As you walk down the road, viewing the frontage of houses, one may notice the odd sparkle above the main entrance door. Nothing shines quite like gold and the gilded glass sign written panes above front doors are something to admire. Traditional sign writing is not as widespread as it once was, but is still widely available and one aspect that is worth the investment is a traditional written fan light above your door with the added embellishment of some genuine gold leaf. For a short video on the production of gold leaf scroll to the bottom of the post.
This project was carried out in Llanelli and wanted to reintroduce the house name to a newly installed door. The style was a recreation from a neighbouring property, and was drawn out to scale for approval before the outline was painted to the glass. When writing on glass everything is reversed, as it is meant to be viewed from the other side. Not difficult to understand when it comes to some simple lettering but more complicated when using multiple colours with highlights and shadows. You start with the work looking like a paint by numbers.
The lettering is applied using sign writing enamel from 1Shot and sable writing brushes of which I have collected a few over the years. I don’t get to use them as often as I’d like but hopefully will be able to get a bit more of a chance soon as I have a few panes of glass waiting for treatment. For the gilding 2 layers of 23.5 crt extra thick gold leaf was used, 2 layers gives the best finish. It gives a deeper shine and ensures that there are no faults or misses in the leaf before being protected from the reverse with another layer of sign writing enamel
The final finish of Gold Leaf really is second to none and you cannot compare genuine gold to imitations like paint apart from cost, but the longevity of gold will outperform any paint. I am unsure if there are any producers left in the UK but for some information on the former production of gold leaf see the video below. For an insight on traditional sign writing there is quite a nice documentary available on iTunes