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...).


  1. I like them! I think that the texture acheived is one of the reasons. It looks hand applied because it is hand applied and that is a marvelous group of colors. Bravo to you for coming up with something new!
    Enjoy the day!

  2. Hi! I like that you tried to coat your own. The effect rivolis are vacuum sealed which allows them to appear seamless! And then they are coated in gold or silver foil afterwards.
    Should you ever want to remove foil from clear/gold foiled rivolis or any rhinestone, just soak it in a vinegar/kosher salt mix over night The foil will easily scrub off into the kosher salt or wipe off into the kosher salt/vinegar mix with a stir of a wooden stick or chopstick. I brush it off with a paper towel. Thank you for sharing your results! :o) I am inspired to try, now, too!!!

  3. Thanks for your kind words! I'm glad to hear others enjoyed seeing this rivoli as much as I enjoyed making it.

    And thanks for the tips on removing the foil, Amber! I've got a couple of old crystal stones with worn foil and I've thought about somehow "repairing" them, but pehaps it's easier just to remove the rest of the foil and do something else with them instead. Will probably try saving them first and if that doesn't work I might as well strip it as they don't look nice the way they are right now...

    Here I used a clear rivoli. That means I've got one more clear stone and two topaz-coloured ones left. I'm especially looking forward to seeing what I can do with the coloured crystal.

  4. Wow! This is beautiful! Experimenting is always a good thing because you can learn so much...and sometimes it comes out even better than you expected! I know you said that there are things here that you would do differently, but know that it looks really great.

    You're using supplies that I don't work with, so much of the terminology is a little lost on me. For example, when I first read the title of the post, I thought it said "Ravioli coating experiment". I thought you were working with pasta!

    Keep up the wonderful work!

  5. *hihi* Well, you wouldn't be the first one to think that way. I even know beaders who keep misspelling it ravioli instead of rivoli.

    Thanks for your comment!


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