Sunday, 14 June 2009

Looking Glass

Her love of painting hath transformed her into a picture

Hilliard is quite secretive about the painting of his 'artificial' rubies. Examination of the objects and reading of other treatises only partially reveal the technique. First a reflective base of silver is painted and then burnished. On top of this is placed a tiny blob of coloured turpentine resin using a hot needle. However, attempts to reconstruct this technique failed to produce a smooth blob as a tiny tail of resin is left behind by the needle. Studying other treatises suggested the need to apply heat from a fire to the miniature without explaining why. During reconstruction we found that the heat source allowed the resin peaks to melt into the smooth shape of the gem. Only the practical experience gained from reconstruction gave this insight.

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