St. Cecilia: Punch work

With the turning out well, I decided to explore another area of gilding that has always interested me.  Punch work on a gilded surface is especially beautiful on a water gilded surface, I think, because the punched areas provide some sparkle amid the sea of darkened burnished gold.  In some examples of this technique the whole halo is filled with flowing designs, but I’ll need to consider that more before I attempt it.  In this case I simply outlined the halo using a pair of punches for an appropriate effect.

This was very satisfising work.  In part, this was because it meant digging out my godfather’s punches.  Father Nathanael passed away in May 2007 and loved gilding, and especially this kind of work.  With the abbot’s blessing, I took home some of his gilding tools, including the little box of his punches he used.  It was very nice to feel the echo of his hand in the punch as I worked.

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