Enjoying the flattened leather ‘veneer’; having fun water gilding the leather and bookcloth corners with 12 carat white gold and the back bookcloth torang with 23 carat yellow gold; water gold size; allowing to dry and transferring the designs to the back; cutting out the intricate tezhib/tazhib islimi shapes inside the leather and bookcloth.

This is the Year of Gold for me. I love ‘gold’ gold, Renaissance gold, yellow gold, and all the varying colours that gold appears in. White gold is equally beautiful, its appearance is a warm silver colour with an added quietness and softness. This gentleness suits Islamic book covers very well I think and will complement yellow shell gold beautifully. As a contrast I also applied yellow gold leaf.

I adore the gilding process and regularly use gold gilding in my work. I have never used white gold before so this was a nice highlight of my day; because it was 12ct it was lighter and thinner to handle, and therefore a bit more flyaway. Sometimes this quality makes gilding easier; sometimes the heavier weights of gold (22ct and above, to 23, 23.5 and 24ct Renaissance gold) makes gilding easier, depending on the job, the time of day, the weather outside (gold responds to the atmosphere and the slightest breath of air causes it to float; beaten loose gold leaf is an amazing substance that seems lighter than air), other people in the studio, the energy in the air, the energy of one’s hand, one’s current mood and the phase of the moon…

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