Course 1: Making gold and silver pigment, and how to use it.

workshop 2Course 1: Making gold and silver pigment, and how to use it.

The method of preparing  shell gold taught in this workshop derives from techniques used by traditional artisans in India. It offers a simple and efficient way of making useful quantities of ultra-fine gold powder for processing into liquid paint suitable for calligraphy, miniature-painting and illumination. It is is far superior to any commercially available products because it is very finely divided, which means it is remarkably fluid and contollable, and polishes up to a brilliant shine.

Participants will learn how to handle and grind the gold leaf, how to wash and filter the pigment free of any impurities, how to introduce a suitable medium, and techniques for using the finished product. They will also experiment with achieving different shades of gold paint by mixing shell gold with powdered silver, and learn a simple technique for making decorated gold-flecked paper.

The course offers a valuable professional development opportunity for artists, craftspeople, academics, conservators and restorers, who will come away with lifetime skills and a solid body of practical research.

For an idea of  the content of the workshops, please see these links:

Preparing shell gold” – a guest post at The Book and Paper Gathering

How to paint with 24 carat shell gold” – some insights on techniques of painting with shell gold in Persian manuscripts.

Class sizes are limited to a maximum of four participants.

Course dates:

10 – 11 June 2016, 10.00 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. with a one hour lunch break.

24 – 25 June 2016, 10.00 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. with a one hour lunch break.

Tea and coffee will be provided as part of the course. For lunch there is a wide variety of tempting local eateries.

Cost: £220 per 2-day course

To register: Please go to Eventbrite to register and pay online.

Additional materials (Available at cost price at the course):

  • Habberley Meadows 24 ct fine gold leaf @ £25.92 per book of 25 leaves ( one or two books is recommended for a useful quantity of shell gold)
  • Habberley Meadows silver leaf @ £5.40 per book of 25 leaves
  • Muji porcelain sauce bowl (for storing the shell gold) @ £2.95

If you prefer, you can bring your own 24 ct gold and/or silver leaf, and a small ceramic or glass pot, or even a shell for your pigment.

All other materials will be provided as part of the course, but you might like to bring a notebook or sketchpad and a camera.


Anita Chowdry
Tel: +44 (0)20 3556 7075