This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
There are two methods of preparing gold for mineral painting. In both the metal is dissolved in aqua-regia and precipitated from the solution in the form of a brown powder. In one the gold is precipitated by the use of copperas, and in the other by mercury. The latter method is the less costly, as the deposit of gold in the form of powder is of greater volume, but the gilding produced by it is not so heavy or so
A Demonstration in Enamelling
Mr. Bonner Soldering the Metal Strips to the Plate durable. The metal can be procured of the necessary degree of purity in the form of coin. Take a sovereign (or half a sovereign, if only half the quantity is desired), place it at the bottom of a graduated glass, and pour about an ounce and a half of aqua-regia upon it. Aqua-regia is a compound of equal volumes of chlorohydric and nitric acids, which may be procured from a chemist. Let it stand until the next clay, when, if the metal is not entirely dissolved, the process can be facilitated by pouring the solution of gold which has been formed into another vessel, and adding a little fresh aqua-regia to that which remains. The solution of the gold in aqua-regia forms a chloride of gold. When the coin is entirely dissolved there will be a small residuum of white powder in the bottom of the glass. This is chloride of silver from the alloy in the gold. The solution of gold must be carefully poured off into another vessel to get rid of this deposit of silver. It must now be diluted with water, and to effect this it can be separated into four parts, each of which is poured into a glass vessel which will hold about a pint. To each part add about half a pint of water, and then add protosulphate of iron (copperas) previously dissolved in warm water, until a precipitate is formed. Precipitation will begin immediately upon the addition of the copperas, clouding the liquid, and the gold, in the form of a rather light powder, will begin to fall to the bottom of the vessel. Let it stand six hours, or until it has entirely settled, and then pour off the clear liquid from the precipitate. It would be better to save the liquid thus poured off and treat it again with copperas, as the gold held in solution may not all have been precipitated, and you may, by this means, obtain a greater quantity of the powder. Fill the vessels containing the precipitate of gold with clear water, let it stand until it settles, and then pour off the water and replace it by fresh, repeating the process two or three times. This is to wash the precipitate. Finally, pour some chlorohydric acid upon it to eliminate the oxide of iron, which may be present from the decomposition by the water of an excess of copperas, and then wash it in boiling water. When it has settled, pour off the water and transfer the still moist precipitate to a shallow vessel - a plate that will bear heat will do - and, placing it over or in front of a moderate fire, dry it. We have now the gold precipitate in the form of a powder, which must be prepared for its use upon porcelain by grinding, and the addition of a flux to make it adhere to the glaze. The rubbing down (it can scarcely be called grinding, as the powder will be found to be already very fine) may be facilitated by passing the powder through a piece of thin silk or muslin.
A Demonstration in Enamelling. By Albert E. Bonner.
A Slide for Neck Wear, in Blue and Green Enamels, with Moonstone centre. Photographed in the Progressive Stages of Production. The Figures on the left hand show, respectively, the appearance of the Back of the Object.
The flux is formed of nitrate of bismuth, twelve parts to one part of pulverised borax. The nitrate of bismuth is formed from the precipitation by water of a solution of bismuth in nitric acid.
Carbonate of potash is sometimes used to produce this precipitate, but this method must not be adopted in this case, as the carbonate of potash will also precipitate the oxides of nickel and copper, and the presence of the smallest quantity of copper will injure the effect of the gilding. Mix one part of the flux thus described with twelve parts of the gold powder. This flux is suited for firing upon hard porcelain. If the gold is intended for softer ware and for a lighter firing, borate of lead should be added. The powder is now ready for use, and may be rubbed down on the palette with a sufficient quantity of fat oil and spirits of turpentine to give it the proper consistency to be applied with the brush. Care must be taken, however, not to make it too thin, as it must be applied more thickly than the colours. It is best to keep it in the form of powder and to mix it with the oil only as it is used; it will then flow better and be more brilliant.
A Demonstration in Enamelling. By Albert E. Bonner.
A Brcoch in Blue and Green Enamels. Photographed in the Progressive Stages of Production. The Figures show, respectively, the appearance of the Front and Back of the Object.
The best size for gold leaf may be made by burning for a few seconds a saucerful of boiled linseed-oil and adding a little fat oil and brown drying varnish.
Always clean your brushes thoroughly; it will not only preserve them, but it will keep your work fresh.
Some Jewellery by Edith A. Dick.
Among the ladies in this country who, during the past few years, have taken up the art of the jeweller, and, incidentally, that of enamelling on metal, none have attained a higher rank than Mrs. Edith A. Dick. That this position has not been lightly won, no one will question who is familiar with her work, which she carries on with all the enthusiasm of the true artist and craftsman. Of course she is no novice, and, judging from the seriousness of her aims and the success with which she markets her not inconsiderable output, it would be affectation to consider her as an ordinary amateur. She has long since passed the stage of producing pretty wire filigree trifles, which satisfies the ambition of most of her sisters in the craft, and does not hesitate to undertake such a difficult branch of the goldsmith's art as the solid setting of faceted stones, and such ambitious metal work as is shown in our illustration on the opposite page. The exquisite workmanship of the object here represented would alone be sufficient to justify the statement that, artistically speaking, the lady has - as the French would say - "arrived." This cleverly designed hand mirror is eleven inches long. It has been several times on exhibition, and more than once has gained first honours in distinguished company. The blue stones which form the " eyes " of the tail of the peacock are more purplish in hue than we care to see them, in conjunction with the blue enamel of the body of the bird; but with the richly chased groundwork of bronze, the line green enamel of the plumage, the golden feet, and the crest of rubies, the effect is truly gorgeous. The various difficulties involved in bringing to successful completion such as erious piece of work are such as might well tax the technical resources of a veteran craftsman, and one can but regard Mrs. Dick's achievement with admiration and respect.
Horn Comb and Pins. Designed and Made by Edith A. Dick.
Her examples of jewellery proper that we also illustrate call for some description. The richly enamelled pendants are charming specimens of a genre that just now has a great vogue. Unfortunately no representation in mere black and white can give an adequate idea of the delightful colourings of the originals. The central piece is all of green enamel, excepting the stones, which are pink topazes. The pendant to the right of this is of blue-green enamel on silver, set with two big blister pearls. The one to the left is of green enamel on gold, set with opals. The graceful wing pendant is of green enamel with blister pearls, and the one
Hand Mirror In Bronze & Enamel
Designed & Executed By Edith A. Dick with a suggestion of old Florentine work is of green enamel set with pearls and garnets.
Carved combs of transparent horn, delicately stained, are a present Parisian fashion, of which Mrs. Dick has produced some beautiful examples, marked by her usual good taste, which, by the way, is a quality the possession of which cannot always be conceded to their Gallic prototypes. Even such a master as Lalique produces, in this genre, for the enhancement of a lady's coiffure, such fantasias of reptile and insect life as would make them impossible of adoption in this country. It may be remarked here that the subject of this notice - herself a native of France - seems, by intuition, to have that nice appreciation of the taste of her sex in the matter of personal adornment that will always save her from extravagances into which an artist of the imagination of Monsieur Lalique may easily be betrayed. The comb by Mrs. Dick, which we reproduce, shows a dragon-fly as the chief decoration; but the insect, in its quiet tints of brown and green, is treated in a manner to which certainly no one can take exception. Of the two pins shown, the left hand one is stained brown, to resemble tortoiseshell; the other, in its pale green tint, suggests sea-weed - pearls, it will be noticed, have been deftly introduced. It is claimed for the special kind of horn used for these and similar objects that it is not easily breakable, and that in that respect it is superior to tortoiseshell. It is agreeably translucent, and the staining does not impair that quality. M. M.