October 2017

Making craft work

Situated in a bespoke studio space at Making Space, in the heart of Leigh Park, is gilder, Richard Walker. His clients wonder if he is an illusionist as he expertly creates the impression of solid forms by coating the surfaces of different objects with an ultra-thin slice of precious metal leaf.

A range of materials, including metal, wood, glass and concrete can be gilded. In fact Richard uses the mantra: “If it can be painted, it can be gilded.” Richard is dedicated to product development, innovation and education and has developed new finishes not yet available on the market. Later this month he will be working with German based company, Noris Gold Leaf, to work with their
new product – Kolner – which Richard feels will transform the world of gilding.

As a professional gilder, Richard’s craft skills are niche. He is sought by other designers and artists to create finishes for their products and, in some cases, mentor them through the process; explaining how they can embellish their designs with bespoke metal leaf surfaces. Richard feels that having a studio space has made all the difference as he has experienced a seismic shift in his practice, “My work ratio used to be 80% other and 20% gilding. It is now the reverse, 20% other and 80% gilding. This is because I have a location and am able to convey a professional front.”

Over the next 12 months, Richard aims to launch a new book, teaching high level gilding techniques that are suitable for all abilities, from keen hobbyists to professionals. He also has plans to expand his business to include collaborations with designers, exploring how gilding can enhance interior and architectural spaces.

Lynne Dick, Director, Making Space
Websites: http://makingspace.org/  http://www.watergild.com/.