Every gilded art object is a delicate source of technical and art historical information. With a personal experience of ancient crafts, we better grasp why one object ages more gracefully than another, supporting us in making choices for interventions (if any), and preserving objects for future study of original substance and manufacture. 

The first five-day class (July 8-12) introduces the millennia-old technique of gilding by working from bare wood to the final product. Informed by 15th and 18th-century sources, we will prepare sample boards and frames, go through all the steps of priming, bole- and oil gilding, make ornaments and textures, and prepare glazes. 

In the second five-day class (July 15-19) we explore the conservation and restoration of gilded and polychrome wooden objects. Our job is to reintegrate and recover the legibility of the pieces as a whole while preserving the original material and character. We may use traditional materials or methods, but contemporary restoration materials and approaches expand our options for planning potential reversibility. 

The workshops are given at the Beloit College Center for Collections Care in Wisconsin (near Chicago).  

About the instructor: Hubert Baija is an enthusiastic, highly skilled, and knowledgeable educator and retired senior conservator with thirty years of experience at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Professional Member of AIC; voting member of ICOM-CC; instructor at the former Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies; lecturer at the Conservation and Restoration Program of the University of Amsterdam.

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