December 2, 2013
A California print (part of her studio’s wall gallery) called out to me, and seeing that it was a commissioned piece from a friend, I thought up some ways I could make a similar poster for my home. As much as our family is starting to really enjoy (dare I say love? what?!) NC, our roots will always be in California.
Since the poster would hang somewhere in my living room, I knew I wanted my version to be a little more buttoned-down and tried to stay true to the actual outline of the state instead of a more interpretive, abstract look. Going off a printout, I freehanded the outline onto a velvety, black substrate I had on hand (old samples from a printing company) but still managed to mess up a few areas, most notably, my hometown — sorry Bay Area and San Jo!
With a sponge brush, I filled in the outline with size, a gilding medium that adheres the gold leaf to whatever surface you’re working on. You can find gilding kits at any craft store. Just make sure to pick up a sponge brush or two if you don’t already have that on hand.
Once the size is dried, carefully lay down your leafing sheets over the size, overlapping the edges of the sheets as you go. Smooth down with your hand or press with a completely dry sponge brush. Rub off the excess with your fingers and gently burnish the borders of the state.
With a clean, dry cloth, sweep off the gold dust and flecks from your print (vacuuming is the best way to clean off your floor and workspace). If you like, you can apply a thin layer with the protective coating that comes with the kit. I skipped that part and went straight to framing my finished print instead.
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