Selhamin Poliment Clay

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Selhamin Poliment Clay is a specially prepared and refined bole for priming surfaces for gilding.




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What is Poliment?

Poliment—also known as bole—is a clay-like substance that is used as a base for gilding. It is applied to a prepared surface, usually gesso or chalk ground. Gold or silver leaf is then applied over this base. The poliment enhances the tone and lustre of the gold during the polishing/burnishing process. Selhamin Poliment is a specially prepared and refined bole for priming surfaces for gilding. The best raw materials are combined in the right proportions and processed according to traditional methods. Selhamin Poliment Clay shows its special abilities in gilding with gold, white gold, silver and platinum. Especially appreciated are its characteristics in applying silver and gold leaf on surface for contemporary and traditional techniques. The richness of color nuances that can be obtained is a delight for artists.

What is Selhamin Poliment?

Selhamin Poliment is a natural product that is part of the traditional water gilding system with gold and silver leaf. It is available in red, yellow, blue, black, gray and white, premixed clay in one kilogram plastic containers or as dry cones. The premixed material is similar to the traditional dry cone burnishing clay, but is packaged in paste form eliminating the need to crush and dissolve the clay. Selhamin Poliment does not contain any binder. There are many methods of working with Selhamin Poliment and one of the most popular methods for using this product is listed below.

Selhamin Poliment burnishing clay is applied over a properly prepared gesso covered surface. The clay needs to be mixed with glue and water needs to be added. The formula below provides approximate ratios by volume for preparing the clay mixture.

Instructions on How to Prepare ad Use Poliment

For complete instructions, read instructions on how to prepare and use Selhamin Poliment.

IngredientsAmounts by Volume
Selhamin Poliment premixed clay60%
Animal collagen glue solution (rabbit skin glue)2.5–3%
Additional water37%

The animal collagen (rabbit skin) glue solution is prepared using the traditional method of dissolving the glue in water. Sheets or granular material are placed in water and heated to below the boiling point until the glue dissolves completely.

The warm glue solution is mixed with the Selhamin Poliment clay and additional water. After the material is thoroughly combined and the solution is consistent, the mixture is pushed through cheese cloth to remove any solid particles.

Several layers of the clay mixture should be applied to the gesso covered surface. Two to four layers will provide a good base for gold or silver leaf. Different colors of clay may be applied to create different tones in the leaf. Allow the layers of clay to dry completely.

A bole polishing brush or horsehair cloth may also be used to smooth the surface. The clay surface may also be smoothed with a soft cloth which has been dampened with a half water and half alcohol solution. When using the wet polishing methods, use care to avoid removing too much material.

Gold or silver leaf is applied with a gilder's liquor on the smooth clay surface. The traditional mixture for the gilder's liquor includes water, alcohol and a few drops of dissolved animal collagen glue or gelatin. After some hours of drying, the gold or silver leaf is ready to be polished with an agate burnisher.

Selhamin Poliment is available in Piedmont Red, Liqurian Yellow, Latium Blue, and Calabrian Black; and in solid cones 100g only.

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Selhamin Poliment Clay
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