Gilding Workshop in Florence

Emiliano guiding me on the best way to hold the agate burnisher. Photo credit: Alison Woolley.

Emiliano guiding me on the best way to hold the agate burnisher. Photo credit: Alison Woolley.

I just had the pleasure of attending a week-long workshop on water gilding given by the wonderful people at Florenceart Studio. I've been oil gilding since the beginning of my career, but never took on the more arcane world of water gilding. I decided that it was time to learn – and learn well, from those with deep experience and expertise. This class was just what I needed, and I highly commend it to anyone who wants to learn this old-world art form.

Research on Late Medieval Gilding

Detail of "Annunciation with St. Ansanus and St. Maxima", 1333, Simone Martini and Lippo Memmi, Uffizi Gallery Museum, Florence.

Detail of "Annunciation with St. Ansanus and St. Maxima", 1333, Simone Martini and Lippo Memmi, Uffizi Gallery Museum, Florence.

Detail of "The Pentecost" 1365, Andrea di Cione, Galleria dell'Accademia, Fiorence

Detail of "The Pentecost" 1365, Andrea di Cione, Galleria dell'Accademia, Fiorence

Detail of "Madonna of Humility with Saints" 1360, Puccio di Simone, Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence

Detail of "Madonna of Humility with Saints" 1360, Puccio di Simone, Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence

In my ongoing fascination with 14th and 15th century panel paintings, I was very fortunate to spend some time experiencing these pieces in person while in Florence. The sheer numbers of these works on display, all in different conditions and states of restoration, gave me much insight about their technical and symbolic aspects.

My focus of study is not on the tempera painting per se, but the gilded parts of these works, and the associated punch and incision work done upon the gold, especially in the rendition of the halos of saints. 

Gravitational Waves Experimentally Confirmed

Image Credit: LIGO

Image Credit: LIGO

Link to LIGO announcement

This is huge and historic – took me a day for it to really sink in. Another point for Einstein, almost exactly 100 years later...

Also deep respect to the LIGO team who built this amazing experiment.

Our observation of gravitational waves accomplishes an ambitious goal set out over 5 decades ago to directly detect this elusive phenomenon and better understand the universe, and, fittingly, fulfills Einstein’s legacy on the 100th anniversary of his general theory of relativity.
— David H. Reitze, LIGO Laboratory, Caltech