The following pieces done in Japanese traditional Gold Leaf are called kinpakku. In Japan, I lived in a small fishing village and now live in one here in Downeast Maine. These pieces are a wedding of these two cultures that have shaped my life and my art.
For a detailed explanation of how these are done and the materials used, please scroll to the bottom of the page.
I first stretch a fiber paper on panels with seaweed glue. This makes it taught. After the paper is waterproofed I gold leaf it. The pigment is made of ground rocks and a binder called nikawa. The opaque whites are ground sea shells. Originally ground pearls were used.
I have recently branched out into using oil as well as iwaenogu (ground rocks) and gofun (ground sea shells). The panels are prepared the same way as kinpakku but oil is viscous and occludes the gold creating vibrant colors. Another voice to use to tell stories!
Photographing gold leaf pictures to capture their full effect is impossible! Normally, to photograph art one needs to hold the camera parallel to the picture plane so there is no image distortion. However, with gold this means one is only recording the light bouncing off the gold washing out all color. Notice the color in this picture when the camera is help obliquely to the picture plane:
Pictures Which Have Found Homes- These images are examples of what can be done on gold and copper leaf. If you are interested in a commission look at these for ideas of the feeling that gold leaf can capture.