This book will inform you in the technical matters of the gilt leather trade. Monsieur Fournet retraces for your benefit the geographical evolution of the trade and the fashion of the giltleather tapestries. He travelled for decades to see the ancient leathers in situ. Mr. Fournet knows which design sits in the cellars of which museum because he was there! He indexed and photographed and eventually told the conservators what sort of gilt leather they had in stock.
The nearly 400 pages counting book is just out, I don’t doubt that it will become a work of reference in this specific field.
Definitely worthwhile, today, available in French, I hope soon an English edition we see daylight.
It’s just a small Roman chapel that sits on a “promontoire” which means a dream location… in the French Alps. From the outside one will note that the tower has no tiles, nor slates, but is built in solid masonry, in contrast, the radiating chapels which have thatched roofing. The strongest next to the most care demanding roofs united in one building …
Inside the chapel there are two Alters one specifically dedicated to Marie.
Side Alter: of “Marie” the dominant colour is red which is unusual
Meanwhile the Alters have been dismantled, Stored and have been restored.
The principal Alter
The Alter of Marie
Samples for the colouring and the metallic backgrounds had to be made for the Architects of Historic Monuments to choose from. At this stage the samples focus on the metallic ground, 6 samples were produced in 3 different metallic grounds. From each of these metallic grounds a sample was painted with a red flower and one with bleu flower when the metallic ground is chosen it’s easy to adapt the colours afterwards. The painting is in the early 18 century tradition.
And Flat Silver-gilding with a yellowish varnish
This is where we are presently and awaiting the dicision of “les Monuments de France and la Drac” and who else ?
This is the Altar of St Martins Church in Vic-en-Bigorre
Here under the draped Altar cloth is replaced by a Gilt-leather Antependium, mind you its only photo-shopped picture, yet it tells the story.
Some examples of Lutson Gilt-leather alterantives to a fabric Altar Cloth: Double Damask: Gilded and hand painted Antependium
Fleurance: Tender colours on a silvered ground
Marot: Full Polychrome
All the designs for Lutson Gilt-leather Altercloth’s are traditional 17th and 18th century designs, they don’t carry specific symbols, they were not made for a specific Religion nor for any Christian denomination which makes our Gilt-leather suitable for all situations where one wishes create a setting with a great decorative impact.
Melbye. Her wrintings are musings about the choice she made to live in a tiny-house, called “La chouette” which is French for owl but not only as its also an exlamation that precedes a happy event “Chouette, we go to the beach !!” I’ll stop explaining and leave you to discover her writings first her introduction than the integral posting.
The Dragons and the tiny house.
The old and lovely tradition of gilt leather as wall coating is not usually associated with tiny houses. Indeed, there is a strong link between the tiny house movement and a certain purism of simple living. Also, there is a link between size and power in western agricultural society, making anything that might signal wealth tied inseparably to large things and buildings. Regardless of all that’s usual, I have known all along that I wanted gilt leather on my living room wall. It embodies a durability, an integrity, a delicate toughness and a pride in craft that I wish to include in my house.
After much consideration I chose two dragons. I needed panels that would give meaning to the room and not compete with it. This pattern gives me something new to look at every day, as it changes constantly with the different lights through my stained-glass window. There is also much company in my two dragons and they are very good at discerning visitors, recognizing at once those who know how to appreciate the subtle beauty of the world and make sure to capture their glance.
Everything in my house is chosen for its ability to affect all the senses, leaving nothing empty, nothing unconnected. In my time living and traveling with my house, I have found that all these things come together to form a unity,a living, breathing thing that has a life of its own. And my dragons are a vital part of this unity.
A house, as a person, as any living thing, must change if they are to live. But when you know what your center is, you need not fear threats to the borders. Knowing that I have my dragons as part of the center of my house makes the external threats and changes of travel easier to handle and lends the house a graceful calm when the wind and the road gets hard.
The posting as on Tinyowl:
For the wallpaper in my living room area I have chosen hand embossed gilt leather. It looks like this.
Yes, the panels have a dragon on them, yes the dragon has tits. I have two panels, and the dragons are named Sharon and Maude.
This, I know, is not a usual choise for a ‘tiny’ house, or indeed for any house. A feature this flamboyant is nowadays mainly used by banks, fancy restaurants and other places that wish to seem to embody power, using things to signify status rather than having the thing itself for itself.
I think tactile visuality is important, or ‘having something nice to look at’. But not only in the two-dimensional sense, but in terms of how the light falls and reflects off a surface. For instance, things seen on a screen will never be anything other than looking at a screen no matter what that screen shows. It will be frozen in distance, tactility and lacking in the things not quite seen, but that reflects shadows in the corner of your eye. All these aspects are important for what we think and how, for how we feel and what sides of ourselves we nurture. But there is a difference between surrounding yourself with beauty and using representations of beauty to cover up overall surroundings that can and should be changed, like the colourful posters covering the wasteland in Terry Gilliams increasingly realistic and brilliant movie Brazil.
Consumerism makes it appear as if anyone can have access to things only dreamt of before, but all you get access to is the symbol of that thing, a pale replica. Consumerism is a direct threat to all things beautiful as it denies anything to have a value in itself, only as a quick fix to feel better or as an instaworthy shot of status. I mean to have this wallpaper for decades, centuries if someone else takes over. It’s something I’m committing to, something I’ll care for.
And I don’t want my wallpaper to cover a wall that is something else. I want the things surrounding me to have as much integrity as possible. The wall is there for the gilt leather, not the other way around. These pieces have to them a touch, scent and visual quality that is filled with itself and does not represent anything else, cannot be confused for anything else. It is not merely a picture of a dragon, it is its own thing. Also, it’s absurdly beautiful. Also, it’s somewhat absurd. I mean, who does this sort of thing? No one. So I will. I’m not denying the side of me that grew up with Huysmans and longed for ‘The willed exile of the Introverted Decadent’.
Thanks you for these words Tone I wish you well wandering along the rivers, over the hills, enjoying panoramas, decending into the green valleys, visiting towns, seeing friends. Musing & Writing.
From the 22 03 2019 till 03 11 2019 runs the exhebition ” Tapeten Wechsel” in Schloss Mortizburg. We at Lutson were asked to participate by showing some of gilt leather panels from our collection. Honored and proud !
I hope to show pictures form this exhibition in a later posting as I will not be attending the vernissage.
Schloss Mortizburg is not only a fantatic place to visit its also a safe harbour for an important Gilt Leather collection
The 26 of March I’ll participate at Tatiana Tafur’s ” Springtime Session” where I’m performing as “The Boss of Embossed”
Gillis van Tilborgh the Younger, born in Brussels 1625. He is famous for his genre paintings, interior scenes and portraits.
The “Vlaamsche Kamer” (Flemish room) could be compared to a parlour. In these important houses they were often oak paneled rooms some combined the oak paneling with gild leather tapestries between dado and corniche other rooms were lined with gilt leather tapestries from plinth to corniche, for some of his paintings this setting was chosen.
Jan Siberechts a contemporary and friend of Gillis van Tilborgh has a reputation as a landscapes painter but as accomplished master he is a great portraitist too.
On a more humorous note: here a stunning portrait of …. my dog in front of his gilt leather tapestry. By Thierry Poncelet