Friday, 1 July 2011
My rivoli coating experiment
This is the first pics of my latest experiment that I've been meaning to do for months now, doing my own coatings on rivolis inspired by the many custom coatings available. It's not that easy to find unfoiled rivolis to work with, but eventually I found a couple.
For this first test I used a clear 18 mm rivoli that I painted with size -- an adhesive for leaf metal -- on one side and covered with a variegated leaf metal in gold with pink and orange heat patina. Like with my butterfly, this leaf didn't come as a sheet, but nor flakes either. Rather something in between: a sheet crammed into a small container that crumbled and shred it. So I couldn't make a really smooth coating.
One thing I worried about was whether or not the gilding would look good through the crystal as that's how it's supposed to be view, as a coating applied to the back of the crystal seen through it. As you can see the brush strokes in the size are unfortuneatly visible. Don't know if I can eliminate the problem in my next rivoli by pressing the leaf harder to the crystal or if I should use resin instead of traditional size. After all, size is usually applied to an opaque surface and not meant to be seen. On the other hand, the streaking is more apparent in the photos as they magnify all the details the eye would otherwise not see.
I also had to add some more leaf to areas that became scratched when brushing the metal. Especially the culet is tricky -- I know that from my professionally coated rivolis too: it wears down easily. After leaving it overnight, I applied a sealant both to keep the metal from tarnishing and to protect the delicate gilding. I will add more coats later.
This was my first test and it has flaws -- like the only partially covered girdle, the scratching, transferring size from my fingers to the front of the crystal etc. I have learnt from it and it has far from deterred me from using the rest of my unfoiled rivolis. One thing I'll make for next time is some sort of holder for the crystal so I can have both my hand free and hopefully that'll also help me avoid getting adhesive and foil to the wrong side of the crystal. Some sort of putty would probably be useful.
I also took the opportunity to foil one of my tumbled glass pebbles, as you can see above. The flat back makes it much easier to apply the leaf metal to this "cabochon" than to a faceted crystal stone. Here I used a leaf metal similar to the one above, but with blue and green patterns instead of the rose version above. The matte surface and golden foiling gives it a soft, warm glow. This was my best pic, but it doesn't really do it justice (I keep saying that about almost all my photos...).