Gilding ash coils

This week I’ve been working for Charlie Whinney on a bespoke version of his Curly Lightshade design. The key feature of these is coils of steam-bent ash which cover the light in curls.  For this special, bigger model 50 coils have been prepared and, to add a touch of luxury, I gilded one edge of each coil.

As a greenwood worker from working-class stock, I wasn’t too familiar with working with gold leaf but some advice from John Meadows of Habberley Meadows made it seem easy enough to have a go. Each coil was wound up flat to make the job easier and the edge covered in ‘size’- a PVA gilder’s glue. The gold leaf, which is attached to a sheet of tissue paper, is then simply rubbed onto the surface like a posh transfer. We’re cautious not to spoil the natural beauty of the wood with too much gold so hopefully a 2mm line will be enough to catch the light without being too ‘bling’.

The next part is to build a spherical open frame to curl the coils over and put the whole thing together, watch this space.


About Steve Tomlin

I am a greenwood worker and scythe tutor. I carve spoons, bowls and other products from locally sourced greenwood. During the summer I teach scything around the UK.
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