All that glitters

on Calligraphy  

Lately I’ve been enjoying all things shiny and golden – it just adds a special touch, a bit of flair, especially to paper goods.

For that reason I was very excited to try my hand at illumination – the art of adding gold or silver ornamentation to manuscripts – at a recent Calligraphers Guild of WA meeting.

We used provided decorative capitals (I chose a ‘T’ of course) to keep the process speedy, using carbon paper to copy the designs to card and tracing over in pen. We then used a liquid adhesive, carefully applied with a brush, to the parts that will be gold. After carefully laying the very delicate sheet of gold-look leaf over the semi-dried adhesive, the excess can be brushed away to reveal the illuminated artwork! I added a little bit of gouache paint to complete the picture, and couldn’t help adding my own touch of gold dotted sparkles and a signature.

Gold leafCarbon paper trace of my letterGoing over the letter with penDusting off the gold leaf
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With left over materials I had to play around with some other ideas! The adhesive works reasonably well for brush lettering or even applying to random toys, for a fun bit of glitz. This traditional method of adding gold is a bit more time intensive than using metallic ink or paints, but the end effect is stunningly shiny! I can’t wait to play around with it some more.
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Golden Domo-kun

Would you be interested in learning this technique? Let me know in the comments!

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