Gild and decorate an oak panel and object with Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva

Ref: S3D13364

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About this course

Gild an oak panel and an object of your choice. Learn about pattern making and gilding. Discover how to change an old object and a flat oak panel into unique artworks.

Course Description

Transform an oak panel and an object of your choice with your designed pattern and finish with gilding.

You will learn new pattern making skills including how to develop patterns using your immediate surrondings, borrowing from nature as appropriate to realise your own unique design. Starting with a walk through the gardens you will collect and/or draw leaves, flowers, seeds and anything that catches your eye that can be turned into a pattern. You will then spend time drawing, learning certain aspects of stencil and pattern making, and learn how found objects can be utilised in artworks.

Once your design is ready you will firstly prepare the provided oak panel board and transfer your design onto it. Then begins the process of gilding using gold, silver, coloured metal leaf, realising your design onto the board. You will learn the delicate skill of applying gild to a surface, and finally the appropriate ways of sealing the gild. You will repeat this process onto the object you have brought along with you.

At the conclusion of the course, you will have made a unique panel and object, learnt new techniques such as pattern making, imagery appropriation and gilding, which you can apply to other things you make or wish to decorate.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the College will supply the the following materials: drawing paper, pencils, sandpaper, set of round paint brushes, stencil making material, tracing paper, A3 kiln dried solid oak board, plastic cups, black and white gesso, size for gilding, varnish and a selection of imitation gold, silver and coloured leaf.

What students need to bring

  • 1-2 objects of your choice - this could be an old plate, mirror frame, flower pot or other objects that you have collected that can be gilded (not glass).
  • Sketchbook
  • Small nail sharp curved scissors
  • 30mm synthetic flat brush
  • Acrylic paints in primary colours – red, yellow, blue white, raw umber and black

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good selection of art materials including paper, paints, pencils and gilding tools, 30mm synthetic flat brushes, .
  • Available from tutor:
  • Books of real gold and silver leaf


Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva portrait

Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva

Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva trained at Glasgow School of Art and Royal College of Art. She works with natural materials from caul fat to gold leaf. She teaches regularly and exhibits internationally including the Vatican Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2015 and representing Macedonia, Venice Biennale, 2013.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.