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Heritage Restoration Craft Skills for Painting

The Cass
Course summary
4 weeks
595 GBP
Next available date: Contact for dates - London
Leisure / Fun Classes

Course description

Heritage Restoration Craft Skills for Painting, Furniture and Interiors:

Learn about and develop a deeper understanding of the heritage crafts used in western art for centuries including paintings and architectural interiors, churches and historic houses.

More about this course

On this course we will cover a wide range of restoration skills including gilding, japanning, varnishing, French polishing and egg tempera painting. Suitable for beginners as well as those with some experience, this practical course will guide you through the materials, processes and techniques of a range of traditional craft skills.

The gilding will focus on water gilding but oil gilding and verre eglomisé (gilding on glass) will also be covered. Japanning and varnishing will look at the traditions of Chinoiserie decoration and the historic resins and varnishes that were used, in addition to modern materials. French polishing will look at the traditional methods to apply a beautiful shellac finish to wooden furniture using a polishing ‘rubber’ or ‘mouse’. Use of egg tempera will visit the methods and materials of medieval panel paintings and look at modern takes on this venerable painting technique.

The course will appeal to anyone who has an interest in historic craft skills and their application. Don’t worry if you have never picked up a paintbrush before but equally the course will appeal to those with some grounding in craft but who need to hone their skills or branch out with new ones. The course will be of particular interest to those in the heritage and conservation/restoration industries, in addition, interior decorators and fine artists looking to diversify and increase their earning potential will find the course useful. The course should also appeal to those pursuing entirely different careers who wish to get hands-on for a few days by way of a change.

Course structure

Day One

  • Discussing, preparing and applying the gesso ground – layers of chalk and rabbit skin glue that form the vital substrate for gilding, japanning and egg tempera painting.
  • A discussion and introduction to the various techniques.
  • Application of bole (gilding clay) and paint layers for japanning.

Day Two

  • Water gilding.
  • Gilding on glass.
  • An introduction to japanning techniques and egg tempera media. This is where the real fun starts and the focus of the day will be the practical application of genuine gold leaf using a gilders’ tip and cushion.

Day Three

  • A day of French polishing using traditional methods and materials.
  • By way of contrast, an introduction to modern spray techniques.

Day Four

  • A day to continue with what you’ve found most interesting and enjoyable with the focus being on a continuation of japanning and varnishing techniques as well as the application of egg tempera.

Suitability - Who should attend?


Outcome / Qualification etc.

No Qualification

About provider

The Cass

The Cass

Our skills-based courses provide learning to a wide range of students with a variety of personal or professional reasons for attending. Students benefit from tuition from practitioner academics and state of the art facilities. The Cass has a history of...

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