Reproduction of a chapter heading from a mamluk quran
I studied the illumination techniques to create this painting with Ayesha Gamiet at The Prince's School of Traditional Arts. Please see the resources section of the site for more information and links.
Gilding on raised gesso - medieval manuscript illumination
Once the gesso has fully dried and hardened, the letter is gently burnished (polished). This smooths the surface of the letter and makes it ready to receive the gold which will shine more brightly when the surface is as smooth as possible. Loose leaves of gold are then cut and carefully applied until several layers have been laid and the letter is completely covered. The final step is to gently burnish the gold until a beautiful mirror like shine is achieved.
I studied these techniques with Helen White at the Prince's School of Traditional Arts - and would highly recommend a class with Helen to anyone interested in working with gold - see the resources section of the site for more information.