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All Things Gold – gilding course 

Join Aaron Stephens, our in-house fairground artist and UK leading expert in gilding for this comprehensive four day workshop course based at the restoration workshops for Carters Steam Fair in While Waltham.

You will learn how to apply gold and aluminium leaf to two and three dimensional objects via a mix of live demonstrations and will have plenty of opportunities to get ‘hands-on’ and try techniques.

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What will you learn on the course?

You will learn how to apply gold and aluminium leaf to two and three dimensional objects via a mix of live demonstrations and will have plenty of opportunities to get ‘hands-on’ and try techniques.

  • Reverse glass gilding (featuring water gilding, oil gilding, puntie cuts, paint effects and abalone shell)
  • Demonstration of acid etching
  • Demonstration of brilliant cutting
  • Loose leaf oil gilding including prep
  • Transfer oil gilding including layout
  • Imitation leafs oil gilding including Aluminium, Copper and Variegated
  • Using flamboyant paint to create special effects and add style
  • Oil Glaze effects
  • Basics of directional burnishing
Who teaches this course?

Aaron Stephens is the in-house fairground artist for Carters Steam Fair and a UK leading expert in gilding who has 15 years experience of working with these materials on a regular basis.

Aaron will share his 15 years of experience of gilding both two dimensional and three dimensional objects. He has extensive experience of working with gold and aluminium leaf on a regular basis so you’ll gain an excellent understanding of using these materials on a variety of projects

Alongside being a fairground artist and signwriter, Aaron Stephens specialises in the design and making of handmade and totally unique Victorian-era glass signage and brilliant-cut glass panels.

Who is this course for?
This course is ideal for crafters, those working in heritage and restoration or for signwriters looking to add gilding to their skillset. Whether you want to gild weather vanes, gates, wood carvings and cornices or want to create eye-catching artwork or signs for retail, hospitality or vintage vehicles, this course will enable you to gild and reverse glass gild with confidence.

These skills take patience to perfect but by sharing his personal tips and tricks of working with a variety of gilding materials, Aaron will give you the confidence to gild your projects effectively and will help you avoid making costly mistakes that can occur when you self-teach.

Where is the course held?

The courses are held in a restoration workshop known as ‘Joby’s paintshop’ at his restoration yard, in White Waltham near Maidenhead, Berkshire.

What is included in the course price?
  • 4 days of tuition from 9-5pm
  • £100 of gold leaf which you can take any remaining home with you
  • Lunches and hot drinks
How many places are there on the course?

There are 5 places on each course.

What happens when I book my course?

When you place your order you will be emailed an e-ticket, which is your course booking confirmation. 

Where can I stay while I'm on the course?

We recommend that you try to find places local to White Waltham so your commute to the course is a short and easy one.

Our recommendations for the nearest places are:

The B&B in Innings Lane ran by Kate Gough (01628 826 789)
The Bird in Hand, approximately 3.5miles away (01628 826 622)
Rose Kenyon’s B&B about 4 miles away (01628 623262/07508 535945)

There are also a number of Air BnB’s running in White Waltham that are advertised on the Air BnB website, previous students have used these and have given positive feedback.

Maidenhead is a short drive away and has a Travelodge and Premier Inn. Please allow time for your journey to the workshop as the roads can be busy at peak hours.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide space for caravans or mobile homes in the Yard; it’s a busy working fairground yard and we are moving vehicles around a lot. Other guests have recommend visiting the Caravan Club website for local campsites.

What equipment do I need and what should I wear?

You do not need to bring any materials or equipment with you, as we provide everything you need on the course.

Please remember to wear clothes that are comfortable, and you don’t mind getting messy, please wear sturdy closed toe footwear, no flip flops or sandals.

We provide food and hot drinks, but you might like to bring a mug or travel mug and your own spoon. If you want to bring any additional snacks you are welcome to do so.

students on the gilding course
Gilding a two dimensional object
Gilding on glass

Apply for funding for your course

Signwriting, gilding, fairground art and coach painting are heritage skills and some organisations offer funding to those interested in learning these traditional skills.

We encourage you to research funding opportunities with QEST, Heritage Crafts and the Crafts Council.