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Antiques: The gilder's glossary.

GESSO A whiting (chalk), water and rabbit skin glue mixture, which is heated. Six or more coats painted onto wooden frame. It is sanded to a smooth finish

BOLE A mix of coloured clay and rabbit skin glue. This is also heated up and painted on top of the gesso.

Yellow is the main colour. However, depending upon when and where the mirror originates, the colours can vary. For example, in France they used a red/orange bole, which is usually found under the water-gilded burnished highlights. In England we used pink, followed by black

COMPOSITION ('COMPO') A mixture of glue, resin, oil and whiting melted together which, when warm, can be pushed into moulds or carved when cold. It sets hard but over the years it does dry out and small cracks appear

OIL GILDING An oil size (or mordent) that is painted onto a prepared surface. After it becomes tacky the gold is applied. This form of gilding cannot be burnished. Oil gilding can be used for both internal and external surfaces

WATER GILDING A water and glue solution brushed onto smoothed bole surface. The gold is laid on immediately with a gilder's tip. The gold can then be burnished

GOLD LEAF The gold is virtually pure. Ruth uses 23.75 and 23.5 carat leaf

GILDER'S TIP A wide flat brush made traditionally from badger hair, used for picking up and applying the gold leaf

BURNISHING Rubbing the surface of the gold with an agate
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Article Type:Glossary
Date:Dec 10, 2005
Words:248
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