This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
AT the recent exhibition of the work of pupils, of the London County Council Central School of Arts and Crafts, in the wood-carving class it was mainly confined to frames. In regard to this the following " Note" appears in the official leaflet: - "The design and execution of a complete piece of work is the objective set before students, and picture frames are made, not only because they are the simplest things which can be put together without the help of the cabinet maker, but also with a view of reintroducing simple and effective carved frames. Beginners are set to work on a design made up of the simplest element that can be carved with the gouge (the 'finger tip'), and, as soon as the students have obtained some control over the tool and some understanding of the material, they are expected to design their own decoration and are encouraged to make their own studies from nature for the purpose. In a few cases the designs have been adapted from old examples. In the gilding class experiments are made with different grounds for burnishing upon. Slaked plaster of Paris can be used instead "I" whiting, and by using Armenian bole ground up with pipe-clay for the burnish gold-size, a better colour seems to be obtained than is usually the case when ordinary gold-size is used."
"Hardly anything can be taught, but nearly everything can be learnt," was a favourite saying of the late Mr. Watts to beginners.
The following recipe for gilding size for glass, china, metal, and wood (from the Pottery Gazette) at one time was regarded as a trade secret: - "Having put in a metal pot, placed over a slow fire, one pound of good drying oil, bring this to the boiling point, and gradually add four ounces of finely powdered gum animi, continuing the boiling until the whole is of a thick consistence, and then strain through silk. This size is to be kept in a closely stoppered bottle. It will continue tacky longer and give more lustre than any other size."