Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Midas touch in Maine

Goldfingers!! Ha ha. These last few weeks here in Maine have been a flurry of gold leafing activity....
..the shapes, which are aircraft grade aluminium (does that mean anything to you...means nothing to me but if you know aluminium it means a lot!!), have been primed and then sized with a special gold leaf size..size being a clear liquid that is brushed onto the primed surface and then allowed to dry to the point of being squeaky when rubbed with ones knuckle...I'm serious, that's the test for adequate dryness...before the tiny, little, flimsy, floaty, diaphonous gold leaf squares are carefully laid down and gently adhered to the prepared surface.
You need to lay the squares as close to one another as possible and preferably ever so slightly overlapped in order to make the most efficient use of your ever so expensive gold leaf...no wastage allowed....
....after your gold leaf has been laid it is then very gingerly burnished with a ball of cotton...or perhaps even a cotton ball...and any 'holidays' (ie places you've missed with the gold) are filled with the excess leaf floating around and about.
Here yours truly is laying out the letters which I have cut by hand...all thirty two words worth of them...onto the finished gold leafed shapes, you can see some blemishes here but they are burnished away before the final installation of the artwork...which is James' by the way and not mine...here I am the assistant to the Maestro!
Here are just a few of the finished shapes elegantly arrayed on a good old Maine drying rack...how many drying racks have been used before for such an elevated purpose??..you can see glimpses of the words which have been purposely designed in such a way by James so that they appear and disappear as they move in the lightest of breezes, which gives you a hint that perhaps these are part of a kinetic sculpture.

You will have to wait patiently for the next Midas installment when I will reveal the finished sculptures upon which all this divine gold has been lavished....I have to admit gold really is a magnificent metal which transforms the simplest of things into something so elegant and luxurious...and it's practical too...as a finish on a sculpture it can endure the harshest of Maine winters-it even improves with some wind burnishing, it is hard wearing, non-toxic for the environment, looks amazing and doesn't tarnish...what more could you ask for.....'til the next post...keep shining!!

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