contemporary and Traditional gilded frames

Gilding is the process of applying extremely thin sheets of gold leaf to a surface.  Gold leaf has been used to decorate surfaces for thousands of years but the technique used on these hand- made frames can be traced back to Italian artisans of the 14th century.


The bare wood surface of the frame is first prepared with 5 or 6 layers of gesso, a plaster- like mixture of animal glue and finely ground chalk. The gesso is able to cover the grain and corner joins, and then can be painstakingly sanded to a smooth, marble-like finish. The surface is then given 3 or 4 layers of bole, a clay pigment mixture in a variety of colours. This in turn is carefully prepared with size. Gold leaf comes in small squares which can be cut to size. Each piece is lifted gently using a gilder's tip, made of badger hair, and then laid on to the water covered surface ( steady hand required! ). The leaf, when dry, can first be burnished with a special agate tool, giving it a characteristically brilliant shine. Then it can be distressed using an abrasive, the surface is slightly 'worn back' exposing overlapping lines and showing through the colour of the bole. The result is a unique, hand-crafted finish that lends itself to both contemporary and more traditional art forms. It marks a move away from the products of an industrialised and mechanised world.

This is a finish created by hand, using natural materials, that mirrors the creative act of a work of art which the frame is there to present.


Gold leaf is so thin it would take 300,000 leaves to make a stack 1 inch high. An ounce of solid gold, when beaten, could cover an area the size of a football pitch.Gold is mixed with other metals to produce different colours, white gold is gold and silver together, moon gold is a combination of  palladium, silver and gold.

Black frame

12 carat white gold slip



22 Carat Bright gold frame

     white gesso slip


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​​Tel - 0759 649 5459

​3 Elm Grove, Calne SN11 0FE