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Gilded Glass

The technique of gilding on glass is an ancient one. It is, however, a very simple process. Essentially, all you need is deionised water, gelatin and vodka. The vodka is also useful for when it all goes horribly wrong ;)
The mixture is warmed (not boiled) in a water bath and applied to the glass using a large brush. Prop the glass up - somewhere that can take getting very, very wet.
As soon as you've washed the size onto the glass, offer the leaf up to the glass. It should 'leap' onto the glass. There are specific brushes for this, known as 'gilders tip'.
When dry, remove the leaf that is not needed for the design using an appropriate tool. The traditional way of finishing the gilding is to paint over the leaf using something like signwriters enamel. The gilded design is seen through the clear glass. Not much use if, like me, you're using coloured glass!
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venus dancing
Venus Dancing, diameter 40cm.
Metal leaf (cheaper than real gold when covering a large area!) on blue glass. Varnished to prevent tarnishing. In handmade and hand painted frame (not shown).
The geometry of this design is 5-fold, i.e., pentagonal. The orbit of the planet Venus describes a 5 pointed star as it journeys across the heavens. The motifs used in this piece are highly stylized plants forms.


World Tree
World Tree, glass approx. 8 x 10 inches.
Metal leaf on red glass, in gilded frame.
The inspiration behind this design is the Tree of Life. Pre-Christian, European tradition tells of Yggdrasil, the World Tree. Other religions also tell of a tree of life, a tree of bliss or a tree of knowledge. This tree is commonly told of as standing at the centre of all worlds, or at the centre of a paradise garden or at a boundary between one realm and another. £400

glass gilding panels
Gilded Knotwork
Metal leaf on glass. These three small pieces have been done specifically for the "Sacred Arts of Islam" exhibition at Chalice Well, Glastonbury 6th - 10th June 2015. They're only little: 4 x 6 and 5 x 7 inches. Tom Bree, the curator of the exhibition, asked me do some simple knotwork panels to demonstrate the similarity between Celtic art and Islamic art. The exhibition is free to enter and the above three pieces can be bought there.