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Gold Leaf Workshops

In my desire to pass on this knowledge to other craftsmen, I regularly hold Gold Leaf workshops at my studio in Torquay, Devon where sometimes on a one to one basis & sometimes in groups I teach the techniques of glass decoration that I have researched over the last 37 years.

These Gold Leaf workshops are to my knowledge the only place where you can cover ALL of the required disciplines to execute an authentic “Victorian” reverse glass sign. You will leave the studio with a full palette of almost magical glass recipes, fully equipped to continue and develop this wonderful art form. You will also leave with two beautifully framed mahogany glass signs that you will make on the course with a value of over £5000. I look forward to meeting and teaching you along with helping you to keep these crafts alive for generations to come. Thank you. David Smith MBE

I've had the most amazing time over the last four days. You're a serious wealth of knowledge and it's amazing that your willing to share it so generously.

- Craig Brown

... an incredible experience with gracious hosts. High value with insights gained that were so much more than expected and have had an immediate impact on my business.

- Scott Martin , Canada

I feel very privileged to have attended a Dave Smith workshop and learned from the master craftsman himself. An excellent teacher of glass work gilding with a fun sense of humour!

- Paul Walters , Christchurch , New Zealand

The skills and techniques that I've learned in Dave's workshops have empowered me to go out confidently into the world and craft long lasting, high quality signs. Ever genorous with his time and knowledge, the experience is 100% invaluable!

- Jack Hollands, London, England

A true master of his craft! Dave has an incredible depth of knowledge and an amazing skill set. It's rare in this day and age to find someone with such a skill set that crosses multi design disciplines and who's down to earth and willing to share his secrets.It's inspiring to watch his passion for the craft and highly recommend the course! It's a once in a lifetime opportunity

- Will Lynes, Sydney, Australia

The workshops will include the following:

Decorative Paint Effects, Brilliant Cutting to add details to letter centres and corners of panels. Abalone application, Damar Varnish textures, Split blended Shades, Gold Leaf blending in oil size and water size, Screen Printing, Pictorial painting, glazes and mica effects, acid etching.

White acid and toned embossing with Silver chemical deposition (mirror making) can also be taught but is a separate course.

Meals are included in the workshop. Guest houses and Travel Lodges are 5 minutes away.

4 day Glass Gilding Workshop also suitable for beginners

Due to Covid restrictions I have Limited this workshop to 3 people for this 4  day workshop. (60 -70 hours).  

Over four days you will learn different gilding and paint techniques to create two themed glass pieces, in the past such themes have been Confectionary, Whiskey, Art Nouveau and Victorian to name but a few. This workshop is based on original Ephemera advertising designs.

The workshop will involve 12 – 15 hour long days, but they are fun hours!!

We are basically covering 6 days into 4 days! . Nevertheless, this workshop is incredibly enjoyable and rewarding and you will be amazed with the finished results and the glass signs that you will be taking home. In this workshop the following techniques being taught are:

Glass Sign 1

  • Water Gilding (traditional gilding tip method and various other application techniques)
  • Oil Gilding
  • Blending of gradients of gold leaf
  • Sign writing
  • Screen printing
  • Wheel cutting and polishing (brilliant cutting)
  • Abalone in lay (mother-of-pearl)
  • Shading letters
  • Colour combinations
  • Incised carved lettering behind glass
  • Mica colour shading into gold size
  • Marbling and finger blending
  • Acid etching
  • Water marbling
  • Transparent Glazes

The glass sign dimensions will change according to the themed project, but rough dimensions are 500 x 600mm. A handmade mahogany frame will be provided upon completion of your sign.

As part of this workshop, you will also create a second glass sign to take home.

The techniques for this piece will consist of:

Glass Sign 2

  • Glass edge scalloping
    Sand blasting
    Glue chipping (1900 process)
    Painted silvered background
    Brush blending and more.

The glass sign dimensions will change according to the themed project, but rough dimensions for this glass sign is 350 x 280. For both glass signs, a tough wooden MDF case with a handle will be provided for transport home including being handled for flights to all countries.

The finished pieces are heavily wrapped in bubblewrap for the interior of the cases.

Materials to bring

You will need to bring the following LOOSE gold leaf:

  • 4 books of 23 carat gold leaf
    2 book of 18 carat gold leaf
    1 book of 12 carat gold leaf

Glass, mother-of-pearl, paint, gilding tools and brushes will be provided, but if you would prefer to bring your own brushes and gilding tools you are more than welcome to do this.

One and two Day  Gold Leaf on Glass Workshops

Due to Covid I have reduced the number of students to 4  people for this 1 and 2 day workshop 1 day (12-14 hours long) and 2 days (24 hours long) 

During these one and two day courses, everything will be made by hand. These workshops will strictly cover the traditional hand brush skills of painting letters in reverse on gold leaf. Please note that the 1 day workshop is between 12 to 14 hours long which is fun and extremely rewarding. You will be making two 300 x 300 mm Victorian glass sign letters and learning many techniques throughout the day. I must stress that this course is suitable for any level of artistic ability, from beginner to experienced artist. Class sizes will be small in number to ensure that full attention is given to each student.

1 Day Workshop

We will cover the following techniques:

  • Water Gilding (traditional gilding tip and cushion method, other application techniques)
  • Oil Gilding
  • Sign writing in reverse,
  • shading
  • Blending
  • Brush control
  • Gold leaf blending ,water and oil
  • Colour combination
  • Mother of Pearl inlay
Materials to bring

You will need to bring the following LOOSE gold leaf:

  • 2 books of 23 carat gold leaf
  • 1 book of 18 carat gold leaf
  • 1 book of 12 carat gold leaf

Glass, mother-of-pearl, paint, gilding tools and brushes will be provided, but if you would prefer to bring your own brushes and gilding tools you are welcome to!

2 Day Workshop (24 hours)

We’ll be covering more on the two day class including  screen printing along with hand lettering in reverse. 3 panels will be made with many techniques as per the above details

 

  • Water Gilding (traditional gilding tip and cushion method, other application techniques)
  • Oil Gilding
  • Sign writing in reverse
  • Glass edge scalloping
  • Brush control
  • Gold leaf blending ,water and oil
  • Colour combination
  • Mother of Pearl inlay
  • shading
  • blending

A selection of photos from previous workshops.

These are the dates for the 2021 Glass Gilding Workshops. Due to Covid 19, all dates can change to stay inline with Government announcements . In the event that this happens and you have paid a deposit with a chosen fixed date you will be able to use the deposit  for later workshops in 2021 and 2022.  The workshops will be held at my studios in Torquay, Devon ,England. Please contact me through email for all the information about these classes at [email protected] My best wishes to everyone here and lets hope we can all get back to some normality in 2021 along with teaching and sharing with you this wonderful craft.

January 15th. Sold Out………………..1 day beginners workshop

February 18th-21st .Sold Out….4 Day Glass Gilding Workshop

February 27th-28th………………2 Day Glass Gilding Workshop

March 8th-11th……………………4 Day  Glass Gilding Workshop

March 22nd-25th………………..4 Day  Glass Gilding Workshop

April 8th to 11th………………….4 Day  Glass Gilding Workshop

April 29th-30th…………………..2 Day  Glass Gilding Workshop

May 13th-16th…………………….4 Day  Glass Gilding Workshop

June 8th-12th. Sold Out………4 Day  Glass Gilding Workshop

June 24th-27th……………………4 Day  Glass Gilding Workshop

July 10th-11th……………………..2 Day  Glass Gilding Workshop

July 24th-25th…………………….2 Day  Glass Gilding Workshop

August 5th-8th……………………4 Day  Glass Gilding Workshop

August 26th-29th………………..4 Day  Glass Gilding Workshop

September 11th-12th…………….2 Day  Glass Gilding Workshop

October 7th-10th ………………..4 Day  Glass Gilding Workshop

October 23rd-24th ………………2 Day  Glass Gilding Workshop

November 6th-7th……………….2 Day  Glass Gilding Workshop

December 2nd-5th……………….4 Day  Glass Gilding Workshop

 

 

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