For thousands of years, cultures have used gold to adorn their most prized possessions, from the tombs of the pharaohs to illuminated manuscripts to frames and paintings. Gilding continues to appeal to today’s artists and craftspeople because of its rich and luminous quality. Gold leaf can be used on almost any surface, including paper, plastic, wood, metal, and glass.
In this workshop, students learn to handle and apply gold leaf to enhance their artwork. The steps to gilding—including getting leaf from the book to your cushion, cutting leaf, and laying it flat—are demonstrated and then practiced. Surface preparation is discussed.
Download the supply list for this class
Instructor Michael Gilbert is a professional artist who specializes in gold leaf restorations and handmade gilded picture frames.
2 sessions, 5 hours each
From the ceiling gilded with Dutch metal and imitation gold leaf embellished with painted peacock feathers to the gilded leather panels, Whistler's Peacock Room dazzles visitors at the Freer Gallery of Art.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Drive, S.W.
Metro: Smithsonian (Blue/Orange Lines)