What had previously been allowed only to kings, in the present world is well established in the mansions of successful and held people. We are talking about the use of gold and gold ornaments in decorative interior decoration, furniture, as well as exterior parts of architectural elements of buildings. Of course, for this, not parts made of pure metal are used, but a special technology is gilding with gold leaf, originating in very remote times.
Precious element of decorative decoration
Gold is a very expensive material in order to use it in large projects. Therefore, in ancient times people began to use the plasticity of this metal to save it for decorative purposes. Take, for example, the stretcher of the pharaoh. They look massive and cast from pure gold. But in fact it is covered with gold leaf in a very thin layer.
Thanks to the development of industry, the improvement of technologies and tools, and the emergence of many new materials, anyone can choose to surround themselves with a luxurious decor. True, this possibility is due to the use of substitutes, such as potassium or acrylic paint "gold leaf".
Methods of production and scope of material
So what is this - gold leaf? This term came to us from ancient, hidden in the depths of civilization times, and meant "surface", "cover". It was transformed into the concept of "leaf" from the word "face", "facial". If you do not plunge into the jungle of linguistics and other sciences, then gold leaf got its name precisely because of the way it is used - covering the surfaces "from the sheet".
Decorative structures covered with this kind of material, give beauty, elegance and luxurious appearance to both furniture and premises. But the use of this type of finishing is difficult, because it involves the use of very thin leaves of material. Their thickness varies from 13 to 67 hundredths of a millimeter, and working with them requires a certain training of the master and the use of special technologies and tools.
Gold leaf is produced using a "bump" technology, in which a piece of metal heated and rolled off to a certain thickness is transferred to a "pile". Previously, this process took place in several stages and required a huge amount of human strength and time. Now it is computerized and mechanized, but its high cost is still quite high - from two and a half kilograms of precious metal, only a kilogram of mosaic is obtained. Leaflets of the finished material are placed between sheets of a booklet of a certain format. The weight of such books can be from one and two tenths of a gram to six grams. It should be noted that this material is used for external use with a weight of two and a half grams. Gold leaf, the price of which depends on the sample, can be purchased in many specialized stores from $ 36-40 per booklet.
The technology of decorating can be divided into two main types. The first - when the gold leaf is transferred to the surface, previously covered with oil or varnish. It's called matte. In this form, the surface is matte and not very elegant. But this method of application is more stable and is used when performing both decorative internal works on various materials and external ones.
Another type - polymentic (glue), provides for the imposition of gold leaf on the surface, treated with water-glue mixtures. This is the method by which the maximum gloss of the gilded surface is achieved. But it can be used only when performing interior decoration and mainly for decoration of wood or plastic products.
Features of gilding with gold leaf
It's the complexity of working with the material itself. Even the lightest draft can lead to the loss of not one hundred dollars, if a weightless and expensive gold leaf falls under its influence. Also, gold leaf can not be taken simply by hands - its weightlessness and fragile structure will instantly affect. He will turn into dust in the hands of the woe master. Therefore, they work with him with a special tool and at least have simple skills in handling such tender and expensive material.
Imitation of gold
A somewhat cheaper process of decorating for precious metal called substitutes. It can be like gold on silver - a double, and gold on a copper basis - the talm. The high cost of the metal itself contributed to the origin of such imitators of the gilded surface as the potassium-silver alloy with aluminum, as well as tin disulphide, most commonly used for gilding wood and gypsum.