Gold Gilding Course of with Tuesday Riddell

We visited the studio of London-based artist Tuesday Riddell, who brings the forest ground to life utilizing blazes of gold leaf and wealthy black lacquer. Watch this delicate course of in motion as Tuesday talks via her concepts, inspirations and the way she has arrange her studio with security and effectivity in thoughts.


Tuesday Riddell’s Gold Gilding Course of



Q & A with Tuesday Riddell About Utilizing Gold Leaf in Her Apply

How did you come to make use of Gold Leaf and the Japanning Method in your work?

In 2017 I used to be chosen because the Painter Stainer’s Ornamental Floor fellow at Metropolis and Guilds of London Artwork faculty. It’s a yr lengthy fellowship the place I acquired coaching in historic ornamental strategies. I discovered wonderful issues like marbling, wooden graining and one of many strategies was japanning. I used to be taught tips on how to gild first and fell in love with the best way the gold leaf strikes as you narrow it and lay it onto a board and the impact it has when overlaying an object and I used to be later taught tips on how to put together a lacquered board.



I instantly linked with the method and felt it a lot better captured the world and feeling I had been attempting to create in my work however couldn’t fairly grasp via the medium of paint. I might say that as a way it was good for my work and have been obsessed ever since.



What would you say are the three issues somebody ought to concentrate on when attempting Gold Leaf for the primary time?

There’s two alternative ways of gilding: water and oil. I exploit oil so three issues I might say when oil gilding is firstly, floor, as a result of gold leaf is so skinny it reveals any texture of the floor it’s laid upon, so if you need it to be flat and glossy, you need to ensure that to sand and polish the floor in order that it’s clean for the gilding. One other necessary floor factor is to be sure you brush the scale as skinny as doable, so the gold measurement doesn’t depart brush strokes. Until after all that’s what you’re going for.



Secondly, select your brushes fastidiously and at all times be sure you use a gentle hair brush. I exploit artificial squirrel brush or gilders tip for bigger areas of gold. A tougher brush can scratch the gold and agitate the floor so the shine is dulled, however at all times have a tougher hair brush helpful to brush away any pesky bits of gold which may get caught the place you don’t need them.



And lastly, take a while to attempt to really feel what manufacturers are the very best for you. Like how most individuals could have a favorite gold measurement to make use of, or whether or not you like free or switch, in addition to completely different thickness or karat of gold. I discover completely different manufacturers of gold measurement and sorts of gold really feel very completely different so it’s not at all times simply in regards to the technical aspect of the fabric, but additionally about the way it feels to you in your work.



Are you able to inform us slightly bit in regards to the pure world assemble in your work? How do you suppose using Gold Leaf contributes to your fairytale-like, forest ground panorama?

I’ve at all times cherished classic guide covers with the gold embossed titles, so my thoughts instantly goes straight to the magical covers which I feel contributes to the fairytale-esque really feel of my works. My first information of gold was via fairy tales and folklore, like the thought of discovering gold on the finish of a rainbow or tales the place characters discover some gold or use magic to show issues into gold. It has a magical high quality the place it creates a stupendous, ever-changing glow within the works and I feel this valuable, jewel-like impact of the method conjures up an nearly unconscious instinct of its particular nature, as if one thing is alive inside the work because it adjustments all through the day or as you progress round it. The half I like probably the most is the depth of darkness you may obtain with the lacquer due to how its constructed up of round 25-30 layers of black lacquer and the way that contrasts with the luminosity of the gold, so the outcomes could be fairly sharp or intense, however there’s additionally some ways you need to use the gold with completely different strategies to construct up a scene with completely different textures and gradients, so there’s an incredible degree of selection and richness that may be achieved.




Do you discover there may be a lot room for experimentation with Gold Gilding and the Japanning course of or do you need to be fairly ready earlier than you begin?

I might say that each are needed in a method. On the one hand you do should be ready to handle having sufficient time for the gilding whereas the scale units, which is often round 3 hours, and with ensuring that the right areas of the floor are able to be labored on.

However I additionally discover that a few of my favorite methods of working with the gold have come from the extra experimental aspect of issues, like how errors can then be changed into nice segments or particulars in attempting to work round them. These have ended up creating lovely results which are a few of my favorite components of a compositions. You may experiment with the best way the paint sits on gold leaf quite a bit and with how you utilize it, whether or not it’s sprinkles, grinded to a mud or stable leaf, it’s fairly a playful observe and there are such a lot of components to attempt alternative ways. You may even embed the gold inside layers of the lacquer to create a stupendous deep night time sky galaxy impact.



What’s your favorite factor about your artwork observe?

The primary time I attempted the method it felt like I used to be solely capable of categorical myself, it gave me a lot pleasure to have the ability to have the sort of visible communication in a method that felt fully me after struggling to search out my method via oil portray. The truth that I get to work on this medium is simply really rewarding and I like to repeatedly uncover various things in regards to the method and the best way I can use it. It makes every day within the studio magical. The fixed discovery, there’s so many various issues to be taught in so many various methods from sprucing, varnishing, gilding and portray, I really feel like I be taught one thing new each week in regards to the method and I discover that actually thrilling.

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Additional Studying

Portray in Acrylic or Oil on Prime of Gold Leaf

Picture Making With Screenprint, Linocut and Gold Leaf by Colin Blanchard

Impressed by Gold: How Alison Woolley Makes use of Conventional Water Gilding Methods in Her Work

Screenprinting With Dave Buonaguidi Aka Actual Hackney Dave


Store Metallic Leaf on


Clare McNamara

As Weblog Editor, Clare oversees content material for the weblog, manages the publishing schedule and contributes commonly with options, opinions and interviews. With a background in effective arts, her practices are illustration, graphic design, video and music.