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Gold leaf is used extensively in the licensed trade, by


quality retailers, and religious organisations, as well as in clubs and schools, particularly for honours boards. Glass gilding is when gold leaf is applied to the back of the glass using age old techniques and is often known as the “Rolls Royce” of signage. It creates a mirror bright brilliance and is most widely seen in office windows of solicitors, professional businesses and other prestigious locations.


To ensure his work stays looking stunning for many years,


Wayne uses 23.5 carat finest gold leaf. He says that even with all the products to choose from today, gold leaf is still favoured because it has an unequalled brilliance that doesn’t tarnish or fade. Wayne also runs traditional signwriting workshops, usually


The ornate lettering sets the scene for this shop.


from his premises in Midhurst, West Sussex, and is taking bookings now. View more of Wayne’s work at www.osbornesigns.co.uk or tel. 01730 817900 to find out more.


A brush and decent paint – and the sky’s the limit for Brian


Brian Scargill, better known as Brian The Brush, is recognised as one of the most accomplished and experienced signwriters and gilders in the country. Brian travels throughout the UK undertaking a variety of


hand signwriting and gold leaf work, including glass gilding, decorative and architectural gilding. When Sign Update spoke to Brian he was working on a project that’s particularly prestigious, especially in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year – three pieces of exterior artwork/gilding for The Crown Jewels at the Tower of London. His extraordinary knowledge and experience in


these very old and valued crafts has been built up over more than 40 years. Following Art College in the 1960s he began an apprenticeship in signwriting at a department store in Bradford. “My first thought was that it was a very, very hard


craft to learn. There are lots of different techniques to master. I thought how fabulously skilled my mentor was when I watched him work. I just thought it was a great way to earn a living for a young artist,” he says. “On one occasion soon after I’d started my


apprenticeship I had to signwrite on to pieces of cardboard a lot of individual letters that would make up the words ‘BUSBY’S SALE’ and then stick the letters onto wooden frames for placing in each of the store’s windows. In one of the displays the second letter S fell off the wooden frame so the


sign read BUSBY ALE. The store had a very upmarket reputation at the time and several snooty customers complained to the Manager about the sign!” But despite the odd hiccough and seeing his peers who were


apprentices in other trades earning much more than him, Brian knew signwriting and gilding was what he wanted to do.


.....Continued on page 80


Brian hand painted this sign and gave it the distressed effect the client desired. ISSUE 135 MARCH/APRIL 2012 Sign Update 79


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