Artist Feature - Gary Jackson

Published on 30.06.2022 by Rachel

Earlier this week we had a chat with self-taught signwriter and gilder Gary Jackson of Cor Glass Sign Co about his work and how he discovered glass gilding.

How would you describe your work?

I’m not sure how I would describe my work, I’d like to think it’s clean, crisp, and easy to read most of the time - though sometimes I can be too fussy or hard on myself.

What type of things inspire your work?

I usually get my inspiration for my work from old Irish whisky advertising pieces! I absolutely love them. I wish I was around years ago when they where being made, I believe there was a guy in Belfast made them and a place in Glasgow.

How long have you been painting and gilding signs?

I have been painting fifteen or sixteen years now I think, but I only started gilding about a year and a half ago and completely fell in love with it!

How did you get into it? and when did you first discover glass gilding as a craft? 

I got into sign writing from wanting to be able to sign write my own stock cars but hadn’t a clue where to start, but I got there. I first saw glass gilding in an auction house where I saw Irish whisky mirrors and pretty much said to myself I want to be able to do that - they just look so good. 

Have you had any formal education around lettering or design? If not, Are there any resources or books you would recommend? 

I have had no education on anything to do with sign writing or lettering at all. Just what I read in books (usually from reading the pictures). The books you sell from A. S. Handover would be the best, I think it’s Joby Carters book and a the 'Sign Painting' one I have, you can look at them an read the parts stage by stage an get your head around things in your own time. Also, Dave Smiths Instagram is very helpful, he has a step by step part on glue chipping and it was the best thing I ever watched or red on the subject, made a huge difference. His work is mind blowing! I’d love to go to him one day for a course. 

Any advice you would give to someone wanting to begin sign painting?

The best advice I could give is never give up, no matter how hard it is or frustrated it gets, there’s day I had ta walk away and come back later. You will find what’s comfortable for you in time .

Are there any techniques you would still like to learn?

Yes there’s so many more techniques with glass I’d love to learn! I’ve not tried acid etching yet with HF acid . Lots of different shading techniques I want to learn too, I’m hoping they come to me in time as I keep progressing. I always thought the best way to learn is to give it ago!

What are your favourite items in your kit box?

Favourite items in my took kit are my gilders tip, thorn tip an gold leaf from you! They are so addictive fun an easy to use, just watching the gold come off them is satisfying!

Huge thanks to Gary Jackson and be sure to check out his Instagram to see what he's working on!


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