Being a Newbie Gold Tooling Student

Last Sunday I’ve tried an unusual role. For 18 months, since my studying days at the American Academy of Bookbinding in July 2015, I’ve been a teacher. Now, however, I became a student once again. Another important thing was that there was a new teacher in my own workshop — a gold tooling and book restoration master Eduard Illarionov.

Preparing priming from the whites of eggs; building a pad for gold; making a swab

This class is supposed to be a first one in series of three. Hence, these 8 hours were devoted mainly to studying basics of gold tooling — priming, tools, rules of gold handling. The last quarter of the class, we spent making ink impressions with fillets on paper fixed to wooden book dummies.

Building a pad for gold

My previous experiments with tooling already seem to be a child’s play. The other consequence of that Sunday class is that I and other students of the class want to spend a small fortune on new bookbinding tools. I suppose you know that fillets, brass wheels and other things are quite expensive.

Unfortunately, eggs were not as good as we hoped and we had to use Fixor instead of the egg whites priming

Much better with Fixor!

What upsets me, is that following weeks before the next class would pass without any practice. All the fillets were brought to class by the teacher. Of course, he took them home. The only chance would be to use some friend’s help to deliver at least a simple single line fillet from the US or from Europe.

Ink tooling =)

It would be nice if you could share your first experience with gold tooling and/or blind tooling in the comments section below.