Thorn Tip Instructions
The newest innovation that is a must-have for gilders that gild on flat surfaces, glass, or rounded surfaces.
In July 2013, professional gilder Nancy Thorn, along with nine other gilders, was contracted to restore the Legion of Honor’s 18th-century French period room, the Salon Doré of the Hôtel de la Trémoille. Nancy created a special gilding tool to apply gold leaf to the flat surfaces. This innovative new gilding tool allowed her to lay gold leaf not only with precision, but with speed greater than with an ordinary gilder’s tip. Nancy named this new gilder’s tool the Thorn Tip.
Since then, Nancy has improved her invention and decided to make it available to the gilding community. This wonderfully easy-to-use tool works not only on flat panels, but is a must when gilding on glass.
The Thorn Tip is a unique tool that is easy to use. You can easily pick up and precisely place gold leaf (or other precious or non-precious metal leaf) on any flat surface. The Thorn Tip can be used for gilding on glass, on walls, ceilings and larger curved surfaces.
Preparing the Leaf: You can place your leaf on a gilders pad, placing as many sheets as the pad can hold, leaving space between the leaves so that the Thorn Tip will not touch the neighbouring leaf when picking up a leaf.
You can also cut the back seam off the book, and pick up the leaf directly, removing the paper between the leaves as you go.
Preparing the Surface: Prepare the surface to be gilded in the usual way for either water or oil gilding depending on the surface you are gilding. When water gilding on glass you can grid out the glass to keep the sheets aligned.
Preparing the Thorn Tip: Rub a very small amount of petroleum jelly into the back of your non-dominant hand. With your dominant hand, gently rub the screen of the Thorn Tip over the back of
your non-dominant hand to pick up a minute amount of petroleum jelly, which will help pick up the gold leaf. The petroleum jelly may need to be replenished during the gilding process.
Gilding: Place the Thorn Tip over the leaf and, with a quick motion, place it firmly on the sheet of leaf. The leaf should be well attached, but if a corner comes loose, blow on it to attach it.
Place the leaf over the area to be gilded, looking through the screen to see where it will be placed, and lightly touch the surface (oil gilding) or get near the surface (water gilding). The gold leaf will be pulled on to the surface. With oil gilding you may need to use a brush to completely adhere the leaf to the surface.
If the Thorn Tip gets wet, simply blow the water off or use an absorbent cloth; the material has no absorbent qualities.
The Thorn Tip can be easily lined up with grid marks or the existing sheets of gilded leaf.
See this process in action by visiting www.thorntip.com