Traditional Glass Gilding – McGarvey’s Saloon

Traditional Glass gilding at McGarvey’s Saloon in Annapolis, Maryland. The hand rendered gold leaf logo has remained in good condition for more than thirty years save a few scratches from rough times, after all this is in a bar! The gold leaf is applied in two layers by hand – double gold. A pounce pattern is used to apply the backup paint. The excess gold is then removed with a soft eradicating brush. At last the thin green outline is applied with a fine lettering brush. Gold leaf on glass is a beautiful way to show off any storefront. Traditional glass gilding can last a lifetime.

glass gilding


About McGarvey’s

McGarvey’s serves great seafood and beer! This restaurant was recommended by locals. They offer great oysters, crab cakes and cold beer! We were greeted on a 95 degree day with ice water. Alex and a trainee provided fast service to our table. The restaurant offers comfortable decor with several rooms and a large bar.

About Verre églomisé

The verre églomisé process involves both designing and gold leafing the surface of glass’ rear face to achieve a mirror effect. Jean-Baptiste Glomy [1](1711–1786), an art dealer and decorator from France, is widely credited with its revival.

Glomy’s technique was relatively simple, combining plain colour with gilding to apply decorative designs to glass picture frames. Over the centuries, the term has become synonymous with nearly any process involving back-painted and gilded glass. [2]

Back-painting glass dates back to pre-Roman times. A key period in the history of the art was from the 13th to the 16th century in Italy. Reliquaries and portable altars were decorated with glass panels with designs formed by engraved gold leaf. This particular gilding method is described byCennino Cennini.[3]Other artists includeJonas Zeunerand Hans Jakob Sprungli (1559–1637).

It has also been used across Europe since the 15th century, appearing in furniture, drinking glasses, and jewelry. In recent histories, it has also been utilized as window signs and advertising mirrors, as well as decorative panels of mirrors.

Artists of the Blue Ridergroup explored the technique in the 1920s, transforming what had been a folk art into fine art. Indeed, artists of the caliber ofKandinsky,Marc,KleeandGabriele Münterproduced glass paintings.[4]  Today, very few artists use the technique as a fine art form.  The Irish artist Yanny Petters is well known for her use of gold leaf. Her beautiful work can be seen at theShirley SherwoodGallery,[5]Kew Gardens, London and at the Olivier Cornet Gallery inDublin, Ireland.

In the gilding process, the silver, gold or other metal leaf is fixed using agelatinadhesive which, after steaming, results in a mirror-like, reflective finish. The design can be applied by various techniques, often by reverse painting prior to gilding, or by engraving the design into the gilded layer, or even into the glass. When painting an elaborate design such as a flower, the artist’s natural methodology is reversed, with highlights applied first and the background applied last.

Gold, silver, or other metal leaf is fixed using agelatin adhesive, which results in a mirror-like, reflective surface. The design may be applied using various techniques, for example, by reverse painting, gilding or engraving into the gold layer, or even directly into the glass. Painting elaborate designs, such as flowers, requires the artist to apply highlights first and the background second.

Matte finishes may also be obtained by using oil-based adhesives (goldsize varnish).

Verre Églomisé is also used to describe gilt and distressed mirrors that lack any actual design or pattern, but then it is taking a step further away from its original meaning. These should be called “distressed hand-gilded mirrors”.

More Traditional Glass Gilding and Gold Leaf Signs…

You might also be interested in…

Get in touch to stand out!

We have a lifetime of sign make experience, we offer a wide range of high quality manufactured signs and services.
Contact us today for a quote and get ready to stand out!
We look forward to working for you!

Contact Form Designsandsigns