Charbonnel Burnishing Clays

Traditional gilders use burnishing clays, also known as bole, as a base for water gilding.

These are very finely ground and come in the form of a wet paste for ease of handling.

Mix one part burnishing clay with two parts warm rabbit skin glue size. When dry, rub with ultra fine plastic abrasive pad or horsehair to a super smooth surface. After the leaf is applied, it is burnished with agate tools.

The colour of the clay tints the gold. Red gives a traditional antique effect.

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