Charles Douglas Gilding Studio Gilding classes

Gold leaf and gilding ZOOM classes.

Hands-on instructional teaching classes for gold leaf gilding, traditional water gilding, glass gilding - Verre Églomisé, gold leaf restoration and much more.


Gilding Classes from The Charles Douglas Gilding Studio

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.

Charles is a committed teacher of the gilding arts and offers classes in a variety of gold leaf gilding methods and techniques in Seattle and New York.

About our Gilding classes
gold leaf classes

Gilding 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.


SEPTEMBER 10 - OCTOBER 29 2021

antique dutch black classes

Creating the Antique Dutch Black Finish...

with Gilded leaf edge

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 gild the frame Lip in genuine Silver Leaf and tone with an antique wash. A rare opportunity to learn this beautiful finish for picture frames!

Note: Materials list will be provided for all classes. Dutch Black will require shellac (ruby, orange or clear in order of preference). Also, casein paint: black, raw umber, and yellow ochre as well as denatured alcohol and a raw wood picture frame or other raw wood object which you would like to apply this finish.

Learn more and register!


OCTOBER 6 - OCTOBER 27, 2021

how to gold leaf book edges

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.

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OCTOBER 28 - DECEMBER 18, 2021

Gold Leaf Restoration

Gold Leaf Restoration: Part II

Gold Leaf Restoration Part II is the continuation of the popular Introduction to Gold Leaf Restoration class.

In Gold Leaf Restoration Part I we explored a non-toxic silicone method of creating moulds for casting missing frame ornaments in hydrocal, gesso putty for filling holes and gouges, and traditional water gilding in 23k gold leaf.

Gold Leaf Restoration Part II continues the process of restoring gilded frames which can also be applied to gilded furniture and other wooden objects. The focus is gesso consolidation for stabilizing loose gilded gesso with such binders as rabbit skin glue, isinglass, fish glue, and discussion of modern consolidating agents.

The use of gesso putty will be shown for its benefits in rebuilding sections in areas of gesso loss all leading to ultimate ingilding with gold leaf, burnishing, rubbing, and toning to blend with an existing gilded surface.

Learn more and register!


NOVEMBER 6, 2021

Gilding for the holidays

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 Seattle gilding class Gilding for the Holidays! to Zoom Online! Learn to add a bit of gilding to your favorite delicacies, from Viennese Sachatorte to Chocolates, 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 12 - DECEMBER 3, 2021

gold leaf for fine art classes

Gold Leaf Gilding for Works of Art... a Study for Fine Artists

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. 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. event is now available with Zoom...Online!

Learn more and register!


JANUARY 2022


In Person Class! New York City

JANUARY 25, 2022

gold leaf for Canvas, Paper, and Panels

(In-Person) New York - Gilding for Works of Art on Canvas, Paper, and Panels...a Study for Fine Artists

One Day Only!

A return to New York in-person studio classes! 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. 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. Materials and use of studio gilding tools included. Optional gilding kits available through gildedplanet.com. Information on kits will be provided upon registration. Register early, space is limited!

Learn more and register!


In Person Class! New York City

JANUARY 26-28, 2022

Introduction to Gold Leaf Restoration

(In-Person) New York - Introduction to Gold Leaf Restoration

One Day Only!

A return to New York in-person studio classes! Learn to make traditional gilder's gesso, gesso putty, prepare a simple, non-toxic two part mould, cast, repair broken decorative elements, and in-gild with 23kt gold leaf. Emphasis is on restoring water gilded frames, furniture, and gilded objects. Materials and use of studio tools included. Optional gilding kits available through gildedplanet.com. Information on kits will be provided upon registration. Register early, space limited!

Learn more and register!


FEBUARY 4 - MARCH 25, 2022

Pastiglia The Art of Gilded Raised Gesso

Pastiglia - The Art of Gilded Raised Gesso.

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.

Learn more and register!


FEBUARY 5 - MARCH 26, 2022

Water gilding gold leaf classes

Traditional Water Gilding...for Panels!

Added Series by Popular Demand! This Workshop takes the student on a journey through each step of the ancient traditional water gilding method specifically for panels from the laying and gluing of linen, and preparing and applying gesso and clay bole to laying and burnishing genuine 23k gold leaf and 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, each lesson addresses a specific step of the process, keeping it challenging while not overwhelming.

Learn more and register!


These great classes coming soon!


Crackle gesso and whiting classes

The Art of Crackle Gesso

Learn to Make Crackle Gesso!

The intriguing look of crackle gesso can be used as a ground for traditional water gilding, oil gilding, and painted finishes. A perfect match for those studying gilding and who wish to take a few extra hours to learn how to make and apply this custom gilder's gesso.

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Traditional Water Gilding for Beveled Edge Frame Mats

Traditional Water Gilding for Beveled Edge Frame Mats

Designed for the Custom Picture Framer, this class takes the student through each step of the beautiful ancient method of traditional water gilding. This particular method of gilding brings an enhanced elegance to the beveled edge of frame mats often used for photographs and works of art on paper.

Students will learn to make and apply rabbit skin glue and gesso while gilding two class projects in 23kt gold leaf and 12kt white gold leaf over a choice of red, black, or blue clay boles. Gilding will be burnished bright and rubbed to reveal the underlying clay color.

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Clay Bole...an In-Depth Study

Clay Bole... an In-Depth Study

In this special 3-part series we take an in-depth look at this true Clay Bole, from its raw dry-cone form to the exotic color palette of traditional reds and yellows to green, blue, black, and pink.

Available in pre-mixed form where the clay is mixed with water ready for use, students will learn to mix their own clay bole from dry cones in a tumbler while learning to combine colors for color-matching, important to restoration and custom gilding for frames, furniture, and architectural detail.

Students will also discover the different approaches needed in applying and treating the different color boles as their properties differ. We also explore some of the historical aspects of various color boles used in different countries over centuries past.

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gold leaf classes

Gold Leaf Gilding for Works of Art on Canvas, Paper, and Panels...a Study for Fine Artists

Students explore the various methods of working with gold and silver leaf to create a 23k gilded ground as an element of composition for painting. Discover the many uses of gilding within works of art through online instruction including gilding of high-relief for embellishment, an intro to traditional water gilding and pastiglia, and use of glair, oil size, acrylic emulsion, and gum ammoniac as mordants for gilding.

Learn more and register!


bronze powder gold leaf classes

Roman Gilding...a Study in Bronze Powder and other Powder Gilding Techniques

Roman Gilding is a method of applying a finely ground Bronze Powder to a prepared surface in a water based method embedded in rabbit skin glue as a binder. This is one of several methods of working with bronze powders for decorative finishes often used in the early 20th c for picture frames

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gold leaf classes

Gold Leaf Restoration of Gilded Frames and Furniture.

This new Online class provides students with an introduction to the essential methods and techniques of gold leaf restoration including preparation and use of gesso and gesso putty for infilling, crackle gesso, mould casting for the repair of broken or missing decorative elements and the basics of traditional water gilding, oil gilding, and toning.

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Sacred gilding gold leaf classes

Sacred Gilding...Gilding the Buddha in 23kt Gold Leaf

Sacred Gilding...Gilding a Stone Buddha in 23kt Gold Leaf, Toned in Raw Umber

Join us Online during this first installment of the Gilding in the Sacred Realm series.

We begin with a brief discussion of the use of gilding in Sacred practice, from Christian Orthodox Iconography to the gilded altars of Hare Krishna with an emphasis on the technical use of the Oil Gilding method.

Gilder Charles Douglas will demonstrate applying a thin coating of oil size to a small replica of one of the 29 named Buddhas while using traditional gilder's tools in gilding with genuine 23kt loose gold leaf. Students may use their own tools, gold, and materials to follow along during this very special Masterclass Tutorial or simply sit back, watch and enjoy!

Learn more and register!


Water gilding gold leaf classes

Traditional Water Gilding

Be guided through each step of this beautiful, ancient method of gold leaf gilding for use on such objects as picture frames, furniture, and architectural detail. Students will learn Online to prepare rabbit skin glue, traditional gesso, and clay bole grounds followed by laying and burnishing genuine 23 kt gold leaf and basic toning.

Learn more and register!


gold leaf classes

Glass Gilding... Building the Foundation for Verre Églomisé

Glass Gilding. The use of gold or Silver leaf on glass goes back to early Roman times and was a popular technique used for Looking Glass Mirrors during eighteenth and nineteenth century England.

Glass Gilding... the Foundation for Verre Églomisé - Learn the beautiful ancient art of reverse glass gilding and discover the steps involved in achieving a strong and brilliant bond between glass and leaf. Students will learn to properly clean the glass, prepare gelatin size, gild the glass with genuine white gold and be introduced to the concept of engraving the gilding in reverse before the final step of backpainting...plus abrading, candlesmoke, and Black India Ink for special effects!

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A Study in Oil Gilding...and other Mordants

A Study in Oil Gilding...and other Mordants

Designed to produce a soft satin to a semi-gloss appearance, oil gilding is the most often used method for gilding exterior architecture including Domes, Cupolas, and incised lettering of stonework. It is also used for frames, furniture, and interior architectural detail.

This popular method of gilding is often where gilders begin. Although less time-intensive than traditional water gilding its properties still need to be properly understood to produce an attractive and long-lasting finish.

Learn more and register!


Water gilding gold leaf classes

Traditional Water Gilding

Be guided through each step of this beautiful, ancient method of gold leaf gilding for use on such objects as picture frames, furniture, and architectural detail. Students will learn Online to prepare rabbit skin glue, traditional gesso, and clay bole grounds followed by laying and burnishing genuine 23 kt gold leaf and basic toning.

Learn more and register!


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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