Everyone familiar with me knows that I'm a picture frame designer, maker, carver, and gilder who makes frames exclusively for his wife's artworks. During 1999 I began studying picture frame history and soon discovered gilding in all its glory. I was lucky enough to have a friend who gave me the first 10 years of Picture Framing Magazine (1990-1999) wherein I discovered a treasure trove about frames, frame making, gilding, and the industry.
In 2004, I received a professional development grant from Wyoming Arts Council to attend the West Coast Art and Frame Expo in Las Vegas during January 2005. It was there that Marty Horowitz of Gold Leaf Frame Makers Santa Fe introduced me to water gilding with karat gold leaf. I had already been oil gilding since 1999, so I wasn't new to gold leaf. But water gilding was much more involved and intriguing. Despite learning that the finest frames are water gilt, I've continued mostly oil gilding since I'm mostly an exhibitor in outdoor arts and crafts festivals, and water gilding might be too delicate for that kind of exposure to the elements inside my tent. I've exhibited some in outdoor shows, but I prefer not taking the chance to ruin my gilding with moisture and whatnot.
While exhibiting in Chain of Parks Art Festival in Tallahassee, a lady came into our booth and inquired about my frames and gilding, and then she introduced herself as the President of Society of Gilders. She invited me to join and said that she would use my work in an upcoming exhibition in New Jersey featuring other members of SOG if I did join very soon. I joined. I exhibited.
My gilding work has grown in leaps and bounds since joining SOG. Furthermore, I'm so delighted with their camaraderie that I mentioned I'd like to be a member of their board of trustees, to which I was voted onto in December 2016. Welcome aboard!
Now as a member of the SOG board, I am helping to promote our gilding conference happening in Arlington (Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolitan area) June 5-10, 2017 on the University of Texas campus. Here's a link to the SOG website talking about the conference. If you hover over the word Conference in the menu bar, you can also explore the other opportunities happening with SOG in Arlington. We always schedule a community project where the most experienced gilders lead a group that will gild an architectural project and sometimes a bronze or other public artwork statuary or monument. When the conference was in Washington D.C., the group gilded the Iwo Jima Monument.
If we have any gilders on AFI, this will be a great opportunity to improve your skills learning from leaders in the field. It's really worth the time and money to climb aboard. Also, we hope anyone gilding who's not already a member of SOG will at least become a member with us. And if anyone has any questions, I'm at your service.