One of our fascinations is gilding and illumination. This in simple terms is the use of gold in an artwork or a calligraphy-based design to introduce shine and glitter.
Gold use can be in the form of metal leaf, gold flakes and/or shell gold tablet. In order to gild or apply gold, an adhesive medium is used as the base to hold the gold onto its surface. There are many types of adhesives that can be used like homemade garlic juice, gum ammoniac and gesso paste. While these are the traditional media, the modern versions include ormoline, instacoll and miniatum ink.
Once the adhesive base is laid onto the artwork, it is allowed to dry following which the gold application is done. This application can range from flat gilding to embossed style where the extent of application is manipulated to achieve a different end result. While flat gilding lies flat on the surface with a 2-dimensional appearance, an emboss effect will project the gold above the surface with a 3-dimensional appearance. The use of flat gilding versus the embossed effect can be used for different artistic intents and purposes.
There are many ways to introduce gold into our artwork.
The most well-known examples in India are Tanjore paintings and Mysore paintings of Gods and Goddesses that have been historically featuring gold as part of their artwork. Typically these styles employ gesso paste as the adhesive medium with emboss effect to project the gold onto the 3-dimensional space.
Similarly gilding medium or adhesive can also be used like ink to write with nib on paper. This can then be illuminated with gold leaf to render a shiny and golden script!
Combining calligraphy and art to create a calligraphy-based design can also feature gold as part of their overall display. For instance, we have created the letter Om in Devanagari script and modified it to resemble a ribbon-based lettering style.
The gilding has been incorporated in an embedded format within this ribbon-lettering. In addition to this we have introduced some botanical art using watercolours to complement the gold.
Here is another example of illuminated letters; where the roman letter K is gilded with a backdrop of lord Krishna as an infant.
All materials used to create the finished pieces are of archival quality and can be great gifting ideas to your friends and family. The “Illuminated K” was ordered by a client to gift for a new-born baby whose name begins with the letter K.
While these are just a few of the many possibilities, the opportunities to glitter with gold are endless; so let your imagination fly and reach out to us to customize!