water gilding a cove

Terry Hart cpf

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Sep 23, 2003
Posts
2,075
From
Excelsior, MN
Anyone have experience with this know what I mean? My highlites can come out great but in the hollow of those little coves I always seem to struggle. Same gesso & bole as the highlites but the gold doesn't seem to take right in the hollow of the cove and it tends to come off instead of burnishing. Do you adjust your formula or technique? How?
 

JFeig

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 13, 1999
Posts
4,985
From
Oak Park, MI
Originally posted by Terry Hart cpf:
Anyone have experience with this know what I mean? My highlites can come out great but in the hollow of those little coves I always seem to struggle. Same gesso & bole as the highlites but the gold doesn't seem to take right in the hollow of the cove and it tends to come off instead of burnishing. Do you adjust your formula or technique? How?
It sounds like you have not wetted your bole enough for it to not stick. If you had a problem with the highlights, I would have questioned the RSG % in the bole. The surface must be completely flooded when the gold is layed down.
 

brian..k

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Posts
750
From
Fremont, California
Maybe angle your frame so the water will stay in your cove while you're laying leaf in that area.(that kinda sounds dirty)
 

Whynot

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Dec 16, 2000
Posts
1,277
From
North-East US
In a cove shaped molding the water size will always gather and persist longer on the lowest area ( at the bottom). The only explanation I can come with is that, contrary to what Jerome said, you have much water laying at the bottom and your gold leaf does not reach and stick to the bottom but rather "bridge" it. After the water evaporates gold leaf remains suspended above the surface and therefore comes off. Cut your leaf in smaller (narrower) stripes (halves) and gild that cove in 2 steps as opposed to one move.
BTW, you also can patch those missings. Just make sure your leaf is larger cut than the area to be patched.
Pressing the leaf into the cove with a ball of dry cotton after a few minutes can't repalace a good gilding move in the first place. If you press the gold down too early, that touch will break the leaf and leave texture marks (even lint traces) on the gilded surface. If the pressure is applied too late, leafe will not adhere. The perfect moment you may cotton push imperfect adhered gold leaf to the surface takes more to master (need to tenderly check gilded surface with a fine agate) than doing a two steps ghilding in the first place.

[ 03-16-2006, 05:05 PM: Message edited by: Whynot ]
 

JFeig

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 13, 1999
Posts
4,985
From
Oak Park, MI
don't forget to press the leaf into the cove with a ball of dry cotton after a few minutes (after the water has drained away and or the area is semi dry)
 

Baer Charlton

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
May 24, 2004
Posts
21,029
From
On FB
If you're talking about a scoshia moulding, I'm with Cornell, to flooded.

The area needs to be glassy or wet look, not wet or flooded.

Like Cornell, I gave up doing full sheets a long time ago. The hand is just not steady enough anymore.
 

Terry Hart cpf

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Thread starter
Joined
Sep 23, 2003
Posts
2,075
From
Excelsior, MN
What I'm working on right now is a repair. The hilites are all done, it's just a few inches of a 1/4" burnished cove that I rebuilt with gesso that is giving me trouble. Maybe it's a problem that is somehow unique to me? I try to take great care to flood it evenly. It's too small to use two pieces of gold but I cut a strip to fit properly. I'm useing the same gesso and bole as the hilites. The gold seems to be adhered when I wipe away the skewings. Everything seems fine till I burnish and the gold rubs away in the hollow of the cove. The only thing I can come up with is that the concave shape causes a difference in how the bole lays? Could the heavier bole settle in the hollow while the rsg migrates to the high points? I'll try increasing glue strength one more time. Or a layer of glue over the bole? Or maybe my glue is too strong. or do I use more glue of the same stength and less bole. Garlic and urine? I'm so confused this morning. I better have a Guiness and fit some single matted pictures into ready made frames.
 

Reynard the fox

True Grumbler
Joined
Oct 10, 2004
Posts
90
From
Scotland
never had this problem but it might be that the water is lying pooled in the hollow?tilt the frame so the water runs away instead of pooling.

It really shouldnt be a problem no matter how thick your bole is lying in there.Ive gilded loads with these shapes and never had any bother...I bet the next one I do goes horribly wrong now though.

If your bole is fine for other areas of the frame then I doubt its your formula thats not right.Its probably different drying times caused by pooling.Thats all I can think it will be.
 

Whynot

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Dec 16, 2000
Posts
1,277
From
North-East US
Terry, you can water gild on glass or bare gesso. Final surface and texture is different, but gold leaf should stick equally well. The bole we are using is there for three main reasons: providing the much needed under-color, to smooth gesso's surface and prevent water from being fast absorbed by gessoed surface. If you gilded on bare gesso, gold leaf still might be burnished but it would somewhat suffer from lack of contrasting under-color, gold leaf being transparent and becoming more so as you burnish and compress it. Reversely, the bole will keep the gilded surface moistened long enough for you to do the burnishing without scratching the gold. Like wet gilded surface totally dried gilded surface can't be burnished without a scratch. In this last situation you need to "oil" gold's surface by whipping it with your fingers first (but be aware that very greasy fingers would "tarnish" the gold).
Bole itself is not migrating up or down the hill during gilding. It can be washed though, if RSG% is low, and that situation will translate in your water size gradually becoming dirty with clay. RSG is solid in dried form and jelly if wet. It takes hot water to dissolve RGS and wash it away, for which reason water size is always used at room temperature. You don't need to concerne yourself with migration of any kind.
Initially I had suspected poor gilding techniques leading to poor adhesion but now I propose a different diagnosis. Gilded surfaces dry on high light spots first and much later down the slopes. It may be that in fact you attempt burnishing those areas too early. Burnishing is not a mechanical operation and you must check surface prior to attempting burnishing. You need to tap the gilded surface with the tip of your burnisher and listen for the sound. Tap 100% dried surfaces first, just to get used to the "dried" sound, and then tap the recently gilded areas. If the sound is "shy" soft there is still water in there and you must not attempt burnishing. When sound is 80% dried you may start burnishing with very light moves at first and coming back over as surface dries out. A good gilder must possess a fine ear to tell the right moment burnishing must start.
Hope this may help you.
Cornel
 

Terry Hart cpf

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Thread starter
Joined
Sep 23, 2003
Posts
2,075
From
Excelsior, MN
Cornel I thought I just saw you. I was coming back from a local home improvement store (new compressor) and in front of me was a little Saturn with Why Not? painted on the trunk. Thanks for all your suggestions. This must be one of those little personal bugaboos and someday, with practice, it will go away and I won't be able to screw it up if I try but I'm sure I've had problems with these small burnished coves before. I guess it has'nt come up that often. It may be my burnishing that's the problem but I went over the bole with a thin layer of bole strength rsg and it seemed to help and I was able to burnish ok. Just glad it was only a few inches.
 
Top