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Raw Materials for Gilding

Various raw materials for use when gilding, including chalks, sizes and resins.

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  1. Whiting


    Starting at: £4.00

    Whiting is powdered Calcium Carbonate, which can be mixed with rabbit skin glue to create a chalk-based ground for oil, tempera, distemper or encaustic painting. Traditionally, whiting was an important ingredient when preparing painting surfaces in the north of Europe, as opposed to gypsum (Calcium Sulphate), which was widely used south of the Alps. Learn More
  2. Practical Gilding

    Practical Gilding


    By Peter & Ann Mactaggart. This book is an attempt to set down detailed descriptions and explanations of the traditional, professional methods of both oil and water gilding in a way that can be followed by another craftsman. It does not discuss some of the methods that have been suggested recently for amateur use. (74 pages) Learn More
  3. Gesso di Bologna

    Gesso di Bologna

    Starting at: £12.00

    Gesso di Bologna is a bright white Calcium Sulphate, or gypsum, from Italy, which can be used as a substitute for whiting in the preparation of gesso. It is ground to a particularly fine powder, which makes it a suitable ground for gilding, as the small size of the particles allows for greater compression when burnishing. Learn More
  4. Rabbit Skin Glue

    Rabbit Skin Glue

    Starting at: £13.00

    For sizing canvas prior to priming with an oil based primer. Do not use under acrylic primer. Soak overnight in water. Heat in double boiler (do not boil). Ratio water:size 13:1. Use while still warm. Rabbit Skin Glue do not contain any preservatives. 340 - 360 Bloom Learn More

  5. Gelatine Leaf

    Gelatine Leaf

    Starting at: £5.30

    A pure form of glue from animal tissue. Used for sizing paper. Used in gliding and for weak sizes in isolating layers in tempera painting. Learn More
  6. Gelatine Capsules

    Gelatine Capsules

    Starting at: £5.80

    Gelatine Capsules Learn More
  7. Clear Dewaxed Shellac

    Clear Dewaxed Shellac

    Starting at: £9.20

    Shellac is a natural resin that is deposited by the female lac insect on the branches of trees in India and Thailand. It is soluble with alcohol, but not with mineral spirits or turpentine. It forms a tough yet flexible film, with many applications. It is suitable as a top coat for gilding when applied thinly, a sealant for porous surfaces, an isolating layer for tempera paintings, a base for pigmented inks, a protective layer for collograph plates, and a warm varnish for wooden floors and furniture. As it is prone to darkening with age, it is not recommended as a varnish for oils, and its solubility can reduce over time. There are various grades of shellac. When mixed with alcohol, it may initially form a cloudy mixture, due to traces of wax in the shellac, but this should become clear once it has dried. The highest grades of shellac are Clear Dewaxed Shellac, which has been de-coloured using the carbon filtering method, Lemon Shellac, and Orange Shellac, which are pale in colour. Button Shellac is less refined and therefore produces a reddish varnish. It was, in fact, widely used as a red dye before synthetic dyes became available. Learn More

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