gold-leaf and a wooden horse head that’s gilded in copper and aged to Verdi-Gris.

Glass Gilding.  This will teach you how to apply leaf to glass.  Used in sign-writing and artistic quarters, this is a tricky yet very fun skill to master. 

Water Gilding.  Undoubtably the crown of gilding. The full Monty so to speak.  Here you will learn about the true artisan style of gilding, how to make up the various recipes needed and instruction on applying gesso, bole and the gold-leaf to a variety of surfaces.  This section has a project on a small wooden frame and covers all the basics of producing a water gilded object.

Gilding Classes. As well as the internet, I also run a full charliethrange of gilding courses in peaceful and relaxing venues. You’ll find a wide selection of professional gilding tuition services including water, oil and glass gilding. The classes themselves run from beginner through to experienced and also offer a wide range of different skill sets to learn from!  I am also able to travel, pretty much anywhere in the world, so if you and a few friends want to learn gilding together, I am able to come to you and teach directly. I also provide one on one instruction at your discretion. Just give me a call! All materials and tools are of course provided.

Photo Section.  Here you will find a range of photos that showcase the different areas in which gilding can be applied.

So if you’re new, I suggest having a look at the next section.  Gilding Basics. 




We now have a STORE button that will link you with my reputable gold-leaf supplier of choice.  All the items on this site are available directly from them.



Watergild Studios shall be holding a further selection of classes in the U.S.A. in 2018. 





Sue Govani from Goldleaf Supplies spent a few days in the studio.  You can read about her experiences here!