By Manami Shinagawa
It has already been more than two months since I left… But, I am writing about my internship over the summer. I was working as an intern at a restoration workshop in Majorca, Spain. The workshop takes in decorative objects, mainly gilt and painted objects. There, I learned the technique of gilding and how to clean painted objects.
My projects there included:
There was red paint over on the original paint on the lady's skirt in this statue. I removed the overpaint with dry scraping.
The shellac finish on this painted frame was discolored because of UV light damage. Therefore, I cleaned it with ammonia. There were some missing areas that I filled with putty.
Also, I had opportunity of leaning a water gilding method. I made two kinds of water gilding sample boards that used different textures in gesso. First, I prepared boards, to which I applied many layers of gesso. Until the boards become flat, I had to repeat the process of applying gesso and cutting back over and over.
On another board is a method called punchwork. I made decorations with punches on the gesso surface when it was half dry. I used ground nails, dental tools and punches.
Then I applied yellow bole (a combination of glue and coloured clay) over the whole thing two times. In addition, I applied one layer of a red bole only to the highlight areas over the yellow bole. The purpose of the application of bole is to provide a cushioned surface for burnishing and to provide colour enrichment underneath the gold.
Finally, gold leaf is applied on the boards by wetting the surface with size water (a mixture of rabbit skin glue, water and methylated spirits). After the gold has been applied, the whole surface is burnished by gently rubbing a burnisher. It becomes shiny and looks like solid gold.
My internship in Majorca was great experience! I learned a lot of things. Not only the work,but also, of course I enjoyed the resort location and beach very much!