We rarely get the chance to view the fascinating process of gilding but thanks to Rachael Linton of Sound Vision Studios we get a chance to view a time-lapse of the incredible work and effort she puts into every gilded project.
The project this time is a beautiful Hindu Temple that Rachael has hand-decorated with pastiglia and plaster cast ornamentation before finishing the entire surface using traditional oil and water-gilding techniques. The result is a glorious, incorruptible mirror finish.
No more sanding and extensive prep on difficult surfaces!
Made from natural soya alkyd with a small PU content, Whitson’s is a water based, no fuss primer designed to give high adhesion to factory finished kitchens, cabinetry and problem substrates. It will allow you to easily transform any existing painted or sealed surface without hours of preparation and with no unpleasant smell. This Super-Adhesion Primer can be applied directly to tiles, plastic and melamine as well as high lacquer surfaces.
The primer was developed by Cait Whitson and Gibson Donaldson from Carte Blanche Decorative Painters (http://www.decoratescotland.com/) who are Specialist Painters and Decorators with over 30 years’ experience. One of their specialities is transforming cabinetry and furniture. Whitson’s Ltd came about when they had the opportunity to join forces with a really great formulations chemist, Nick Dubbels, who was the catalyst to allow them to invent products that helped solve problems – they are the painters making paint for painters!!!
Cait and Gibson were so frustrated over the years with what they had to work with to re-vamp kitchens, furniture, factory finished doors and contract materials like veneers, foils, melamine etc. that they decided to develop their own product. What they found was that the products on the market that were nice to use, water based with easy clean up didn’t work very well; and while there were ones that worked very well, those were smelly, sticky, difficult to get a good finish with, expensive and ruined brushes!
They wanted something that worked brilliantly, flowed nicely, didn’t affect your health, taint food or leave a home or commercial project smelling terrible. After much research and development, Whitson’s Superior Adhesion Primer was the result! It adheres to many problem substrates – oil based paints, varnishes, plastics and tiles.
Is there anything it doesn’t do? Well there are no particular stain blocking properties; it is designed for interior use – however it can be used outdoors as long as it is not applied in humid or cold weather which will have a delayed effect on drying and curing. Of course testing before working on an unknown substrate is advised.
“This primer is the best adhesion primer we have ever used. Fantastic Cait & to be water based is amazing. Brilliant work!” – Henry Van Der Vijver and the HVArt team give the Whitson’s Superior Adhesion Primer a massive thumbs up!
Makeover using the Whitsons Super Adhesion Primer
Fireplace transformation – painted by Gibson Donaldson of Carte Blanche Decorative Painters
This fireplace was varnished pine and composite moulding and was very shabby. The client was looking for a makeover and wanted it to match her fabulous new radiators in antiqued pewter.
It needed a thorough sand before applying a coat of Whitson’s Superior Adhesion Primer. With it’s great coverage and superior adhesion the fireplace barely needed sanding before the next phase. Once the primer was dry it was caulked and filled as necessary and then a coat of Liquid Metal Acrylic – Warm Platinum was painted over the whole surface. As an aside, if you want to work with metallic paints and brush apply them then you need the right brushes, there are special ones specifically for the Liquid Metal Acrylic paint and they are more expensive than other, cheaper general purpose paint brushes but they are well worth having.
Liquid Metals are dry very quickly and can be recoated in a short period of time. After the first coat Gibson did a quick dry brush over all the high spots that will be revealed after second coat just to solidify the coverage. Then a coat of Liquid Metal Acrylic – Graphite was applied. Gibson masked off the detail and stippled it and then with a damp cloth pad wiped off the high spots to reveal the colour below. Then he painted the flats with the Liquid Metal Acrylic Brushes, wiping back only the edges of the contours.
Then once dry he used a patinating fluid – he made this using General Finishes Black Glaze Effects and a bit of Extender. This glaze dries fast so for this small project it was perfect, the glaze was stippled on and then wiped off with a soft cloth. This left the glaze in the crevices, lending more definition to the carving and enhancing the effect of the highlights. Once dry a coat of Robersons Universal Lacquer was applied over the whole of the fireplace to protect it.
And after four visits of varying lengths we have this finished result and a delighted customer!
Rachael Linton is a talented freelance artist and Director of Sound Vision Studio (www.soundvisionstudio.co.uk), who specialises in the creation of artworks using precious metals and other mixed media.
Rachael has been a client of ours for many years and due to her extensive skill base and flexibility we are always supremely confident when recommending her work to clients. Originally from New Zealand, Rachael loves to travel all over for projects – have bag ..will travel!
In gilding terms, Rachael covers the complete skill spectrum with vast experience in water gilding, oil gilding, restoration, chinoiserie and verre eglomise.
A recent project we supplied for was the gilding of the Holy Palki that houses the Shri Guru Granth Sahib (the sacred text and teacher of Sikhism) in an active Sikh temple in Southall, London. 23.5ct Gold leaf was used for this project and the results speak for themselves.
In 2014, we supplied the leaf used for a large project that Rachael was working on, at Westminster Palace London. The work was carried out by eight conservators and gilders in the Queens Robing Room.
One of Rachael’s greatest artistic achievements to date is actually a Guinness Book Record breaker – an incredible piece of work titled 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic – which is set to tour the UK in 2016 to honour the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. The tour starts in Hastings itself in with the exhibition running from August to October in the crypt of St Mary in the Castle, Hastings. This colossal artwork is the longest steel mosaic in the world and is a complete re-creation of the Bayeux Tapestry with many new scenes painstakingly researched and added. This is a family project of combined talents with Rachael working alongside her father Michael Linton.
Michael and Rachael spent eight years researching historical and contemporary literature on every aspect of 11th century history in order to draw a truthful depiction of the events preceding the Norman conquest of England. This has led to Michael Linton becoming one of the world’s most educated historians on 11th- century medieval history.
Rachael Linton researched the design style to match the Bayeux tapestry and studied the illuminated manuscripts and iconography of the time and meticulously designed the artworks. Michael researched the written stories and documentation of medieval records. As a period piece, it was important that the extension depict the people, events and culture accurately, while maintaining the appropriate artistic style, colour and composition of the original tapestry.
An exhibition not to be missed!
Apart from being an incredibly talented lady, Rachael is always so enthusiastic and a pleasure to work with. She has a genuine hunger for new and exciting artistic challenges.
Phil Shields, specialist decorator and gilder recently completed the gilding work on these incredible chandeliers made by Great British Lighting for Hereford Cathedral.
We supplied all the 23.5ct gold leaf used to gild the surface of the chandeliers to create a lustrous finish. The polished, golden sheen is a perfect compliment for the beautiful interior of Hereford Cathedral. It is hard to gauge the scale of the chandeliers, each one was 5.4m high x 2.8m wide! Phil said that working up close they seem enormous. Phil is a talented gilder and decorating finisher and all his work is gained by word of mouth – always the best way! He is always busy so that’s a good advertisement for his talents. We have worked with Phil for a number of years on various projects and nothing ever seems to faze him.
Great British Lighting are a global lighting manufacturer with over 100 years experience in making lighting to order. They work with architects and designers to create lighting designs, both traditional and contemporary which are installed worldwide.
Titian Studios in London are one of Europe’s premier studios / workshops for high-end restoration and conservation. Their talented team has a varied skill base capable of undertaking a wide variety of projects, whether residential or commercial. The Company was founded in 1963 and Rodrigo Titian was taught the trade by his father. They run a thriving workshop and Rod and his wife Rosario have passed their knowledge on to many artisans and restorers who have done apprenticeships under their expert guidance and have since gone on to develop their own workshops.
It pleases us to say that we have supplied Titian Studios with gold leaf and gilding materials for many years and have become good friends with Rod and his team. Due to the company’s extensive skill base and “ never say never” attitude, the projects we have worked with them on have been as varied as is possible.
We supplied leaf for the re-gild of the Royal Albert Memorial, the Dome of the Guru-Nanak temple in London, the gilding of various interior hotel projects including the Dorchester and the Sheraton Hotels, London. Also, we have supplied leaf for a variety of high-end residential projects using many different metals, Caplain, Palladium, Platinum, and Champagne gold leaf.
An interesting, but unusual, project that we supplied leaf for was a commission for gilded shoes and accessories. These were to be shown to an audience of worldwide fashion icons at a fashion show during London Fashion Week. Despite the strange nature of the request the talented team of gilders at Titian was not fazed and yet again they produced some lovely gilding work… oh to own a pair of those shoes!
One of our customers, O’Brien Brothers, have been involved with the very prestigious restoration of St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny. O’Brien Brothers have nearly a hundred years of experience in the fields of painting, decorating and restoration and have worked on both commercial and private projects. For the restoration of Kilkenny Cathedral they were involved in restoring the original decoration of the cathedral interior.
These pictures show the elaborate decoration on the ceiling of the cathedral. Due to being in continuous use for nearly two hundred years the ceilings had become blackened with soot from tallow candles. O’ Brien Brothers carefully cleaned and hand-painted the ceilings, bringing them back to their original red-brown splendour.
The ceiling also had a lot of moulded details and decorations. Each one has been gilded to a new, vibrant golden finish. All the gold used in this restoration was provided by us and quite a lot was needed to complete the whole restoration!
In addition to their decorating business O’Brien Brothers are also offering courses in marbling, graining, statue repair and painting, gilded frame repair and the restoration and repair of oil paintings. For more information on the dates of these courses, or on their other projects please visit their website at – obrienpainters.com
We supplied all the gold leaf used to gild this impressive multi-faceted globe which is now suspended in the Thor Heyerdahl Institute in Larvik, Norway. Thor Heyerdahl is a famous explorer and writer who led the Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, a journey by raft across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian Islands. The Institute was set up to reflect his visions.
The Globe is described as a spherical LED “globe” and visualisation platform for live global information connected to climate change and migration.
Each sphere is gilded with a variety of colours of gold leaf including 23.5 ct., 22 ct. Moon Gold, 23 ct. Red Gold, 23 ct. Russian Gold, 20 ct. Citron Gold, 16 ct. and 12 ct. White Gold. The combination of colours adds to the effect of glistening light and shade and the effect is something to behold.
The project was the brainchild of Lise Autogena and Josh Portway from autogena projects, both renowned artists based in the UK.
Gareth Evans, owner of Watergilders and an experienced gilder, went out to Norway with Autogena Projects to lend a hand and consult with the gilding side of the project.
In case you missed it, last April London was host to The London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show – the premier showcase of luxury travel, living and the finer things in life. Showing at the exhibition hall this year was DKT Artworks and Eoin Turner Glass, both long-time and valued customers of ours and ones who we’ve featured before in this blog!
DKT Artworks are specialists when it comes to high-end interior decorative effects and with their team of talented artists, designers and craftspeople they can manage a project from design, to production and right the way through to installation. Their work has been a feature of quite a few luxury yachts over the years, plenty of top-of-the-line yachts now feature bespoke artworks created by DKT Artworks! Click here to see the list of ships DKT Artworks have worked on!
While this showcase has largely been about DKT’s marine work there’s much more to them, check out their site here to find out more about the vast range of decorative effects DKT Artwork’s artisans are capable of as well as pictures of their completed work a list of prestigious clients.
If you’re interested in seeing more of Eoin Turner’s exquisite glass artwork then you can visit his site here.
This fantastic piece of interior gilding comes to us care of Julian and Claire Butler, two talented ex-pats who are currently living in idyllic Corfu, and it shows how a splash of gold can turn an otherwise drab architectural feature into a centrepiece!
This was originally just a concrete pillar in the kitchen of a charming, converted bakery that they have turned into a holiday home and measures nearly 3m high and over 5m across! As you can imagine it was quite the labour of love gilding it but it was definitely worth it – the pictures hardly do it justice but imagine how it must sparkle in the lush Corfu sun! Or, even better than that, you can see it for yourself by hiring The Old Bakery for a summer break in Corfu, you can find more details here – www.selfcateringcorfu.com
The opulence and luxury of the Roaring Twenties lives in in this Art Deco-inspired, vintage themed bar – we supplied the leaf for the gilded ceiling which is something of a hallmark of this style, with it’s incorporation of bright, vivid colour and metallic surfaces and the rest of the fittings themselves are period-inspired. But the most surprising, most standout thing about this bar is the fact that it’s on wheels!
The entire bar has been built inside the body of a restored, vintage Airstream Whale-Tail trailer made in 1958 and is the brainchild of Samantha, Deco Noir’s MD. Lola, as she’s come to be known, was born of her passion for both jazz and interior design and harkens back to the roots of jazz in a simpler, more fun time.
Lola is available for hire for your events and brings a memorable splash of 1920’s hedonism to any party, wedding reception or event. For more details on how to hire Lola please contact Deco Noir at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their website at www.deconoirevents.com!