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Reverse glass people... tell me what I did wrong!

Discussion in 'Hand Made Signs' started by SellersSign&Design, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. SellersSign&Design

    SellersSign&Design Active Member

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    I decided to try reverse glass gilding. I got a nice picture frame from Hobby Lobby to use for my first attempt. I cleaned the glass with paint prep and then Gilder's Soap from Letterhead Sign Supply. The outlines were painted using a paint mask and One Shot. I let the outlines fully dry for a couple days. I made up a quart of size using 8 gelatin diamonds, and a couple drops of dish detergent. It was heated slightly until everything was dissolved, then I added the rest of the cold water to make up the quart. The biggest problems I ran into were the size "crawling" on the glass, and the gold bunching up and not laying flat. I used a lot more gold than I should have had to use, and the results aren't too impressive. I guess I am going to let this dry, do a second gild, and then see what it looks like. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    photo (11).jpg image (3).jpg image (4).jpg
     
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  2. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    This is cool and gives me a really great idea. I've applied gold leaf and sizing to quite a few projects. To me it's not that hard. Not that I know anything about old fashioned guilding techniques, but I'm going to try a modern technique.
     
  3. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

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    Reverse gilding with water size can be tricky there is a lot that can go wrong.

    You need to use loose leaf and pick up the leaf with a gilders tip and transfer it to the glass carefully.

    You can avoid the wrinkles by making sure the glass is well flooded so when the gold sucks itself to the size you can use your finger to carefully pull the leaf flat.

    This takes a lot of practice.

    Never heard of putting soap in the size
     
  4. SellersSign&Design

    SellersSign&Design Active Member

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    I was using loose leaf and a tip. I didn't try to stretch it with my finger, but I did try to blow on it to flatten it. That caused some issues haha. According to the Gold Leaf Techniques book, a couple drops of detergent is supposed to reduce the "crawling" of the size.
     
  5. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    Look I made a guilded sign in about 30 minutes. Doesn't seem like it should be so hard to do anymore. I used spray adhesive. Then backed the gold leaf with yellow vinyl to protect it.
     

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  6. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    :Big Laugh
     
  7. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    Here's briefly the steps that I did it in...

    First I cut the vinyl in reverse, mounted it, leaving only the area I wanted the gold leaf. Then I sprayed that area with some 3M mounting adhesive.
    IMAG0201.jpg

    I obviously used too much, and I could have even masked off the other letters a little better too. Oh well, next time.
    IMAG0202.jpg

    The cut the backer vinyl .01" smaller than the black outline. Because I heard somebody say to use yellow or red base paint to help make your gold pop. I figured this couldn't hurt. Plus it protects the gold leaf from scratching.
    IMAG0203.jpg

    A little clean up, then done!
     
  8. round man

    round man Active Member

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    as for the size crawling on the glass,it tells me the glass isn't clean enough,...you'll need to clean the glass at least twice with bon ami or Ron and Kristie's gilders soap(same thing),...I usually wet a very clean rag or some surgical cotton and scrub up a wet paste from the bon ami cake then spread it on the glass till it covers the whole area with a haze of gilders soap and water, then scrub till it dries enough to clean it off,...skip adding anything to your size save gelatin diamonds and distilled water as the tapwater in western NC has way to many minerals in it that will cause a cloudy gild,....if the size crawls when you flood it onto the glass your glass isn't clean enough so stop before you waste any gold and reclean it,... three times if needed,.....as for actually laying down the gold do not touch it,....I don't go by the old timers who say charge the gilders tip with static from your hair,...I was taught to take ever so little vaseline(as small amount as your can get on your finger tip) and smear it on my forearm so your can barely know it is there(wipe off any excess) then gently drag he tip across the area to charge it enough to pick up the loose leaf,....the tip should be handled square to the leaf to pick it up out of the book and the gold should be square to the glass when you gild,...this help prevent tearing of the leaf and in all actuality makes the gilding process easier,... was taught if the leaf didn't go down properly or had a bad tear to wash it off by flooding the size mop and letting the size wash it off the window then gild again taking care to not waste leaf but get a nice gild without tears in the leaf and laps that are neatly overlapped the same as you would vinyl (about 1/8")

    edited to add,...most beginners try to pick up a leaf of gold from the book that is twice as big as the tip they are using thus they have no control over the part of the leaf hanging loose from the tip, i was taught to use half leaves cut with a gilders knife and or with my finger nail,...that way the leaf was always the same size as my gilders tip and I had total control of the leaf,...I understand from what I've read there is a new gilders tip that is designed to pick up a whole leaf that would make my way of doing this process obsolete,...check it out,...note how he holds the tip square to the book of gold and square to the glass as he goes thru the gilding process,...also check out the way he charges his tip,...

    the Smith's tip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-eW6sxhli0
     
  9. SellersSign&Design

    SellersSign&Design Active Member

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    [SUP]Biker Scout, that didn't turn out bad at all, it just doesn't have the mirror shine I'm looking for. I realize the way I'm doing it isn't the fastest, but it is the traditional way and the perfect almost mirror-like appearance has always amazed me. Round Man- thank you for taking the time to type all that out, that was some great advice and after reading it I see a few things I did wrong. I guess this is another thing that takes practice, it is just unfortunate that it costs so much to practice![/SUP]
     
  10. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    Thanks, but granted I didn't actually have any REAL 23K gold leaf on hand! I'm sure that makes a difference. I just went to that gold leaf site glassgilding.com, and most of the examples were textured. However, I can see where some of them on the very inside outline did have what appeared to be a mirror quality shine next to the textured side. Very cool indeed. Perhaps there is a way that I can figure out how to do that as well.

    I guess if you are Bob Gamache, doing it by hand still pays very well. But that seems to be a very niche market. Out in the real world, where "time is money" turn over rate is a factor.
     
  11. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

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    David Smith is awesome! I should apply some of these techniques. Looks fun. But I can only emulate... I can't draw from scratch the way some of these actual "Artists" do. But I can move a brush nicely. I just don't really care to, as it doesn't hold my interest.

    [video=youtube;6iOePiEtM_U]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iOePiEtM_U[/video]
     
  12. SellersSign&Design

    SellersSign&Design Active Member

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    You are 100% correct on it being a niche market. When I started my business I planned on specializing in fire department work. Sign Gold and reflective vinyl are the hot commodities in the fire service area, but something about the Sign Gold just didn't make me feel like it was giving the customer the best job possible. So I started doing a lot of research, and began trying to teach myself how to lay down real gold leaf by hand, the way it was traditionally done. At some point during that process, I found some info on reverse glass work and watched a few YouTube videos of David Smith working on his projects (if you haven't seen his videos, look him up!) and decided I needed to learn how to do that too. Honestly, I'm not planning on making a fortune off of these skills. I know people don't want to pay for this type of work anymore, but I feel like the skills need to be passed on and some of us younger guys need to keep it going.

    Speaking of Sign Gold, they make a 22kt two sided mirror gold film that would work great for the process you used above. Just cut it and apply it to the back side of the glass, then put your black vinyl over top to create the outlines.

    Edit: Round Man you beat me to the David Smith reference! I have watched every video I could find about him. His work is what has inspired me to learn how to do all of this.
     
  13. Brush Slinger

    Brush Slinger New Member

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    SSD,

    If your size is crawling your glass is not clean, the size should sheet in a curtain down the glass. Ammonia, Distilled Water and Bon-Ami is all I use no fancy per-made concoctions.

    Beyond that looks like your technique needs some work. From the looks of it your transferring the leaf to the glass with most of the leaf hanging from the tip instead of it being carried by it, giving the bunchy look. Take a soft make-up brush and knock off the loose leaf then taking a wad of cotton and lightly rub the back down in a diagonal motion, you'll take out some of or most of the wrinkles. Keep an eye on the cotton if the face of it has gold flecks, roll it under and present a clean face to the gold else you'll scratch it. Second gild, wipe with cotton when dry, then take some hot hot water and re flood the whole piece a couple times... rub after dried and give it a look. Remember almost everyone's first glass water gilt piece looked just like yours if they want to admit it or not.

    Hang it up and compare it to your future work. :wink:
     
  14. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    +3 +4+5 on the glass cleaning.

    If the size is not sheeting then the glass is still dirty. Also, you may want to find the clean side of the glass. What that means is,, glass is made by flowing it onto a molten zinc bath. The side facing the zinc picks up the metal. The other side is the clean side.

    I have never heard or observed anyone putting soap into the size. I recently attended a guiding how to with david butler and never saw anyone using soap.
     
  15. Brush Slinger

    Brush Slinger New Member

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    Techman
    Then you've never read the book Gold Leaf Techniques. It's used when you have to flow water size over a painted outline like when doing a Boston Gild over oil sized matte centers in one gild in the field. For traditional work no soap is used, you place your pattern, lay the leaf then reposition and register pattern over the gild, pounce and back up. As for the clean side that is more so if your angel gilding gold or chemical silvering.
     
  16. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    yes, ive read the book. I have it here.

    However the context of the post was glass guiding with gel and water.
     
  17. Brush Slinger

    Brush Slinger New Member

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    Exactly, water size that has to flow over an oil painted outline or whatever. Look at the glass piece SSD make. He cut an outline of the lettering, scroll and other design elements then painted it black. Once dried he water gilded over the letters, hence the need for the drops of soap added to the size. The Boston Gild was just an added example of another case when it's used. It's in the book as well.


    :smile:
     
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