gold leafFor thousands of years, people have been adding gold embellishment to paintings, books, statues and other objects. This popular application is guaranteed to make an immense impact when used with calligraphy created by The Oblique Pen, based in North Carolina’s Triangle area. Whether added to wedding scrolls, framed art work, love letters or other precious keepsakes, the luster of gold and its richness is sure to draw attention and make any memento a conversation starter.

The qualities of gold make it uniquely suited for use as decoration on keepsake documents. Although rare and expensive, a little of this precious metal can go a long way when it is turned into gold leaf, the incredibly thin sheets used by local Oblique Pen artist Jessica Yee.

Here are four key facts about gold leaf and its use in decorations:

  • Gilding: The term “gilding” refers specifically to covering an object with a thin layer of gold. Conservation and Design International’s Spring 2015 newsletter includes an article about the history of gilding, which has existed in nearly all cultures for thousands of years.
  • Malleability: One ounce of gold can be beaten into a thin sheet of gold leaf that measures about 100 square feet and 0.1 micron thick. It would take 1,000 sheets of this to equal the thickness of a typical piece of printer paper.
  • Purity: Pure gold is classified as 24 karat. Gold leaf is typically sold as pure or nearly pure gold. Artists purchase it in “books” containing several small sheets of gold leaf. This purity ensures that it will retain its shine for decades.
  • Application: A liquid substance called sizing is used to adhere the gold leaf to the paper or other surface. The artist uses a natural bristle brush to smooth the delicate gold leaf over the sizing. Any draft, even the artist’s own breath, can send the gold leaf airborne. Once dry, it is burnished with a soft cloth to bring out its luster.

Not sure how to add gold leaf to a project? Contact The Oblique Pen today and let artist Jessica Yee develop some imaginative uses for this precious metal.


This post about calligraphy services in the Triangle NC is brought to you by The Oblique Pen in Apex NC!

We are found easily across social media:

On Google+

On Facebook

On Twitter

Photo: The Oblique Pen