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[BKARTS] dull tooling



All shellac based glaires such as Fixor give a more
dull tooling than egg glaire; the Fixor always wants
to melt into and in extremis through the leaf a bit,
dulling the look. For this reason you really should
limit its use to leathers like box calf which will not
take egg glaire well.
For shiny bright tooling you need shiny bright tools.
This means carefully cleaning the tool's face by
rubbing on the flesh side of leather with, in extreme
cases, a bit of talc or bath brick as a mild abrasive.
Be very careful to clean the tool face of any
leather/talc dust before heating or using.
And be very careful in the kind and amount of oil you
use to attach the leaf to the leather or tool. Nothing
dulls the gold so persistenly as traces of oil. Almond
or oil from your own skin/hair is best, using the very
minimal needed. Yes, vaseline can be used but again
the very very thinnest coat please. The oil must be
well cleaned from the leather after tooling without
getting it on the gold.
The best and shiniest tooling involves six and up
layers of leaf; this means glaire tooling minimally
three times with two layers of gold each time. Only
this gives the depth (which affects reflectivity) of
color and solidity of tooling one sees in the very
best work. 
I'd suggest that the final warm tooling (this is a
sort of polishing of the gold) be done as always with
an exquisitely clean tool but through a final layer of
gold. 
All of this is part of what I was taught in Paris.
And by the way, if you thin your Fixor and work in a
reasonably warm studio I think you will find it usable
within 30 minutes of drying; no real need for a longer
time though this will also depend on how much glaire
you apply. As with the oil you want to use the minimal
needed applied only where needed. 
Lastly (for now!) keep your tooling of fine details or
lines relatively shallow; never deeper than the line
is wide! The deeper the impression the less light is
reflected back to the eye and the less reflected light
the less shiny the gold appears. 

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