Join us in exploring the practice of the ancient art of gilding ~ the technique of applying thin leaves of pounded metal to a prepared surface. Umbria and Tuscany will afford us inspirational examples of the finest in gilding arts, which you will view in person on our museum excursions. You will become well versed in identifying these time-honored techniques while also taking advantage back in our studio, of newer materials, and exciting contemporary applications. This workshop is of interest to painters, book artists, woodworkers, surface designers and those interested in mixed-media applications.

In the first week, students will create a series of sample boards using a variety of techniques on prepared hardboard, paper and wood. Beginning with the importance of ground preparation, students will discover the fundamentals of water-based mordant gilding with Dutch metal, aluminum, copper leaf as well as 23-karat gold leaf.

Traditional Renaissance surface embellishment processes shall be explored ~ sgrafitto “to scratch through”; granito, a technique for creating background texture and patterns; and pastiglia, a form of low relief which creates a raised surface. We will also cover antiquing and distressing – as well as non- traditional surface applications with gouache paint.

A selection of templates featuring ornamental designs as well as ornamental initials will be available for easy transfer to a variety of ground surfaces ~ no drawing skills needed. However, please feel free to bring your design ideas and other inspirational materials for your individual projects during the second week.

The 2-week workshop will be rounded out with trips to Florence and Deruta.

Participants will be housed in the remarkably well-preserved Umbrian hill town of Monte Castello di Vibio. Your workshop package is all-inclusive, providing welcome and departure services and airport transfer from the Rome Fiumicino, Leonardo Da Vinci Airport (FCO). Aboard our comfortable private bus, single occupancy accommodations with shared bath (a wide range of upgrades with private bath are available), 3 meals per day Monday-Thursday, Prosecco brunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday (no meals are served on Friday, our excursion day. Your workshop includes one excursion per week and many additional options are available on weekends for an additional fee. Of course, 24/7 access to facilities and 24/7 bi-lingual support are provided.

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    Photography Credit: Sarah Slade
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