October 25, 2010 – Beverly Hills Adult School Fraktur Class #7

Beverly Hills Adult School Fraktur Class #7: Today DeAnn demonstrated gilding on a sample decorative capital, then had students practice gilding on their own.

For inspiration, this is long-time DeAnn student Trini’s beautiful illuminated manuscript project:

Trini with her beautiful illuminated manuscript piece from a few years ago.

Detail of Trini’s piece.





When creating the decorative capital, do the gilding first, then the painting with gouache. The gold could stick to the gouache if you paint first.

Recipe for Adhesive:
2/3 Sobo glue
1/3 water
some red watercolor to tint it so you can see it when dry











sample “M” on pergamenata

Painting the adhesive onto the pergamenata: Don’t use your best brush (i.e. the Winsor & Newton Series 7), but if you have detailed areas, use a brush with a good point. Pull the glue toward you for more control. It’s OK if you go into the design areas, you can always correct that later. Go over the pencil outline to its outer edge.

Paint 3 thin layers of glue. Make sure each layer dries completely before painting on the next layer of glue. Rinse your brush after each layer so that the glue doesn’t dry on the brush.

DeAnn has sheets of patent gold for purchase. She buys in bulk from Easy Leaf.

Use scissors reserved for “gold only” – clean it with silk. Cut a strip of gold if that’s all you need. It’s easier to work with a smaller size suited to the size of your glued area than with the whole sheet.

Once the glue is dry, breathe on it to re-moisten the glue (BEWARE: remove any lipstick or chapstick from your lips first). Then place the gold-leaf on top (gold side down) and press gently.

Remove the backing. Using a soft brush, brush away the excess gold.

Using a #16 blade in your x-acto knife, scrape the edges of the letter to smooth it and remove any gold glued on outside the outline.

Burnish the gold with an agate burnisher. You can also user a Griffold burnisher or other non-agate burnisher, but protect the gold with glassine and burnish over that.

Gilding completed!

After her demo, DeAnn had the students gild letters for practice.

TIP: At the smaller nib size like 1 1/2 mm, right after you dip your pen, the letters can be goopy from too much ink. Put a post-it or a scratch paper nearby to write some zig-zags. A paper towel will just soak up the ink.

TIP from Nan: When working on the pergamenata, try working with a “guard” sheet to protect the pergamenata from oil from your hands. This sheet can also be used to write off the excess ink.

Correcting mistakes on pergamenata: Using the #16 blade, scrape off the mistake. Scrape in all directions to remove the ink. Erase the area with a white eraser (e.g. Staedtler). Once you’ve erased the mistake away, you can write over it.

All gone!

HOMEWORK: Continue practicing your text at 1 ½ mm size. It’s OK to write your text on the pergamenata. Once you have the decorative capital outlined, gild it. DeAnn will help you with any issues next class.