Today's postings

  1. [Baren 37895] Re: gold leaf (Barbara Mason)
  2. [Baren 37896] gold leaf (Cucamongie #
  3. [Baren 37897] Re: gold leaf (Barbara Mason)
  4. [Baren 37898] Re: We don't use 'force' (Diana Moll)
  5. [Baren 37899] gold leaf (Linda Beeman)
  6. [Baren 37900] Re: gold leaf and Year of the Ox update (Julio.Rodriguez #
  7. [Baren 37901] Re: gold leaf (Graham Scholes)
  8. [Baren 37902] Fwd: Important read this.... (Graham Scholes)
  9. [Baren 37903] metallics-- some thoughts (ArtSpotiB #
  10. [Baren 37904] Re: metallics-- some thoughts (Graham Scholes)
  11. [Baren 37905] Re: gold leaf (Dave Bull)
  12. [Baren 37906] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
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Message 1
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2009 14:43:39 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37895] Re: gold leaf
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Linda, this info is from the encyclopedia on the baren site and answers your questions. I think you can put the Gold over almost anything glue will stick to, but if the color underneath is deep the gold seems to look better. On white paper it does not look as good as if the base is red or some other deep color. I think red is traditional as a base. It is expensive and delicate but once done pretty strong. I used it a lot in my work years ago but for lines, not solid areas and it took me a year to figure out how to do it well. If you want thin lines, let me know and I will detail the process for you.
My best

Gold, Silver and Mica
These mediums, though sometimes desirable, cannot be printed from blocks. They must be applied to the surface of the paper. If the block is to be used, then glue, paste, gum arabic, or some other kind of sizing should be spread on the block first and transferred to the paper by means of printing, and then gold, silver or mica in powder form can be applied to the surface. But this is extremely difficult, for such gold and silver and mica stick to other parts as well. And in order to have the paper in the condition in which it will not stick, it must be dried. If it is dry, the block with glue does not fit into the outline drawing, for everything was printed while the paper was moist. So in order to have the glue applied exactly, a separate block must be cut solely for that purpose. Even then the transfer of glue to the paper is extremely difficult; the glue may sink into the paper by the pressure without leaving a sufficient quantity on the surface. If it
is not pressed, then the glue does not stick to the paper smoothly, but leaves a sort of goma-zuri effect, and the gold and silver will stick in granular fashion. If this was aimed at, it is all right, but if not, this method would not work. Here it becomes necessary to use stencils for the purpose of gold, silver and mica application.
Gold and silver are applied after the prints are otherwise finished. The paper is first dried, and a stencil is cut according to the dried print. And this stencil is used in applying glue to the required space in the print. When the glue is applied with the brush, the stencil is removed and gold leaf or dust is scattered or sifted over the paper and lightly pressed down with a piece of cotton. Afterward the surplus gold has to be brushed away from the dry surface of the paper. One must remember that the work is not easy; to have the gold fall exactly on the line of the drawing is almost hopelessly difficult. It may go over the line, but if it is only slightly over, the result is not very detrimental to the print; but if there should be a blank space left between the drawing and the gold, however slight, it looks bad. Furthermore, it is extremely difficult to give it a clear cut edge such as it should have.
The background is the suitable place on which to try gold and silver. Application of it to small places in the drawing in the design involves great difficulties without commensurate compensation. Here, too, without registering marks, it will be impossible to be accurate. Gold and silver may be used in leaf or in powder form. Mica of course is in powder.
The surplus powder is likely to stick to undesirable places, even though the paper may be dry, for it is porous and has absorbed paste though it is now dry.
Instead of glue, the white of an egg may be used for applying gold, silver and mica.
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Message 2
From: Cucamongie #
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2009 15:33:43 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37896] gold leaf
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Linda, your question would require a long time to answer completely but here
is a summary, plus a few more questions.

First of all, do you want to put gold leaf on the whole print or just a
small part of it?

And are you using waterbased or oil-based ink? this would help to determine
the type of adhesive to use.

there are many types of adhesive which you can use, which is why I ask. In
general, I would recommend masking off the area which you do not want to be
gold-leafed using frisket. I would use a type that has low tack so that it
does not lift paper fibers off when you take it off.

Personally, I would gold-leaf after you are done printing, as gold leaf is
very delicate and I would not want to subject it to going through a press or
pressure of a baren.

April Vollmer, are you out there? She took a gold leaf class which focused
solely on printing so I'm sure she would have some more specific tips for you.

If by small chance you are in the New York City area I would recommend the
workshop at Manhattan Graphics Center which April took with Bill Gauthier. He
is great. I took a workshop with him, but I focused more on applying to
sculpture than to prints, though he showed us how to apply gold leaf to a
variety of surfaces with a variety of adhesives. If you can find a workshop in
your area, I would highly recommend it because if you are doing anything more
than gilding a tiny area, it is very helpful to go through the techniques in
person -- plus if you know how to do it the right way from the get-go, you will
waste less gold leaf!

there is also imitation (metal) leaf, but it has a completely different look
than gold leaf and needs to be coated with a varnish of some kind or it will

just my two cents
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Message 3
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2009 15:49:07 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37897] Re: gold leaf
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I used the fake gold leaf in my work and have not had any tarnishing after 25 years, so think there must be a difference in leaf. I bought my fake leaf from a paint store that sold to commercial people that did gold leaf on windows, not a craft store. It must be higher quality. It was expensive but only because you needed to buy quite a bit the way it was packaged. I think 25 books that had many pages each. I still have it somewhere, I will check it to see if any tarnish in storage.
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Message 4
From: Diana Moll
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2009 17:32:51 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37898] Re: We don't use 'force'
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Hi Eileen,
Er, I'm also an acupuncturist. Email me, if you like, and we can
figure our some long distance elbow strategies.
All best,
Diana Moll
banditrabbit # earthlink . net
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Message 5
From: Linda Beeman
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2009 19:39:28 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37899] gold leaf
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Graham - I appreciate the links but they don't tell me about using it on a print. I have used gold leaf many times but cannot figure out and can't find how to use it in printmaking.
I thought maybe someone else has done it. If not, I will just see what happens when I try it!

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Message 6
From: Julio.Rodriguez #
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2009 20:46:18 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37900] Re: gold leaf and Year of the Ox update
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I took some video of just this type of metal printing back at the first
Baren Summit in KC. Dave Bull did a printing demo for the group and
explains in detail the process. If I get a chance I will try to upload a
clip of that video to the website.


The Year of the Ox signup was closed over the weekend and the participant
list stands at 54. Thanks to all the members participating this year.
Please make sure you have an updated list before mailing out your cards.
We are almost there, three more years (Ox, Tiger & Rabbit) to close out
the full Chinese cycle. We are planning something big to celebrate that
accomplishment in 2011 !!!!

Keep working on those Rats, Pigs, Dogs or whatever....keep them coming !!!

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Message 7
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2009 01:17:03 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37901] Re: gold leaf
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I did not search those sites with respect to printmaking and gold....

Well, have fun with “I wonder what if” project... could be a lot of

If you know anyone in the commercial printing industry, there is a
gold leaf mounted on mylar that is used with hot stamping on....
usually cosmetic packaging... There is always generous areas of leaf
remaining on these rolls - from 1“ up to 3” wide that may be usalble
for your project.... You many need to do some door knocking... It
will be the major companies you will approach.

Have fun
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Message 8
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2009 04:48:12 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37902] Fwd: Important read this....
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This is an heads up and easy fix for this potential problem. look for the 'security' article.


Off topic but important.
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Message 9
From: ArtSpotiB #
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2009 05:01:13 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37903] metallics-- some thoughts
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Wow, Graham, some great info there! The ends of rolls sounds very appealing.
I wonder how it is applied?

I have a question. While traveling in Madison, WI, two summers ago I
purchased two white ceramic dishes from Japan that have gold/silver inside. The
metallic layer is awfully thin... and just in experiementing I've gone through these
expensive purchases fast. The quality is splendid... unlike any other that
I've experienced. Does anyone know anything about these?

Maybe a web search for "foiling" would bring up some great information. The
commercial poster/book printing industry use pressure but what is the metalic
surface (on top of mylar, I hear) color consist of? Do they use heat too?
Artist Hunderwasser is a good illustration of same, with posters and books being an
inspiring example. Perhaps there's something on the Net about his work and
this topic.

I used to embellish documents with metallics using the heat of a lazerwriter.
If I recall it rightly, one printed the document first, then attached the
foil to the area that needed the metal and ran it through again as a blank. When
that printer died, I stopped doing so. Basically the metallics were on a thin
sheet (mylar sounds right) which, when heated by the printer, transferred onto
the paper. I still have the several inches wide materials in different colors
and wonder if, with a sheet in between, I could embellish using this material
with an iron? I wonder where I put it....

For many years I used "Dutch" (false gold) leaf, which is brass, or true gold
in my paintings. When acquired I often would replace the dutch leaf with true
gold. Of course, we bareners are interested in printmaking but I'll just say
a bit here anyways as the info might be worth something to someone. I sure
hope to read more and learn about this! I also would like to hear anything said
about the copper colored leaf that I see in stores. Can it be sealed
successfully as it is so sensitive to oil? Anyone tried?

Dutch (gold) leaf is rolled far thicker than true gold and is far easier to
handle. There are several versions -- that of different tones of gold plus some
wonderfully colorful varigated ones. Perhaps the variations are done with
sprayed patina but I don't know. When way back I started using (true) silver leaf
the white, thin paper between the sheets was stamped "made in occupied Japan"
and the price was marked down as nobody was buying it... That dates this
woman! I changed when alum. leaf became readily available as true silver
tarnishes. True gold is fragile, influenced by wafting air and is possible to "see"
through. Aluminium leaf replaced the silver for archival purposes.

I use the wonderful Japanese sumi brushes to capture and control the leaf. At
times my work has full "sheets" of the leaf like a beautiful Japanese screen.
Other times I follow the European tradition of small squares with overlapping
edges. There is a whole system established in Europe... from using the oil of
one's hair to act as a magnet for capturing the leaf to agate burnishers to
smooth the leaf into a mirror like surface. Keeping the leaf within the paper
inner sheets allows one to cut more discriminately. Sharp sewing sissors allow
for great control. A plate or tray helps collects the scraps for later use.
Either way the dimensions of the leaf can be used to influence the visual effect
into "patterns". Metallic leaf can visually read as not only light but dark,
particularily in large fields.

A member's idea of using frisket was really on it, by the way. I never
thought of that and now am inspired!

Another said that sealing the leaf with lacquer is a good idea. Agreed! It
wears better. The change in color is small. There's something about lacquer that
gives a wet, glistening, jewel like finish. Conservators and other sources
concur that this is the best method for sealing. In my paintings I do so, using
the lacquer's tacky surface for an undercoat glue as well. As a top surface,
lacquer might need to be brushed rather than sprayed to ensure a contiguous
surface when using Dutch leaf. With prints I use acrylics, which have the
disadvantage of developing hairline cracks over time, leading to air exposure of
the metal so I use true gold or alum. leaf rather than true silver to avoid

OK, Ok, more information than you wanted to read. But helpful, perhaps. And
all about hand embellishment, which is not what is being sought. Still, this
might be helpful.... I hope.

I remain a fan of the Baren and it's denizens!

ArtSpot Out
Benny Alba at OMebase

Underground nuclear testing, defoliation of the rain forests, toxic waste
... Let's put it this way: if the world were a big apartment, we wouldn't
get our deposit back. -John Ross
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Message 10
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2009 05:57:18 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37904] Re: metallics-- some thoughts
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> Wow, Graham, some great info there! The ends of rolls sounds very
> appealing. I wonder how it is applied?

It is a letterpress operation with stamping dies and heat.

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Message 11
From: Dave Bull
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2009 06:58:04 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37905] Re: gold leaf
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> I have used gold leaf many times but cannot figure out
> and can't find how to use it in printmaking.
> I thought maybe someone else has done it.

Sorry to be late to the party with this ...

There are some pages on my site that give some basic descriptions of
how to use some basic metallics on prints:

This one shows printing with powder to give an imitation of leaf:

I haven't got a page that describes how to 'print' with leaf yet. Here
is an image of one of my prints that uses it:

You can't 'print' with it of course; you print some adhesive first onto
the paper (I used thinned nikawa glue) and then lay the leaf on top,
just as with traditional leaf work in other fields (bookmaking, etc.).
The leaf adheres to the glued area, and is then brushed away from the
non-glued areas. Nothing is then applied over it; it ages naturally ...
Gold doesn't change so much, just develops a bit of a patina; silver
goes black. The leaf on the print I just linked is platinum - gives a
nice silver, but doesn't tarnish anywhere near as much.

Handling the leaf is very difficult; if you Google 'how to handle gold
leaf' you will get a lot of info on that. I used the technique that
involves using a brush of very light goat hair, which you run on
something to develop a slight electric charge. When you bring the brush
near the piece of leaf, it jumps up onto the hairs, and can then be
laid in place over the glue.

I bought some cheapo imitation silver leaf to practice with first, and
would recommend that!


Digest Appendix

Postings made on [Baren] members' blogs
over the past 24 hours ...

Subject: In Danger to Be Corrupted
Posted by: Annie B

A second impression of burnt umber added after some additional carving of the block.

A tremendous amount of study and scholarship has been done on the Puritan settlers of colonial America. This makes my research very easy, but it also makes my artistic task difficult. I want to work from actual texts and historical facts, I want to be as accurate as possible, but I'll never be a historian and my overarching intention with these prints is not historical representation. My intention is actually very personal -- to have a dialog with my ancestors, to ask them some questions, and to see where they take me in that boat of theirs.

So far I've been referencing three sources, the previously mentioned book Mayflower, William Bradford's Of Plimouth Plantation, and a book by James and Patricia Scott Deetz called The Times of Their Lives: Life, Love and Death in Plymouth Colony. I picked up the Deetz book several years ago in Provincetown on Cape Cod, where the Pilgrims first landed, but I never read it until now.

The quote I'm working with for this print is John Bradford's description of one of the reasons why the Pilgrims, who had taken shelter in Leiden, Holland for 12 years, were keen to get out of that country and head for America:
"But that which was more lamentable, and of all sorrows . . .
[Long item has been trimmed at this point. The full blog entry can be viewed here]

This item is taken from the blog Woodblock Dreams.
'Reply' to Baren about this item.