Recently I was asked by the Society of Gilders to write an article about the creative process in developing new Bole colors. This article appeared in Summer 2019 edition of their magazine called The Gilder’s Tip.
I am always fascinated by the plethora of gilding techniques that are employed in both frame and fine art water gilding. On recent trip to the National Gallery in Copenhagen, I discovered some familiar techniques and learned about some new tricks of the trade.
One of my favorite aspects of traveling, is finding inspiration for new Sinopia Clay Bole colors. For over a year now, I had an idea for deep rich blue bole color, but I lacked a good historical reference for the color.
On a recent trip to the Vatican Museum, I was fortunate enough to enter the place without standing in line for hours on end. I had seen the Sistine Chapel before, so I was familiar with the fanfare surrounding the ceiling fresco. I was most interested in what the fresco looked like after the restoration and if the brilliant colors that I had seen in books, were actually true to life. Both the crush of the crowd and the bright colors lived up to my expectations.
It was such a relief to cross over into the other half of the Vatican Museum, away from the long march towards the Sistine Chapel. The Pinacoteca houses a collection of massive paintings depicting every possible saint in their familiar reposes. One stop place for all things Saint Sebastian, Francis etc. While I enjoyed the empty halls in this part of the museum, the sheer size and magnitude of most of the paintings pushed me through the galleries, back towards the exit.
As I was making my way towards the exit, I noticed (almost by accident) a small room that looked like the entrance to a staircase. There were fragments of statues and marble plaques on the walls. As I glossed over these relics, I noticed a small door that led into a dimly lit room.
What I discovered in this room, I will carry with me for the rest of my life.