Gilding: the Language of Light on Paper, Parchment & Vellum

Subject: Gilding
Dates: 4 February 2019 - 8 February 2019
Time: 10:30 - 17:30
Location: The Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts
Tutor: Christabel Helena Anderson
Full price

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£ 385

This course is now fully booked.

This course is an exploration of the practice and symbolism of the luminous art of manuscript gilding on paper, parchment and vellum. Course participants will study the origin and varieties of gold and other precious metal leafs as well as the preparation and application of numerous traditional gilding sizes. Some more recent innovations in gilding sizes will also be tested and discussed.

We will learn to hand prepare and apply gum ammoniac, manuscript gesso and gold leaf paint (known as ‘shell gold’). Techniques of handling gold leaf will be covered, and the use of gilding tools such as the gilder’s cushion, tip and knife. Papers and other substrates suitable for illuminators will be studied and tested, and we will learn about vellum and parchment and their special uses and characteristics. Burnishing techniques and decorative effects such as inscribing and stamping will also be explored. In addition, we will cover the application of gilding sizes with a dip pen or quill.

Throughout the course, we will study many examples of manuscript illumination through the ages and discuss the designs and techniques used by the master illuminators from ancient to more recent times.

Participants will complete the course with several small scale gilded artworks demonstrating and recording their progress in this glorious art form.

What should I bring?

Participants should bring their own brushes to use during the week, including sable brushes in sizes:

  • 0

  • 00

  • 000

Click to see an example of the brushes needed.

All other materials will be provided.

Who is this course for?

The course is suitable for those beginning the practice of manuscript gilding as well as more experienced artists and illuminators wishing to expand and deepen their existing knowledge and techniques.

What days do I attend?

Monday - Friday

Do you offer concessions?

Yes, we offer concessions for full time students and OAPs.

To receive a concession, please apply via our online form.

If you wish to change or cancel your booking, please refer to our refund and transfer policy.

What if I need to cancel or change my booking?

You can view our policy here.

Tutor biography

Christabel Helena Anderson

Christabel specialises in the creation of holy icons in egg tempera on wood panels, illuminated and jewelled miniature paintings in hand made watercolour on vellum, and cloisonné, champlevé and painted vitreous enamels, created within the tradition of the Orthodox Church. Her work is also inspired by the art, architecture and illuminated manuscripts of Britain and Ireland from the late antique and early medieval periods. She is a specialist in gilding techniques, traditional paint preparation and pigments, early quill written letterforms and hand made inks. She is a Queen Elizabeth Scholar, GIA Accredited Jewellery Professional, and in 2010 Christabel graduated with distinction from the School’s MA programme, where she is currently undertaking a doctoral research project sponsored by the A. G. Leventis Foundation. She also occasionally writes, lectures and teaches both in the UK and internationally.