Gold Leaf Divison
Custom Cupola & Steeple Co. Ltd. has successfully gilded exterior surfaces, including hard to coat aluminum, lead coated copper, copper, lead and stainless steel. We can also provide gilding on most other ferrous and nonferrous metals as well as concrete, terra cotta, stone and fibreglass. We are experts in preparation and coatings technology, prerequisites to a finish that will last for decades while exposed to the elements. We offer different types of application procedures gold leaf, loose leaf, and transfer leaf.
The gilding of exterior architectural ornament goes back hundreds of years; Gilded domes, spires, steeples and other ornament abound throughout France, Belgium and other Western European countries, as well as the US. Well known examples occur across Russia in the gilded minarets and onion domes associated with Orthodox churches and government buildings. Gilding is the decorative technique of applying fine metallic leaf or powder to solid surfaces such as wood, stone, or metal. Methods of gilding include hand application, chemical gilding, and electroplating which Custom Cupola & Steeple Co. Ltd. has expertise in. Custom Cupola & Steeple Co. Ltd. has connections with the Buddhist Culture with our more complex and intricate Gilding Projects.
Custom Cupola & Steeple Co. Ltd. has extensive experience and expertise in designing custom ornaments complete with gold leaf. We are able to complete small and large scale projects with our experienced team. Our team of dedicated, experienced, and skilled craftsman are ready to complete your project.
Loose leaf is literally extremely thin leaves of gold sitting between thin rouged paper. This leaf cannot be handled directly as it tears easily and sticks to the skin. It has to be picked up with a special thin, flat brush made of soft squirrel hair called a Gilders Tip. Loose leaf is used to gild onto moulded and embellished areas where the gold is required to sit in all the cracks and crevices. Loose leaf is also used for water gilding and in glassware.
Transfer leaf is the same gold as loose leaf but it is lightly pressed onto the backing paper allowing easier handling. With transfer leaf, we offer a loose press, a standard press and have the facility to press the leaf tighter should you require. Transfer leaf is used for gilding onto flatter surfaces and areas that don’t have any raised embellishments. It is used for sign work and for gilding outdoors or on ceilings and walls where the loose leaf would be far too difficult to handle.
Gold Leaf History
Gold has been in production since 4000 BC they used it to decorate ornaments. The manufacture of gold leaf began thousands of years ago, and remains a viable industry all over the world. The ancient Egyptians were already manufacturing golf leaf around 2,500 BC, they applied gold leaf to the pyramids. In Ancient Rome, golf leaf was used to ornament buildings. In Renaissance Europe gold beaters would produce gold leaf by hammering raw gold between pieces of leather.
Gold leaf is gold that is beaten into extremely thin sheets. The thin gold sheets are commonly used for gilding. Gold leaf is available in a wide variety of karats and shades. 22-24 karat yellow gold is the most commonly used for exterior gilding. Pure gold is the oldest form of beaten metal with the technique dating back to the ancient Egyptians.
Gold leaf is sometimes confused with metal leaf but they are different products. The term metal leaf is normally used for thin sheets of metal of any color that do not contain any real Karat gold. 24 Karats is pure gold. Real yellow gold leaf is about 92% to 99% pure gold depending on the product and colour chosen for a project. Silver colour white gold is approximately 50% pure gold.
The craft of the gold beater involves converting precious metals, such as gold and silver, into extremely thin leaves. Manually, it was a slow and arduous task requiring total control of the hammer and great precision of the eye. Today, modern beating is done by machine which guarantees quality and product consistency. All the other phases of the production process are done by hand by skilled and experienced workers.
When the Romans first clad the roof of the Pantheon with gold, they were making a statement for the ages. And so it is today. While the gold on the Pantheon was removed long ago by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, we are still surrounded by domes, art and architecture embellished with gold. As the Romans implicitly felt, there is no material with the enduring lustre of gold, especially in an exterior environment. Even now, in the atmosphere of our modern cities, gold will endure. Gold is a noble metal. It will not tarnish.
Custom Cupola is gold leaf experts serving the Ontario market including Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, St. Catharines and beyond.