Press: Gold Applications
Gold Applications: Gold Painting
This page gives some background for a compositional system I researched and developed in the late 1980's. The Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) funded a research project refining the system in 1986, culminating with a paper on gold applications presented at the Cranbrook SNAG conference in 1987.
The focus was to look at and analyze all the ways that compositions, pictures, could be produced by applying gold (and other metals and alloys) onto metal surfaces. The techniques were viewed on a spectrum of temperature, from cold techniques like gilding with leaf, cloth area inlay, chiseled inlay, depletion gilding, on through higher temperature approaches like Keum-Boo (New Paper), Doublée. Higher yet in temperature were a series of techniques analyzed in detail, to provide organization and ways to create images: fusion overlay, resist use, incised fusion overlay, fusion inlay as a system offer an extensive palette to design with. Raised areas are possible using the gold as a resist to etching. Other areas researched included fire-gilding (not an acceptable approach any more-22k PMC or Artclay offer new opportunites to emulate it).
A number of years later I was asked to present to the Enameling Society Conference in Cinncinati (1997), resulting in an article published in Glass on Metal in 1998, and the papers Gold Surface Applications Under Enamels and Gold Fusion Inlay for Enameling.
Gold Application Examples. Works by Charles Lewton-Brain
Doublée / Fusion Overlay / Mixed Techniques / Incised Fusion Inlay / Keum-Boo / Fire-Gilding (22k metal clay)
Click on the images below to see an enlarged picture.
Doublée (fused 24k gold on silver) This is a kind of two part mokume, engraving through the 24k gold layer to expose the silver underneath, using liver of sulfur to 'develop' the revealed silver.
Pin, Doublée, 24k gold fused onto sterling. Top
Gold fusion overlay
Copper, 14k gold, incised overlay, enamel Top
Pin, 14k gold, 24k gold, silver, copper, fumed patina Top
Incised fusion Inlay Top
Indentations are made into the host metal.
Pin, copper, 14k gold inlay. Top
Keum-boo is a Korean technique that uses hot burnishing to apply 24k gold to silver (and other metals).
To the left is a sterling tie with keum-boo by Gloria Prival of New York City.
Pin, sterling 24k gold Top
Pin, sterling 24k gold Top
Instead, 22k PMC or Artclay offer new ways to apply the gold.
Books and Papers on Gold Applications Top
Gold Applications (Classic Paper)
This paper documents the results of a research project for the Society of North American Goldsmiths. It describes fusion applications (gold painting), doublée, Keum-boo, depletion gilding (tumbaga, guanin), inlay and overlay procedures and it discusses fire gilding. Control factors for free compositional choice are defined and demonstrated. That is, the information is treated a s a way of creating patterns and pictures with gold and other materials. 27 pages. ©1986/90/08, B/W diagrams, color cover. Print book is $19.95. Ebook is $16.00.
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Keum-Boo: Hot Burnished Gold Foil by Charles Lewton-BrainThis book teaches how to easily hot burnish gold foil permanently onto silver objects, and raw sheet for soldering and building patterned jewelry with. It is a very rapid, easy method of adding the buttery richness of 24k gold to your silver and gold objects. This incredibly simple designing technique was re-introduced to the West from Korea in the 1980’s. It lets you make pictures and patterns using pure 24k gold foil placed onto other metals as well, including steel, platinum, palladium, 14K, 18K and other gold alloys, aluminum and even copper. Step-by-step photos show how to make your own gold foil, hot burnish onto silver, platinum. Also discussed are how to calibrate a hot plate and use liver of sulfur. The white electrum alloy for keum-boo is described. Print is $24.95. Ebook is $20.00
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Gold Surface Applications Under Enamels by Charles Lewton-Brain
This paper describes methods of creating surface designs using gold alloys on copper to provide patterned surfaces for use under transparent enamels. Includes gold fusion surface applications, fusion overlay, incised overlay and inlay techniques as well as the use of resists for gold application, doublÈe (fusion laminates) and keum-boo. Together these form a system for surface design that offers a broad palette of marks and control sufficient to allow great surface detail and accurate translation from drawing to finished work as well as painterly approaches. A version of this paper was published in the magazine Glass on Metal in the spring of 1998. 18 pages, B/W diagrams. Book is $18.00. Ebook is $15.50.Revised 2007
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Gold Fusion Inlay for Enameling by Charles Lewton-Brain
This paper details how to inlay gold and other metals into copper to create patterned sheet to construct with and enamel over with transparent enamels. While this is described in the previous papers it goes into greater depth and follows an example all the way through making it. The step-by-step example shown uses a spiral iron binding wire to indent a thick copper slab. Gold is fused into the indentation and the excess removed. When rolled out this produces beautiful gold inlay to enamel over. The paper also details how to do paper die printing, a lovely addition to any metal surface. This technique was publicised by Lewton-Brain in chapters in the magazine Glass on Metal, and in Karen Cohen's book on enameling "The Art of Fine Enameling". This paper addresses one section of the 'Gold Applications under Enamels' paper in detail and depth. 14 pages, BW diagrams, color pictures. Ebook is $12.00.
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Depletion Gilding by Charles Lewton-Brain
A historical and technical introduction to gold surface enrichment. This academic paper describes the approaches that goldsmiths have used historically in various cultures to remove base metals from gold alloys for refining or "coloring the gold": depletion gilding. There is an extensive listing of recipes from numerous historical and contemporary sources to foster contrast and comparison and deepen readers understanding of the subject. It is intended for information only and is not a "how to" for depletion gilding. Many of the procedures described are hazardous and not to be done without a chemical fume hood and similar stringent precautions. 20 pages. $15.50.
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