Glass sign writing for a client who gave the brief of a more period looking signwriting, that was Gold gilt but also ornate. I produced 3 different designs & they chose from the 3 offered. The clients suggested that some of the design incoporated the colour of their front door to keep it neatly tied in, so instead of having a black drop shadow as per norm, a dark blue shadow was produced instead.
A paper layout is produced before being at the residence, with the correct measurements of the glass. This has centre lines marked as well.
The layout is then taped to the inside of the window, so the same layout can be drawn on the outside of the window with a white marking out pencil.
I have to admit I was slightly diappointed with the oval painted, but felt it would be difficult to redo & still be able to complete on time, as this was produced in January when day light was at a premium & essential for glass sign writing as its all about using the glass like a light box.
With the glass sign writing all completed before the gold is added, the drawing on the outside of the window can be cleaned off.
The next stage when producing 23ct gold glass sign writing is to brush paint on the ‘size’, a clear fast drying glue for the gold to stick to. Once applied the size give the appearence of ‘jelly’ when looked through.
The gold is pressed onto the areas where the size has been brushed on & its then allowed to dry. Sometimes the dry time of the size can vary depending on the temperature of the atmosphere & the glass. In this instance the weather turned cold & wet which affecting the gold sticking. When this occurs the only option is to wait for the size & gold to dry, Then apply more size & gold over the top to fill in the patches which didn’t apply well.
It can on occasion become a catch 22. A property can be cold inside on a cold day so understandably the heating is put on to warm the property. However if the radiating heat is too high it can leave the glass panel having a ‘sweat’ if the outside is cold & damp. This leads to a hard to see condensation on the glass.
This is what prevents the size drying consistantly & also prevents the gold sticking to the size. This can add a time delay to a job, but during winter its just a problem when glass sign painting using gold that is expected, especially in old buildings.
once the size & gold has dried, which can be hard to check to see, its just a case of hope when the weather isn’t ideal for drying conditions. The excess gold is wiped off using a soft wet cloth.
Once cleaned & check on the outside for any bits of gold which aren’t within the outlines or any bits that still haven’t covered well enough, the final stage is to back up the design with a fine clear varnish covering. The varnish is brush painted over the design leaving an overlapping outline around each of the painted areas. This hardens after a day or so & it traps the signs to the glass & protects it from any removal when the glass is cleaned.
Hand Painted Traditional & Contemporary Sign writing in London
Sign writer: Traditional Signs of London