Gold leaf and automotive art.
Adding gold leaf to automotive art is a meticulous and captivating process, (read very fiddly) that elevates the beauty of classic car art to a different level. The delicate application of gold leaf onto the surface of the artwork transforms the aesthetic, catching and reflecting any amount of light, especially in low light conditions thus accentuating its contours and design.
Please note that when I mention to gold leaf, I am referring to 24 carat gold leaf or its derivatives, such as red gold leaf or champagne leaf, not imitation gold leaf, as this isn’t gold at all, and because of that has to be sealed to stop it from tarnishing.
How Gold Leaf is delivered.
15 books of leaf, each book holds 25 leaves all 80mm x 80mm square.
One leaf of pure gold.
I have been trained by two experienced gilders in the delicate application of this beautiful natural material, which you cannot touch with your hands, unlike artificial gold which is much thicker (and cheaper) and can be picked up with your fingers.
The process begins with a pristine surface, carefully prepared to receive the gilded treatment.
On glass I use my own special hand mixed cleaning agent that has no processed ingredients, just natural substances to thoroughly clean the gilding side of the glass.
For acrylic paintings that are going to be gilded, I paint on board so that I have a very flat surface to gild over, and not a canvas weave, which precludes you from obtaining a sharp gilded edge.
Gilding the 911 Targa piece, on board.
On board applications, I paint on a substance called Miniatum ink (I love that word) which holds its own surface tension and creates a raised surface for the gold to be adhered to.
Glass is gilded with a process called water gilding whereby a mixture of De-ionised water, gelatine and pure alcohol, (isopropyl) are applied to the surface to adhere the gold to the glass.
Adding a second layer of gold, I am about to cut a leaf ready for application to the glass.
Adding real gold leaf to artwork implies a luxurious quality to the work, as it is an age-old process that has been in use for thousands of years, gold leaf brings an air of exclusivity.
Two layers, added 90 degrees out to each other to cover any holes or cracks.
What most attracts me to this material is that it was created when our planet was first formed and through all of the processes to get it to me as the artist, it is still in its purest state but exceedingly thin and fragile, and therefore requires delicate artistry to apply it successfully to my work.
As you may be able to tell, I absolutely love creating art with it.
A finished Bugatti piece.