Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mark Randall, master gilder and restorer

Photo by Ewa Rumprecht
Mark Randall, a quiet man with a wide array of interests, does not heavily advertise; his business comes mostly via recommendations of his clients.

Mark's expertise and passion are gilding and restoration of gilded objects - antique frames of varied provenience, furniture, trims, and moldings. If you fancy a dome with high quality gold ornaments Mark is your man!

Mark's studio is located at 183 East New York Avenue, Huntington, NY 11743; visits are by appointment only, 631.423.6346.

He has been at this location for the last 15 years, ever since he completed his gilding courses at Sepp Leaf Products followed by an apprenticeship with the master gilder Peter Stetler in Flushing. After learning the techniques of oil and water gilding, it took Mark 3 years to train his eye to see and to understand how a piece should be handled to assure proper, least invasive, and possibly reversible restoration.

My visit at his workshop was both enjoyable and instructive. It was very interesting to learn about various application methods, clays and glues, differences in color tone between 18 and higher karat gold.

Mark showed me a thin gold leaf, so thin it disintegrated on touch, which he would apply to a prep'ed surface with a brush called gilder's tip. Surface could then be further processed, for instance, it could be burnished with agate tool to desired lustre.

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