Slate clock detail gilding help

Discussion in 'Clock Case Restoration and Repair' started by bazas, Jul 6, 2019.

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  1. bazas

    bazas Registered User

    Dec 3, 2015
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    Hi

    I have a beautiful french slate clock that I would like to gold leaf the detail. I have found a lot of tutorials on gilding but nothing on slate clocks.

    The clock has been blackened.

    So do I need a primer on the detail before gilding.

    Thanks Baz

    1C3B9BBE-57CB-4340-862B-E5681FD0EAD8.jpeg
     
  2. wcampbell

    wcampbell Registered User

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    If you really want to use gold leaf you will want to make sure that the scroll work is clean and free of contaminants.nice clean lines. Sizing is used as the medium to adhere the gold leaf. It is kind of tricky to use. it has to dry to a point but not to much. Too dry and the gold leaf won't stick to tacky and it can get messy. for scroll work it can be challenging. I just finished a Seth Thomas Adamantine had a lot of scroll work on it that i posted. I had my reasons why I didn't use gold leaf and chose to use a metallics acrylic gold paint. I Used a very fine brush to apply the metallic Acrylic paint into the scroll work. After maybe 7 to 10 mins. I dampened a blue shop towel and began to rub the scroll work the paint stayed in the scroll work and It cleaned up extremely well and left very clean lines. I have to say I was very happy with the outcome.
     
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  3. bazas

    bazas Registered User

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    Thanks, I finished a clock recently as well it was an Ansonia El Pino clock and I did all the detailing in antique gold acrylic on that one. I was pleased with the result however I wanted to try to add 24K gold to the detailing instead this time.

    Do you know if I would need to use a primer on the lines first before adding the size. Its the first time I have used gold leaf.

    I have added a picture of my Ansonia El Pino I completed recently.


    IMG_5169.JPG
     
  4. wcampbell

    wcampbell Registered User

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    As long as the Scroll impressions are cleaned out you should not have to use a primer. In traditional methods of gilding an object the yellow primer that you get with gilding kits is used to level out surfaces and give you a better surface to apply the size and gold leaf over large areas. In this case you are applying the size and gold leaf in such a small area that by adding a primer, depending on the primer's viscosity could inadvertently fill the scroll impressions causing you to loose some of the fine scroll detail. However there are gold leafing pens that time savers sell that you could try. I bought one but never tried it. instead I opted to use the paint. it is an 18kt. gold leafing pen

    pen.jpg
     
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  5. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    I've used both the pen and the guilding methods described above. wccampbell is right on. Do not use a primer. Apply the gilding sizing using a small artist brush. Keeping as much of the sizing in the grove as possible. It will spill over the sides but will be easier to clean up afterwards. Let the sizing dry about 20 minutes (read the directions for the application drying time on the sizing container). Do not try to rub the gold leaf on. "Press" in place using a fine but stiff brush. In the areas that it does not take reapply the sizing and do again. Let dry at least 24 hours or longer. The sizing does not dry as fast on stone than on other types of applications. I've has success using #0000 steel wool on stone for clean up. Gently buff over the groves until the areas around the groves come up clean. Do not press too hard or you will pull up the guilding in the groves. Using a gold pen is the same procedure. I've found that the pen needs to be held near upright to get a good flow of the paint. Drag the tip to apply never push. I've had the best success with the fast drying oil based paint pens. These can be found at a local artist supply store or on line. The two most critical points to remember is a "clean grove" and "drying time". The guilding nor the paint will adhere to dirty groves very well, and if not completly dry, will either pull up or collect a lot of crud trying to clean it up.
     
  6. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Gold leaf can also be applied with a brush. I cut the brush part off about 1/2" from the bottom, and use the brush to tamp the leaf into place. That way you can get it into the small crevices and get a very nice end result.
     
  7. bazas

    bazas Registered User

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    Thank you. The size I have has only one instruction which is wait till it goes tacky, Not too helpful on fine detail lol. I have been practising on an old box with branded detail and I seem to be getting the hang of it.

    I have used slate blackening on the case, I read somewhere that I would have to scrape out the blackening from the detail but I am unsure on this. Have you ever done this or just gild over the blackening.

    Thanks, I build detailed models as well so I have plenty of small brushes about thankfully.

    Thanks everyone, all your help is invaluable.
     
  8. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    I would clean out the blackening. I don't know how well the guilding or the gold paint will take to it. You may try experimenting with it to see how applying the two over the blackening will work. Sounds like you have a good handle on getting this done. When finished ake a photo and post the results.
     
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  9. bazas

    bazas Registered User

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    Ok I have almost gilding finished a small area of detail but I am unsure on how it looks. I was hoping for some opinions.

    Thanks

    IMG_0549.JPG IMG_0550.JPG
     
  10. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    I assume this is guilding not gold paint. If that is the case it looks like some areas took better than others. Apply a second layer to what you have.
     
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  11. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    The edge detail looks good, but the center looks bumpy. Was the area within the incising cleaned well? If gilded, what did you use to press it in place?

    Tom
     
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  12. bazas

    bazas Registered User

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    Yes its gilding. I have been using a flat stiff brush that was supplied with the kit to push the gold in to the incising. I used a dental pick to clean the incising however the instructions with the gilding kit are sketchy at best. I have cleaned some out that I wasn't happy with and started again this morning. Hopefully it will look a bit better.
     
  13. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Good luck. I hope it goes better. Keep us posted and let us know what you did differently.

    Tom
     
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  14. bazas

    bazas Registered User

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    This time I tried to use a hypodermic needle to put the size in to the incising, this seemed to work a bit better however trying to get size into the fine points on the detail is a nightmare, I have tried different methods using a needle, a hypodermic needle, a cocktail stick and the point of a dentist pick. i just cant seen to get the size to stay within the boundaries of the detail. I also left the leaf on the detail for a few hours before brushing away the excess and this helped a little as well.

    Here is yesterdays attempt, It looks great from a distance but as I get closer I can see the imperfections. I think I will give it one more attempt though.

    IMG_0570.JPG IMG_0571.JPG


    I have been considering just using an gold acrylic paint as I did with the Ansonia 'El Pino' Clock, Although I may use a Gold colour this time instead of Antique Gold. Here's a pic of the detail on the El Pino



    IMG_0569.JPG
     
  15. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    You may get better results using gold paint.
     
  16. bazas

    bazas Registered User

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    This is starting to be my thinking as well. I really wanted the 24k gold in there though so I have had another thought of crushing a Gold leaf to a powder and adding it to the Gold paint. I know it’s not the same as gilding but it would add the 24K Gold to the case. I am going to test this idea on some scrap first to see if would work out ok.
     
  17. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    #17 shutterbug, Jul 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
    At any rate, it stands out much better than the areas without it. You have to get pretty close to see any problem.
     
  18. bazas

    bazas Registered User

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    Well I gave up on the gold leaf and I couldn’t grind the leaf to a fine enough powder to mix with the paint.

    So I have opted for Gold paint and the lines are much cleaner.

    4CD30698-C74A-45D2-A138-3BCE411B75EE.jpeg
     
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  19. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    Yes, that looks really good. Neat job.
     
  20. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Yes, very nice! Well done.
     
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  21. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    It's too bad that you couldn't get good results with gilding. It would have made a nice case study for the rest of us if you figured it out.

    But, I'm glad you were able to achieve good results. Your results look great. Nice job.

    Tom
     
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  22. bazas

    bazas Registered User

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    Well I have just finished the painting of the detail and with more practice I may be able to do the gilding.

    I did find some information on Shell gold which I may look in to for the next clock.

    Thank you everyone for your help. I will post the final picture on here at the end of the week of the finished clock.

    IMG_0583 (Edited).JPG
     
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  23. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    That looks really good. I don't think any one will be able to improve on it.
     
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  24. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    What does the plaque say?
     
  25. bazas

    bazas Registered User

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    The plaque says " Presented to Ex. P.C.. H.Hall.P.Div By The Officers and Men of the Lewisham Sub Division As A Token of Their Respect and Esteem On His Retirement after 25 Years Service on 14th Sept 1902"

    IMG_0643.JPG

    The Clock is now 99% complete, I just need a minute hand.

    IMG_0644.JPG IMG_0601.JPG IMG_0595.JPG

    As the case didn't have a movement I sourced an A.D Mougin Movement with dial, back, pendulum and gong. So all the numbers match.
     
  26. Paul Arsenault

    Paul Arsenault Registered User
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    Just looking through some of the older posts and thought I'll share a picture of my slate clock. The gold was just about completely gone from this clock. I sanded the case with 12,000 grit wet paper then brushed gold paint into all the detailed grooves. After the paint was dried I repeated the sanding proves and applied a few coats of linseed oil. I'm happy with the results.

    DSCF5689.JPG
     
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  27. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

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    This is a little late, but this is a very very old recipe to make gold paint out of gold leaf.
    Take gold leaf and mix it in a tablespoon or so of honey until the leaf is fully pulverised,
    add hot water, stir, let it settle, pour off the water, and do that a couple times to wash the gold, then a final rinse in alcohol.
    And then they say to add it to shellac, but really you could use any clear base.
    Dan
     
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  28. bazas

    bazas Registered User

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    That is an amazing clock. I just love the slate clocks they clean up with great results.

    I believe this is Shell Gold. Instead of honey you can use Gum Arabica. I found a couple of videos on You Tube on how to do this.
     
  29. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    bazas, Paul, really good job on those clocks.
     
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  30. Paul Arsenault

    Paul Arsenault Registered User
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    Thanks,, I'm still learning and one of the local members Robert Coswell has been a great help as well as all the members of the NWACC
     

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