Charles Douglas Gilding Studio Gilding classes

Gold leaf and gilding classes - In-person and Online ZOOM classes


Professional Gilding Classes by one of the industry's most respected Master Gilders - Charles Douglas.

The GildedPlanet.com is excited to partner with the Charles Douglas Gilding Studio to provide you with the highest quality, hands on training for the gilding arts. These exciting classes and weekend seminars provide you with basic to advanced techniques and principles for a variety of gilding applications. Whether you're an interior designer, architect, professional gilder, artisan or someone simply interested in this ancient craft, you'll find the classes offered by the Charles Douglas Gilding Studio a must-do resource for all your gilding needs.

About our Gilding classes

gold leaf classes

Each class is designed to specifically address different substrates, including objects, furniture and picture frames. Traditional techniques, including historical overview, are paired with contemporary processes. You'll learn proper terminology, dive into materials and various uses depending on your project. You'll also have first hand troubleshooting and problem solving experience directly with Master Gilder Charles Douglas. Each course is paired with a full materials list, a one stop location for all your course supplies. For attendees of each course, GildedPlanet offers a special materials discount. Purchase the whole materials package at a reduced 'kit' pricing, or individual products to expand your current tool kit.

Review our course offering below and embark on a path to creativity incorporating the wondrous world of the Gilding Arts!

Gilding classes are held periodically throughout the year. Please feel free to call or write if you have questions or wish to inquire about the status of a particular workshop, to explore private instruction or to ask about arrangements for conducting a gilding workshop in your area.


JULY 8 - SEPTEMBER 2, 2022

Kintsugi. The Technique of repairing with Urushi and Gold

(On-line) Kintsugi...The Technique of repairing with Urushi and Gold

Kintsugi, the centuries-old technique of repairing ceramics with the use of Urushi Lacquer and gold is a form of gilding that blends an understated elegance with a philosophical belief of finding the perfect in imperfection, of wholeness in, and in a sense honoring, what was once broken, a manifestation of wabi sabi.

Learn more and register!


AUGUST 10 - NOVEMBER 2, 2022

Water Gilded Panels ~ Pastiglia to Sgraffito classes

(On-line) Water Gilded Panels ~ Pastiglia to Sgraffito!

This Special 12 week Workshop is designed for the Fine artist working specifically on Panels in Egg Tempera, Oils, or Acrylics. This extended format of the popular Water Gilded Panels class takes the student on a journey through each step of the ancient traditional water gilding method all the way through the historical techniques of Granito (Punchwork and Incision), Pastiglia (Raised Gesso), and Sgraffito (Traditional Egg Tempera applied over the burnished gold leaf with decorative designs etched through to reveal the underlying gold leaf).

Students learn the laying and gluing of silk, preparing and applying gesso and clay bole, gilding and burnishing genuine 23k gold leaf as well as adding embellishments through the techniques of granito, pastiglia, and sgraffito. We apply the raised gesso to the panel corners, prepare and apply traditional egg tempera, and incorporate punchwork and incision into the exposed gold leaf that lies below the egg tempera highlighting our sgraffito, an ancient method for catching and reflecting the light.

Each lesson addresses a specific step of the process, keeping it challenging while not overwhelming. Students will need a set of gilding tools such as the pad, knife, and tip, various brushes, a book of 23k gold leaf and a raw wood panel to gild. (Assistance in acquiring these is available and upon request as well as an optional gilding kit.)

All classes are Live on Zoom and recorded for viewing by students which remain accessible for an extended period of 12 months (normally 6 months)!

Learn more and register!


AUGUST 11 - SEPTEMBER 29 2022

Gilding for Works of Art, a Study for Fine Artists

(On-Line) Gilding for Works of Art

Students explore the various methods of working with Brass metal leaf, Aluminum leaf, and Gold and Silver leaf on canvas, paper, and panels for both background and embellishment. Learn to lay a genuine 23k gold leaf ground for painting while discovering the use of MSA varnish and GAC200/500 for protection of tarnishable metals and providing isolating coats for painting in oils and acrylics.

Instructor Charles Douglas will patiently take you through the intricacies of working with delicate gold leaf and how to tame it with the proper use of the gilder's tip, pad, and knife. Explore such ancient mordants as gum ammoniac, and glair, and contemporary oil size and acrylic emulsion.

Learn more and register!


AUGUST 13 - OCTOBER 1, 2022

Crackle Gesso Water Gilded Panels

(On-line) Crackle Gesso for Water Gilded Panels

The popular Traditional Water Gilded Panels class now has a separate companion class: Crackle Gesso Water Gilded Panels! Gilded in 23k gold leaf and toned for age in a water based Raw Umber casein this new rendition of the classical gilded panel is sure to secure its place in the water gilded panel series of classes offered by Charles Douglas Gilding Studio.

This Online Zoom 8 week class meets once a week, taking students on a journey through each step of the ancient traditional water gilding method specifically for panels from the laying and gluing of silk and preparing and applying a custom mixed crackle gesso and clay bole to laying and burnishing genuine 23k gold leaf. We end the class with an intriguing introduction to granito, the technique of punchwork and incision for decorative embellishment. The method taught for creating the crackle gesso resembles the appearance of 18th c Florentine panel paintings.

Developed for the Fine Artist as well as the student of Iconography, each lesson addresses a specific step of the process, keeping it challenging while not overwhelming. The crackle gilded panel may be used by the artist as a classical background to their painting in traditional egg tempera, oils, or acrylics.

Students will need a set of gilding tools such as the pad, knife, and tip, various brushes, a book of 23k gold leaf and a raw wood panel to gild. (Assistance in acquiring these is available upon request.)

All classes are Live on Zoom and recorded for viewing by students which remain accessible for six months.

A Materials list is available on this website for download (visit the Materials Tab and download the recipes for clay bole under Traditional Water Gilding and the Crackle Gesso recipe under the Crackle Gesso class.) Or contact the Instructor Charles Douglas for further info at charles.studio@usa.net.

Learn more and register!


AUGUST 16 - SEPTEMBER 6, 2022

how to gold leaf book edges

(On-line) An Introduction to the Art of Book Edge Gilding

The art of applying gold leaf to the paper edges of books

Join us for this very special month long Zoom! Online series on Book Edge Gilding, the art of applying gold leaf to the paper edges of books. Designed for the beginner, students will learn to prepare and seal the paper edge, apply a clay bole ground, prepare an egg white size known as glair, and gild and burnish genuine 23k gold leaf.

Intended as an entry-level introduction to this beautiful method of gilding for book edges this series is well-suited for creating gilt edges for personal use and a perfect starting-point for further study in the book arts.

Learn more and register!


SEPTEMBER 9 - OCTOBER 14, 2022

Water Gilding for Plaster Casts

(On-line) Water Gilding for Plaster Casts

Traditional water gilding is one of the oldest crafts and artforms traced back to the Early Egyptians, a method later refined during the Renaissance where very thin layers of gold leaf are applied to objects often made of wood and burnished to a brilliant lustre with an agate stone.

Plaster as well as a casting material known as Hydrocal, used in the field of gold leaf restoration, can also be water gilded in gold leaf and burnished. Using a 2-part non-toxic silicone mould, casts can be made from any solid object and water gilded.

During this 6-week Online class students will learn to create moulds of any solid object of their choice and to create a cast in Hydrocal, a gypsum product somewhat stronger than and related to plaster. We then go through each step of the ancient method of traditional water gilding, from preparing rabbit skin glue size, gesso, and bole to gilding, burnishing, and toning.

Learn to create a personal object of art as a decorative accessory, art for display, or a simple Touchstone for your desk, beautifully gilded and burnished in genuine 23k gold leaf!

All classes are Live on Zoom and recorded for viewing by students. Recordings remain accessible for six months. A Question/Answer period takes place at the end of each session.

Learn more and register!


SEPTEMBER 13 - OCTOBER 18 2022

Glass Gilding... Introductiojn to Verre Églomisé

(On-line) Glass Gilding... Introductiojn to Verre Églomisé

This 8 week Intensive Online Gilding Course that introduces students to the art of verre églomisé with a focus on achieving a proper balance between brilliancy and bonding between the gold and silver leaf and the glass. Explore the beautiful artistry of gilded mirrors In both Modern solid gild and abraded ‘antique’ Finishes. Learn to gild with precious 23k gold and 6k white gold leaf, choose the appropriate oil paint for ‘backing up’, and etch designs into gilded glass, an historical approach to verre églomisé.

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OCTOBER 7 - 21 2022

Copper Leafing - Tiles, Glazed Ceramic, Frames, Canvas classes

(On-line) Copper Leafing - Tiles, Glazed Ceramic, Frames, Canvas

Gilding with Copper Leaf is in a world of its own. This intriguing metal is seen in so many elements of life but holds a special place in the arts and is a main component along with Zinc and Nickel in the brass leaf - also known as Composition Gold - we so often see in 19th and 20th c gilded frames and furniture.

This new 3-Session Masterclass will focus on Copper Leaf on its own as we explore the methods used to apply this intriguing metal leaf to a variety of surfaces, from glazed tiles and ceramics to picture frames and canvas for use by Fine artists who wish to incorporate the look of copper metal into their works of art.

Learn more and register!


OCTOBER 25, 26, 27 2022 - In-Person

gold leaf classes

(In-Person) Traditional Water Gilded Panels

Location: Sepp Leaf Products, 381 Park Ave. South, Rm #1301

New Fall Class! This 3 day class is designed for Fine artists in Egg Tempera, Oils, and Acrylics and takes the student on a journey through each step of the ancient traditional water gilding method. Students learn the laying and gluing of linen, preparing and applying gesso and clay bole, gilding and burnishing genuine 24k gold leaf with an intriguing introduction to granito, the technique of punchwork and incision for decorative embellishment.

Developed for the Fine Artist as well as the student of Iconography and framing, this unique class addresses each specific step of the process. Materials are included and students may use the studio gilding tools during class (optional gilding kits are available through gildedplanet upon request).

Learn more and register!


OCTOBER 28 2022 - In-Person

gold leaf classes

(In-Person) Glass Gilding - Églomisé

Location: Sepp Leaf Products, 381 Park Ave. South, Rm #1301

This coming Fall brings the return of the popular gilding workshop Glass Gilding: Introduction to Verre Églomisé to New York by gilder and reknowned instructor Charles Douglas! This special One-Day Intensive Gilding Class, to be held at Sepp Leaf Products in Manhattan introduces students to the art of verre églomisé with a focus on achieving a proper balance between brilliancy and bonding between the gold leaf and the glass. Explore the beautiful artistry of gilded mirrors and other gilded glass art objects and learn to gild with precious 6k white gold leaf while taking part in a demonstration with 23k gold leaf. This is a hands-on class with a focus on gilding along with general instruction on etching into the leaf and reverse painting.

Learn more and register!


OCTOBER 29 2022 - In-Person

Gilding for Works of Art, a Study for Fine Artists

(In-Person) Gilding for Works of Art, a Study for Fine Artists

Location: Sepp Leaf Products, 381 Park Ave. South, Rm #1301

This popular one-day Intensive gilding class for Fine Artists returns to New York City at the wonderful Isabel O’Neil Studio this Fall! Students explore the various methods of working with gold and silver leaf on canvas, paper, and panels for both background and embellishment.

Learn to lay a genuine 23k gold leaf ground for painting as well as brass and silver colored aluminum leaf. Discover the use of MSA Varnish and GAC 200/500 as an isolating coat to protect tarnishable metals while successfully painting over the gilding with your choice of oil or acrylic mediums.

Instructor Charles Douglas will patiently take you through the intricacies of working with delicate gold leaf and how to tame it with the proper use of the gilder's tip, pad, and knife. Explore such ancient mordants as gum ammoniac, and glair, and contemporary oil size and acrylic emulsion.

Learn more and register!


NOVEMBER 4 - DECEMBER 23 2022

Gilding for Works of Art, a Study for Fine Artists

(On-Line) Gilding for Works of Art

Students explore the various methods of working with Brass metal leaf, Aluminum leaf, and Gold and Silver leaf on canvas, paper, and panels for both background and embellishment. Learn to lay a genuine 23k gold leaf ground for painting while discovering the use of MSA varnish and GAC200/500 for protection of tarnishable metals and providing isolating coats for painting in oils and acrylics.

Instructor Charles Douglas will patiently take you through the intricacies of working with delicate gold leaf and how to tame it with the proper use of the gilder's tip, pad, and knife. Explore such ancient mordants as gum ammoniac, and glair, and contemporary oil size and acrylic emulsion.

Learn more and register!


NOVEMBER 6 2022

Gilding for the Holidays!

(On-Line) Gilding for the Holidays!

Ever wish you could add a touch of gold to your holiday festivities? Now's your chance as we bring the once-a-year Pacific Northwest gilding class Gilding for the Holidays! to Zoom Online! Learn to add a bit of gilding to your favorite delicacies, from Viennese Sachatorte and Chocolates, to Champagne, and Perrier!

During this special class we'll work with edible gold while also exploring simple ways of adding genuine gold and silver leaf to decorative holiday items that can inspire you for your own personal, sacred, or family traditions, whether brightly gilded glass ornaments for trees, deckled edged paper, or savory Gulab Jamun!

Learn more and register!


NOVEMBER 8 - DECEMBER 13 2022

Gilded Raised Gesso: Pastiglia

(On-Line) Gilded Raised Gesso: Pastiglia

Pastiglia is is an ancient aspect of the art of Traditional Water Gilding. Its raised characteristic has been used for centuries in manuscript illumination as well as by contemporary calligraphers. It has also been used as Relief ornamentation for frames dating back to the Italian Renaissance and discussed in Cennini’s 15th c Treatise Il Libro Dell’Arte.

Students will be guided through the process of gilding a Pastiglia Relief on Canvas and Picture Frame moulding including preparing the surface, making rabbit skin glue size and gesso, drawing the raised gesso design, applying clay bole, gilding and burnishing in 23k gold leaf, and learning to adhere gold leaf through diaphragmatic breath.

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NOVEMBER 9 - DECEMBER 28 2022

The Antique Dutch Black Finish...with Gilded 6k Inner Edge

(On-Line) The Antique Dutch Black Finish...with Gilded 6k Inner Edge

Each Class Series the Dutch Black Finish class creates a completely Finished frame with a gilded inner edge for a specific piece of art. This Fall we’ll be combining the understated elegance of the classical Dutch Black Finish with a toned white gold inner edge presenting the beautiful print The Lake from the Frick Collection in New York by 19th c French landscape and portrait painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot.

Join us as we go through each step of the Antique Dutch Black Finish as inspired by 17thc frames from Holland. Before we're finished we'll oil gild the frame’s Inner Edge in genuine 6k White Gold Leaf and tone it for aging. A rare opportunity to learn this beautiful finish for picture frames!

Learn more and register!


CHECK BACK FREQUENTLY - More great classes coming soon!


Cancellation Policy ~

If student cancels class or a date postponement is needed due to an event outside of the control of the Charles Douglas Gilding Studio such as COVID-19, a full tuition credit, which does not expire and of same or equal value, will be provided for any available future class and any available location. Full tuition refund if instructor cancels class (student airfare not included; airfare insurance recommended).

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