For use with Traditional Water Gildng and Icon fabrication.
True Gesso is 'Whiting' powder mixed with animal hide glue and water. We offer 'Hide Glue' and 'Rabbit Skin Glue' that offer different usage options, depending on your projects requirements. Let start with the basics...
Hide Glue is produced from various animal skins and is light in color, has a high cohesion and has no odor. It is highly refined, consistent, processed and formed into small cubes. Hide glue has a bloom strength of 240 and is highly recommended for making gilder’s gesso.
Rabbit skin glue is produced mainly from shaved skin parts of rabbits, has extremely high cohesion properties, and has distinctive color and odor. Similar to Hide Glue, it is highly refined, consistent, processed and formed into small cubes. Rabbit Skin Glue has a Bloom strength of 400 making it much stronger than Hide Glue and is recommended for mixing with gilder’s clay to make gilder’s Bole.
Glues recommended fir water gilding can be compared by evaluating their gel strength as defined by the Bloom Gelometer, which is a measurement of the rigidity of the glue. The Bloom unit is a measure of the force required to create a 4mm depression on the surface of a sample prepared using a specific formula (see below). High Bloom indicates more rigid and stronger glue. Lower Bloom units indicate glue more flexible and weaker.
Place 2 ¾ oz. of Hide Glue in to a pot or enamel container with a quart of cold water. After the glue has soaked overnight it will have swollen to about three times its dry volume. Insure that the pot is not too shallow so that all the glue can be exposed to water and prevent clumping of pieces adhering to each other. If this happens separate these pieces away from the rest of the swollen glue material.
The pot containing the glue and water is then heated until the glue is fully dissolved. Never allow the glue to boil, as the color darkens and the strength is immediately altered. To insure temperature control a double boiler should be used, with occasional stirring if necessary.
The traditional method of testing the glue strength is to allow the glue to cool to room temperature. At this point it should assume a firm but not tough jelly. Downward pressure is applied to the jelly with the thumb and forefinger, at the same time separating the jelly creating a crack or fissure. The side walls of the crack should be rough or granular, if it is smooth than the glue mixture is too strong. You can thin the glue by re-heating in a double boiler and adding one to two oz. of water as necessary. If the glue is too thin, than re-heat and add more pre-soaked rabbit skin glue. Note, this is a generalized method of determining the glue strength and individual requirements may vary.
|Gold Leaf Pack||3 3/8" x 3 3/8"||500 leaves||39.5 sqft.|
|Gold Leaf Book||3 3/8" x 3 3/8"||25 leaves||1.98 sqft.|
|Metal Leaf Pack||5 1/2" x 5 1/2"||500 leaves||100 sqft.|
|Metal Leaf Book||5 1/2" x 5 1/2"||25 leaves||5 sqft|
|Gold Leaf Master Roll||4 1/8" x 69 ft.||Master Roll||23.5 sqft.|
|Silver Leaf Master Roll||5 3/4" x 82 ft.||Master Roll||39 sqft.|
|Metal Leaf Roll 5 meter||6 1/4" sq. x 15 ft.||Master Roll||3 sqft.|
|Metal Leaf Roll 50 meter||6 1/4" x 164 ft||Master Roll||82 sqft.|
|Metal Leaf Roll 75 meter||6 1/4" x 246 ft.||Master Roll||123 sqft.|
Measurements are calculated without consideration for waste or overlap.