Saturday, October 17, 2015

Why I Always Use Red Bole

It turns out that burnished water gilding, that is applying gold leaf to a bole ground and then polishing it with an agate (or a dog's tooth) burnisher until it shines, is actually easier than you'd think it would be.  The secret is to apply a thin coat of gilder's clay mixed with size to the gesso, sand and polish it, and apply the gold leaf.  Piece of cake --  sort of -- as long as everything goes exactly right.  But if the clay/glue ratio is off, or its too dry or too humid, or there is unusual solar flare activity, forget about it going as planned.

But lately I've been able to manage to get pretty good results gilding and burnishing haloes.  Not bad for 35 years of effort!  Pretty OK.   Not perfect-the gilding is NEVER perfect, there's inevitably a flaw, a fault, a thin spot or a pinhole if you look carefully enough, which why bole is usually red. (The red makes the faults disappear.)

Seems to me an apt, if homely metaphor for grace .  The color is wrong, of course -  it is our sins that are like scarlet, not grace, but isn't it grace that covers over our faults, failings and sins and makes them disappear?

1 comment:

  1. So good to have you back in blogosphere again! I never deleted your site from my bookmarks bar, hoping for a resurrection. And here you are!
    Loved this analogy for grace. Thank God for the patience and skill of the Master Craftsman, Who makes our poor clay to shine like gold!