Saturday, December 31, 2011

All That Glitters May Really Be Gold

Some of you may have used various leafing products, particularly the composite gold and silver leaf that mix well in translucent polymer. They are easy to use, and add sparkle and glitter to the piece. I've used the gold, silver, and copper leaf quite a bit, and enjoy both the process and the final "look". Recently, I was at a workshop where I met the owners from Woman Creative in Atlanta. They carry gold leaf sheets which are 23.75 K gold. The sheets are very fine and shimmery. I decided to try using a couple of sheets in some polymer mokume gane stacks and do a comparison of the two types of leaf. Since I was on a roll, I decided to also pick up some Magic Gloss carried by Lisa Pavelka, to see what that might do.

On the right are the results of my first steps. The first set used black and white and translucent polymer, and was made using the gold leaf composite. The composite breaks apart when it's used in mokemu gane, and makes lots of little sparkles that look like flakes of gold. I really like the subtle glimmer. In this particular pattern, the gold just seems to outline the leaves, making a very lovely statement.

Then I set to work with the 23.75 K gold leaf. The sheets are just so lovely and delicate. I discovered that these sheets tend to stay intact, so the gold stays in layers, even in the mokemu gane process, and creates a simply lovely shimmer. I'm not sure the photo really captures the glow this gold sheet creates. You can, though, see the difference between the broken bits of gold in the composite leaf, and the full, continuous sheets in the true gold leaf.

The last experiment used the gold leaf composite with the Magic-Gloss product. I impressed black polymer with a design, then used my finger and rubber tip tools to press the leaf into the design, minimizing tearing as much as possible. Below are the results:

Looks like I'll need to try Magic-Gloss over the 23.75K sheets, too. I'm continually amazed at all the possibilities with this wonderful medium, polymer. Wishing you all a very wonderful 2012 with lots of opportunity to explore and create.

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