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Thorn Tip Instructions


Thorn Tip

The Thorn Tip is a unique tool that is easy to use.  You can easily pick up and precisely place gold leaf (or other precious or non-precious metal leaf) on any flat surface.  It was specifically designed for water gilding on glass and furniture, and can be used for gilding on glass, on walls, ceilings, and larger curved surfaces. 


Preparing the Leaf:   You can place your leaf on a gilders pad, placing as many sheets as the pad can hold, leaving space between the leaves so that the Thorn Tip will not touch the neighboring leaf when picking up a leaf.

You can also cut the back seam off the book, and pick up the leaf directly, removing the paper between the leaves as you go.


Preparing the Surface:   Prepare the surface to be gilded in the usual way for either oil or water gilding depending on the surface you are gilding.  When water gilding on glass you can grid out glass, on the reverse side, to help keep the sheets aligned.


Preparing the Thorn Tip:  Rub a very small amount of petroleum jelly into the back of your non-dominant hand.  With your dominant hand, gently rub the screen of the Thorn Tip over the back of your non-dominant hand to pick up a minute amount of petroleum jelly, which will help pick up the gold leaf.   The petroleum jelly may need to be replenished during the gilding process.


Gilding:   Place the Thorn Tip over the leaf and, with a quick motion, place it firmly on the sheet of leaf.  The leaf should be well attached, but if a corner comes loose, blow on it to attach it.


Place the leaf over the area to be gilded, looking through the screen to see where it will be placed, and lightly touch the surface (oil gilding) or get near the surface (water gilding).  The gold leaf will be pulled onto the surface.  With oil gilding you may need to use a brush to completely adhere the leaf to the surface.

If the Thorn Tip gets wet, simply blow the water out or use an absorbent cloth; the material has no absorbent qualities.

The Tip can easily be lined up with grid marks or the existing sheets of gilded leaf resulting in 1/16” or less overlaps.


You can see this process by visiting https://www.thorntip.com