Gilder’s Conclave

I recently returned from a gathering of fellow dedicated gilders and artisans who share time and techniques by working on a project for the weekend. This annual conclave was started 27 years ago by a friend and mentor of many, Rick Glawson. Rick passed away unexpectedly in 2003, but the gathering has continued in his honor, to encourage the sharing of knowledge and techniques of timeless practices of laying gold leaf, in reverse, in glass.

This glass piece was designed for last years gathering, by a good friend, Larry White, and titled ‘High Plains Gilder”. The glass is 29″ x 24″ x 1/4″ and has a 4″ wide stained poplar wood frame.  Larry’s design immediately conjured up visions of a western novel, I had to attempt a simulated watercolor effect for a cover of the fictitious paperback novel. After laying 23k gold leaf in the traditional water gilding method, I distressed the remaining gold in the dirt street-scape. Next, I slapped transparent screen inks on the glass like banging color onto a sheet watercolor paper. Most of the traditional gilders in the room were quite apprehensive to my style, thinking I may ruin the picture. One thing the gathering does insure is not every artisan’s project turns out the same, all are beautiful pieces and reflections of each Gilder. The success of this technique became very apparent once the finished painting was framed with a sheet of watercolor paper mounted behind the glass.

This year’s project is not yet framed, I will add this when it is completed. I have been asked to design next years Gilder’s project, I hope to create a design that will encourage others to attempt to break from the ordinary.

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