Gilded Objects

Frame repair and consolidation

Our Gilded Objects Special Interest Group (GOCSIG) works with gilded material and artefacts such as picture frames, decorative arts and furniture and icons. Gilded Objects' members embrace a wide range of specialties, including traditional water and oil gilding with gold and other metal leaf and foils, nineteenth century bronze pigments and twentieth century titanium oxide pigments used in waxes, acrylic and gouache mediums.

Our group was established in 1996 and we're committed to researching and retaining traditional skills involved with gilded artefacts and sharing developments in research into new methods and techniques used for their restoration and conservation. Our area includes bespoke frame-making which requires a knowledge of working with timber, mould materials and paint and other furniture finishes such as dyes and resins. Gilding conservation treatments commonly include addressing poor restorations of the past, such as the removal of bronze paint over original gilded surfaces.

We currently have over 60 members working in both private practice and institutional settings. The article Frames Conservation in Australia and GOCSIG: Reflections on the Past and Thoughts for the Future by Holly McGowan-Jackson published in 2008 describes some of our history.

Our activities

We hold training workshops and symposium every two years and in 2014 we're planning a Gilding Conservation Course to be presented by Hubert Baija. This course follows on from the Traditional Gilding workshop held in 2012 and applies the knowledge learnt to the wider scope of conservation, in which every art object is respected as a unique source of information.

During this workshop we will:

  • explore the conservation and restoration of gilded and polychrome wooden objects
  • address the use of modern restoration materials on artifacts made with traditional techniques
  • aim to preserve as much original finish as possible and to intervene in the most reversible ways, if at all

Ethical and technical aspects of specific conservation choices will be discussed. In addition to practical work, this class offers presentations on case studies in art historical context.

Participants are invited to bring a small project for analysis and hands-on experience, for example a picture frame, a statue, or a decorative carving.

It is proposed that the 4-day workshop will be held in Melbourne from the 23rd - 26th September, 2014.

To register your interest, please contact either:

Need more information? Email the Convenor