‘Quality means doing it right when no one is looking’
As one of the few remaining workshops, still employing traditional gilding techniques, each piece has to undergo a painstaking preparatory process to build up an ultra smooth surface known as the ‘substrate’ before any leaf can be laid. As the above quote implies and experience has taught me it’s essential you get this substrate right as it dictates the quality of the final finish.
The first stage of building up the substrate is to make a batch of rabbit skin glue. A small amount of the batch is used as a wash which is applied to the wood that makes up the artefact. The remainder of the rabbit skin glue is used to make the gesso and the ‘boll’ that is used to seal the gesso.