Using Gold-leaf

This section here is a guide on how to cut and pick up gold using your gilders tools.


leaf_book_thumbPlace a leaf of gold onto the gilders pad. This can be quite tricky because of the light nature of the gold, and the smallest draught of air (even breath) can blow the gold of the padleafpad_thumb and away. Partially open the pad to expose a sheet of gold, turn upside down onto the pad and finish opening so that the gold is left behind. If the gold is wrinkled too much, or corners are over turned, place your mouth directly over the gold and with your mouth partially open, gently blow the gold. It cannot be exaggerated enough how lightly to do this. You must be incredibly gentle to prevent the gold flying away.


leaf_cut_thumbNow that the gold is on the pad, you can cut it into suitable sizes. If you are gilding a large area (and are brave enough) you can use an entire piece of gold at once. The leaf_quart_thumbgilders knife must be completely grease free, or else the gold will stick to it. One way to help is by running the knife through the leaves of an empty gold leaf packet. The chalk in the pages prevents the leaf sticking to the paper and will do the same for the knife. To cut the gold, place flat against the leaf and use 3 sawing motions to cut through the gold. You do not need a lot of pressure to do this


tip_thumbAt this point, the object is ready, the gold is on the vaseline_thumbpad and cut into squares. The next step is to pick a piece up with the gilders tip. For this section, I am using a tip that I have cut into a smaller piece to pick up smaller pieces (this one is around half a full-sized tip). It is a good idea to have a selection of sizes of tips. Rub a little Vaseline into the back of your hand (left if your right handed). Then very lightly brush the tip through the Vaseline. This will help ensure the gold will stick to the tip. Don’t use too much... little is best. Now place the tip onto a tip_lift_thumbpiece of gold. Leave around 5mm edge around the gold, to ensure the tip doesn’t get stuck on the size during transfer. Press the tip down onto the gold and lift upwards. DO NOT DRAG THE TIP TOWARDS YOU! Straight down onto the gold and straight up into the air. The gold should be secured to the underside of the tip.