At the Kanuga Icon conference this year, I wanted to add to my skills. After communicating with the teacher Suzanne Schleck, I gathered the requisite supplies and prepared the board so that I could learn to guild with red clay bole and loose gold leaf.
It's a tricky process, but worth the effort because so many more lovely effects can be achieved.
The first day of class I showed the board to Suzanne. She asked what portions of the board I wanted to gild. I showed her. She looked askance at me and uttered a quiet "Ha."
I figured, in for a penny, in for a pound.
At the conference I spent about a day and a half full-time working with the bole and the gold. Yes, I learned all sorts of things involving red clay, water, 24 k loose gold leaf, wax paper, wait time, deep breathing, agate burnishers, prayer, incising, hot tea, hide glue, honey, and peach brandy. Many veterans helped me and offered welcome advice. I suspect they were also praying for me. I never lost faith that it would turn out okay.
Everything after I attached the protective paper I finished at home. Below are a few photos showing the process.