I came across a tutorial by American ceramicist, Steve Irvine, a while back on Pinterest (my happy place) on "How to Apply Gold Leaf to Pottery" and I've been dying to give it a go ever since. His work is absolutely beautiful and inspiring, not to mention, on a far grander scale than mine! Anyway, I decided to give gold leafing a go (the light bulb moment). The very first piece I did was this heart and I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was with the way it turned out!!
Applying gold leaf is actually quite a time consuming process. It took four layers of gold leaf to get a perfect coverage. I'm hoping that with practice I'll be able to do it in two or three as I've used top quality 24K gold leaf, but only time will tell. If a piece needs 3 or 4 layers, so be it. You need to leave 24 hours between layers to ensure the gold size used to adhere the gold leaf has dried out thoroughly before starting on the next layer. I also discovered that you can only do a couple (quite literally two) at a time, because you only have a small window of opportunity when it comes to applying the gold leaf while the size is at just the right tackiness. Still, I have to say that I am totally enjoying this whole process. I've started on some house beads too. As you can see I'm going to be getting a lot of practice.
I have also made some house beads in black stoneware clay, and I've got some little fish waiting to go into the kiln, that will be next. This is just the beginning!
Thanks for reading. xx