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[BKARTS] gilding edges

Don Drake wrote:

< What's up with that giliding on Minsky's book? Is this the degree
> of even coverage that I can expect in hand gilding?

Good question, Don. Getting even coverage is easy. I look at each edge as
an abstract painting, sort of in the Clyfford Still style. If you don't
know Still's work, Google it. It's somewhat like gilding a picture frame.
What I did on these books to create the "new old look" was sand the edges
with 150 grit, put down a thin layer of flour paste, then a layer of
Armenian bole, then another layer of flour paste, and then lay down the
leaf while the paste was still somewhat tacky. You can burnish the bole to
get a shiny finish, or leave it matte. I rub off some of the gold to reveal
more of the bole. If you want the edge solid gold you can put the gold down
a little sooner.  I waited on these until some spots of paste were dry so
the gold wouldn't stick there. If you want a solid gilt edge and have
spots, simply add a little paste on the spots and stick some more gold on.
If you want a beautiful deep gold edge, use two layers of gold. That will
hide any "defects" and give a very rich edge.

The "block of gold" look of commercial gilding doesn't really work on a
book like this. The client particularly wanted to avoid that. You can
always use a hot rubber brayer and gold foil if you want to get the
commercial look. Sand the edge five times with finer grits through 600.
That's what a commercial gilding machine does. You might want to visit a
production bindery that has one and watch it operate.

Another way to avoid the "gold wall" look is to gild the edges before
sewing the book. That also makes a beautiful "rough gilt" effect.  If you
want to have your book look machine gilt, send it out to a commercial

There are many ways to gild an edge.  You can scrape the edge after
sanding, using a flat blade that you have sharpened on one side and NOT
taken the burr off the other side. Use the burr to scrape the edge by
pulling it toward you.  That gives a smoother edge than sandpaper. Then
color the edge if you want with a thin watercolor, or skip that step and
directly coat the edge with a thin layer of gelatine. Let the gelatine set,
and then breathe on the edge gently just before laying down the gold leaf.
The moisture from your breath will make the gelatine tacky, and you will
get a very bright gilt edge that way.



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