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Have you ever seen a painting that looks like it’s been through some tough times? The surface is all pitted and the paint appears to be chipping. This is called verre églomisé—a technique of creating relief patterns on glass with paint, varnish, and sand.
What is verre églomise? It’s an old technique of creating a painted etch effect on glass by adding layers of liquid in different colors with various textures over time and then burnishing it with sandpaper. It was used most often to decorate glassware and windows in the home for protection from the elements, but now you can find it everywhere from tabletop decorations to jewelry boxes.
The history of verre églomisé dates back to the early 1700s when it was most often used to decorate glassware or windows.
Verre Eglomise Wall Mirror
Verre Eglomise is a traditional technique for creating handcrafted mirrors. When employing this method, craftspeople would apply gold leaf to the rear side of a piece of glass in order to create a mirrored panel. Oftentimes, the artisan would render an ornate design or even a silhouette portrait within the gold leaf.
(Verre eglomise was the precursor to the antiqued mirror you see today. )
These mirrors were in fashion during the 1700’s and 1800’s as well as the early 1900’s.
Unfortunately, we don’t see as many Verre Eglomise mirrors today. This is likely due to the fact that the mirrored panels aren’t as reflective as the mirrors we have today. They’re far more decorative than they are functional.
While these mirrors fell out of fashion during the last century, we’ve seen a recent resurgence among antique collectors and vintage furniture connoisseurs. Even some artisans have taken up the technique, creating Verre Eglomise mirrors with a modern twist.
How is verre eglomise done?
Prepare the glass. (clean it and make sure it is dry.)
Take the stencil you want and place it under the glass. Use a putty to ensure the stencil sticks to the glass and will not move while you are working.
Apply the paint to the areas you want.
Mix your gelatin capsules with warm water and mix this well
Making sure the paint is completely dried, you can apply the silver or gold leaf keeping it away from all water.
When the leaf and size is dried, you can take cotton and gently rub the surface
It is recommended that you take black Japan oil paint to protect the project
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to some questions you may have
Can you gold leaf glass?
What is Verre Eglomise?
Verre Eglomise is a technique that involves applying gold leaf to the surface of glass. The process was invented in the late 19th century, and has been used throughout history for a variety of purposes. Today, it can be seen in many modern-day applications including wine bottles, champagne flutes, and more.
How do you guild glass?
Gilding requires three ingredients: gold leafs or metal leafs, adhesive solution (usually water with gum arabic) and glass that has been roughened enough to allow the adhesive solution to penetrate into the pores of the surface.
Step 1. Apply a layer of adhesive solution to the glass. The adhesive solution is simply glue and water that has been mixed together and allowed to thicken. Traditionally, gum arabic was used because it is naturally soluble in hot water, but powdered acrylics are also common ingredients. Do not use hot water (or any other kind of liquid) to mix the gum arabic, as this will cause lumps and clumps that won’t dissolve properly when the glue is applied later on.
Step 2. Apply the gold or metal leafs to the adhesive solution, leaving a small space between each one. Certain types of gold and metal leafs can be used for this purpose:
Smooth, flat-round plates of metal are best. For example, gold leaf is often a good choice because it has the thinnest and flattest surface on which to apply the gold (it is also available as bar-cut, wire-cut or paste).
They should be applied with no air bubbles between them.
They should be attached with a plain glue stick or a candle (gold and silver versions are available), not rubber cement or other adhesives which could trap bubbles in places where they aren’t wanted.
Step 3. Heat the glass gently and let the piece cool to room temperature.
Step 4. Clean the surface of the glass to remove any residue from the glue or adhesive solution, and make sure there is no lint or other debris on it.
Step 5. Apply a layer of varnish on top of the glass, and let it dry completely before use.
Variety in Finished Pieces
Depending on what you are using it for, you can apply gold leaf directly to wine glasses or champagne flutes, or place them into frames with other decorations applied beforehand such as leaves and vines.
More Articles About Verre Eglomise
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