Gilding and gilding works
Gilding and „štafířství“ (a technique imitating gilding) are the arts techniques whose roots date back to antiquity. Manufacturing processes, actually polychrome techniques, which include laying of the objects surface by sliced metals, had been naturaly improved and adapted to the period's artistic view.
Their distinctive technological and material diversity gathered by generations of artists and craftsmen, among other things, offers a view of the ingenious use of natural materials and technological thinking of our ancestors.
In the past, it learned not only artists, but also craftsmen. Artists gilded background of paintings and sculptures, craftsmen gilded frames, furniture carving and small utility items.
Gilding itself is a very complicated technology and intensive process. Therefore it has separated and remained an independent profession. According to an embodiment and use of materials gilding is divided into several totally not interchangeable types.
Types of gilding
Oil gilding (mixtion)
Gilding is easier, but the resulting surface doesn´t get such gloss as gilding on bole. It can be performed on various substrates (masonry, stone, metal, wood). Mixton is modified linseed oil. Before applying the mixtion ïs coloured by pigments dissolved in oil. Slices of gold are laid on bonding layer and pressed similarly as in the previous case. Mixtion must be surface-dry when applying but still sticky. Little-dry one causes an uneven surface, completely dry one causes little grip.
It was applied mainly in decoration craft, performing adjustments and picture mounting. It's the fastest way of gilding by gold leaf without polishing. Slices are applied to wet yolk surface.
It is considered the most valuable. Poliment serves as a base. Its advantage is flexibility. Poliment under the gilding is stirred up in a thick paste from special clay called Armenian or French bolus and water. The mixture of Venetian soap, lard and beeswax is stirred into. It is applied to chalk base glue reinforced with water in four layers, two yellow and two red and it is polished with flannel.
The poliment is moistered by pure alcohol before gilding. Pieces of gold leaf are then laid side by side and the hair brush is pressed onto the poliment base. If the surface should be shiny, it is polished with agate.
Our studio specializes in gilding of historical and artistic articles by gold leaf on the poliment and mixtion. Restoration includes a detailed survey of the original condition of the article, its reconstruction, fixing and surface finish including the gilding by original technique. The entire process is fully documented and the final restoration report contains a description of the restoration process, including photographic documentation. Besides the restoration of art objects in the studio we also make gilding of architecture elements in the locality (e.g. Gilded inscriptions on buildings, domes, etc.).