How To Apply Metal Leaf to Wood Beads


I’m here with Mark Nelson and today we’re talking about wooden beads and mark you have this really great technique to show us using leaf using leaf not just gold leaf but there’s other Leafs copper silver and bronze so so you can choose based on the other findings you’re using or just your favorite metallic color exactly let’s take a look at these so that one right there is a copper leaf and you can kind of see how thin that is if you blow on it just very slightly I’ll just kind of ripple oh yeah and it picks right up so and next to that is the silver and the next is a bronze in the bronze is kind of a nice imitation gold color to yourself kind of an antique brass if you were using other antique brass findings right okay let’s take a look at that one oh yeah you can see the gold is right next to there and you see every Rock they’re very similar so alright and then when you’re working with this do you use tweezers fingers that’s kind of a sticky point there’s all kinds of different ways to do it and to some people you can’t really use fingers okay because it’ll tear tweezers will tear so I’m gonna show you technique dead let’s see your method here oh we need to prepare these be easy a few things first the first thing you’re gonna do is you’re just going to make sure that the bead is really clean and soapy water soapy water or even just a damp cloth you know you don’t really need to any kind of soap or anything like that and you want to make it clean if it’s porous and you do need to seal it and you can use a foam brush or just a regular blush I was the wrong one that’s the next step so you can even do this on beads that are painted or dyed as long as they’re sealed you can do this on any Senate thing doesn’t have to be just beads but you do need to seal it otherwise the leaf won’t stick so use a lacquer kind of coat it let it dry and then you’ll be ready for the next step which is sizing or gluing you’re going to put the glue on and I’m gonna do that right here on this one which has already been has a lacquer finish on there so is this a special kind of glue that you’re using it is it’s made especially for gold leaf and one of the key properties areas very very slowly plenty of time to work you have plenty of time to work and the idea here is that you do need to let this dry too tacky State or slightly beyond a tacky state don’t you just test that with your finger you just test it with your finger now the thing is it’s going to vary in time it can be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour probably depends on your humidity and various temperature and everything like that so here’s some techniques to see exactly when you’re ready to put the gold leaf on you can take the back of your knuckle and kind of and it should snap see that’s still a little too tacky because it jumped off okay so you did these ahead of time right like to save some time for us no no when you put your knuckle is that so that you don’t leave prints no it’s just an easy way to pinpoint your skin to a small area all right and if you do leave a fingerprint it’s actually going to heal back up but you don’t leave fingerprints because that’ll show another way to do it is you can actually take the side of your pinky and just slightly drag it okay so are these ready this one’s ready this one’s still too tacky so I’m going to do is I’m going to take this leaf and not handle it and try not to do two bees at once here but just lay it on like that kind of rub it and you can start to see where it’s attaching then you just use finger pressure you don’t need to burnish it you don’t need to burnish it actually you can burnish it with a cotton ball about five minutes after you lay it down oh wow okay look at that and you might even be able to put a couple layers on there if you need to and just keep on going so would you build up the layers just to create more shine more depth and to because this stuff is so thin you can actually see through it so that any kind of background will actually show through so what do you do with the extra we’re gonna let it dry and then what you can do is kind of work it off flake it off like this just using a brush yeah and save it because what you can do is I’m just going to put on here is you can use it like this oh that’s so pretty and use all your scraps is nothing’s going to waste and layer this with a bunch of scrap and it’ll actually kind of create a different effect yeah that’s a really really pretty surface design now when this is dry then what’s next most the time you don’t need to coat it with anything but if it’s jewelry it’s gonna take a lot of abuse if you want to finish coat it with a lacquer or something that’s gonna protect it how long does it take to dry before you put the lacquer could be it depends on your environment I usually let it dry overnight just to make sure it’s really good and dry is it possible to remove some if it’s in the wrong place nope you just this is nature’s design you just go with it if you want to remove it you have to totally scrape the whole thing off okay so take it down to the wood that’s right this is such a beautiful technique I could see I know you’re a carver if you do carve some designs here you could really highlight your work yeah I really wanted you can carve in here all kinds of designs and lay down different metal leaf for different now what would happen if you’re using very flat beads here but what would happen if you were using round beads would you use a brush to put it on same you would use the same foam brush to apply the sizing you could use a sheet to kind of tack it in different areas there are techniques for cutting it and applying it but they’re very hard so some practice for that yes all right well thank you Mark you’re welcome we’ll be right back with lisa krone

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