Ken Bova Mineral Pigments

Ken Bova

ECU 2011 Symposium: Shifting Traditions

Mineral Pigments

Notes and Images by Dianne, Thanks, Ken for permission to post on the Pocosin Arts Metals Guild Blog

Ken’s work table set-up at ECU


Steps: Collect tools, Lightly Draw Design with a 2H Pencil

1. Prepare Mordant

Ken Preparing Elmer’s Glue Mordant

Elmer’s Glue Mordant (best used in small areas)

Mix ¼ teaspoon sugar (confectionary sugar)

With 3 tablespoons white glue (Elmer’s)

Mix well.

Thin with water as needed.

You can also use Gesso as a mordant.

Ken Applying Mordant

2. With an old, small brush, apply the mordant to the area of the drawing you want to gild. Allow to dry

Ken Breathing Hot and Moist

3. Use a soda straw to breathe hot, moist air onto the mordant.

Ken Tapping Out Condensation from the Soda Straw

4. Occasionally tap out condensation from the soda straw.

Ken Using Rocking Motion to Secure Gold Foil to the Mordant

5. Apply Gold Foil

a. After the mordant is moist with warm breathe, apply gold foil so that the entire area is covered

b. Cover gold with thin wax paper

c. Apply pressure with finger tips in a rocking motion

Ken Burnishing Outline

d. Burnish the outline of the gilded area

Three Images: Ken Brushing Away Excess Gold Foil ( The B in the image is free of mordant)

e. Lift the edge of the paper to see if the mordant area is completely covered with gold. If not, gently replace and re-apply pressure

f. When satisfied that the mordant area is completely covered lift off paper and brush away excess gold

g. Collect small pieces of gold and reserve for faulting (repairing areas that do not have gold)

h. Re-apply gold following the above steps at least twice

i. If any area needs further application, use the small gold pieces and apply

6. Grind Minerals

a. Collect tools:

i. Mortar and pestle

ii. 100 mesh screen sifter

iii. Stiff bristle brush

iv. Small glass storage containers

v. Eye dropper

vi. Glass stir rod

vii. Chop stick to use as spatula

viii. Jar of distilled water

ix. White plastic painter’s palette

Ken Grinding Minerals with Mortar and Pestle

Ground Stone (Mineral)

b. Place small pea-size stones (minerals) that are #5 hardness or softer into the mortar

c. Apply pressure with the pestle using a rotating motion

d. Be patient

e. When the stone is ground finely, pour through a 100 mesh screen (wear a dust mask) onto a glossy piece of paper.

f. Using the glossy paper as a funnel, pour fine material into a glass storage container.

g. Be aware that some minerals lose their brilliance when ground too small.

Ken Lifting Ground Mineral with Spatula (chop stick with cut-away area)

7. Mixing Tempera

a. Collect Materials and Equipment

i. Bowls (one for egg white and one for yolk)

ii. Paper towels

iii. Glass jar

iv. Eye dripper

v. Stir rod

vi. Water

b. Separate one egg

Ken Separating the Egg White and Egg Yolk

c. Have some paper towels close by

d. Give the egg a sharp tap on an edge

e. Move the egg yolk from one half of the shell to the other

f. Dry hands on paper towels often

g. When the yolk is totally free of egg white, hold it over the clean container and pierce the egg yolk sack with a pin tool

Ken Separating Egg Yolk and Egg White

Ken Drying Egg Yolk Sack by Moving it from One Hand to the Other

Ken Breaking Egg Yolk Sack

h. Add 2 parts white wine to one part egg yolk

i. Add 2 drops Oufa Oil

j. Add 1 or 2 drops of Lavender Oil

k. Mix dry ground mineral and medium 1:1

Ken Adding Oufa Oil

Ken Adding Lavender Oil

Ken Lifting Ground Mineral Powder and Placing in Palette Cup

Ken Mixing Medium into Mineral Powder

8. Painting

a. Use a very small brush (0000) or smaller

b. Wear optimizer

c. Be Patient

d. Paint in small areas

e. Allow to dry

f. Add additional coats as needed.

First Coat is Completed Allow to Dry Before Adding Additional Coats