Friday, June 26, 2009

Gold Leaf Boat Name

Today I had a fun little job out at the marina. An old Century runabout needed a gold leaf name, and since I'm the only one at our shop who even owns lettering brushes, it was my job. When I arrived the transom was all prepared: several coats of varnish, perfectly sanded for the final coat.
First I pounced my pattern. That means I took a little duster box full of powder and rubbed it over my perforated pattern. The chalk goes through the little holes and leaves a faint line for me to follow with my brush.

Then I painted on the Gold Size. Gold Size is basically a varnish that doesn't skin over as it dries. Then it was lunch time so I ran home for a sandwich and came back just in time to lay the gold. The size has to tack up a bit before the gold is applied. Below is the waiting size.


After lunch I pressed the gold into the tacky size being careful not to press the paper or my fingers into the size. For a job like this we use patent gold; gold that has a carrier sheet. For a gold leaf job on a window or door we use glass gold which has no carrier sheet. Talk about magic! Everyone is always amazed when they see that done, but we haven't done a gold leaf window in ages, so I guess the magic is gone.

As the gold is applied, it leaves ragged edges and overlaps, but that will go away when I burnish it.

Burnishing is nothing more than rubbing over the gold in one direction to get rid of the overlaps and ragged edges. If the customer had wanted engine turning, I would have made a little wad of cotton and twirled it around in circles over and over to create a pattern of swirls.

So with the gold all prepared, I put the pattern back on, pounce it again. See the guidelines?

Now I paint on the shadow and outline....

And Voila! it's done.
On Monday the painter will apply the final coat of varnish and the name will be protected forever. Or until they find some more rot and it needs a new plank. Ah, the joys of owning a wooden boat.


Dawn said...

What an intersting post. I love watching an artist at work. It looks beautiful. I had no idea gold leaf could be used on a boat.
Thanks for sharing,

ske3my said...

thanks for sharing that .. i really enjoyed learning about the process and actually getting to see it ... karen ca

Spot said...

you are very clever

Neabear said...

Wow! You do a great job on that!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Great work! I AM impressed! You seem to really enjoy your work.

Bellamere Cottage said...

Oh my gosh! That is just fabulous! I love the old fashioned way of doing did a wonderful job! I took a class years ago for sign painting...and never finished. Oh, how I wish I had!