real gold or, as the case may be, silver, shiny, bound with arabic gum, water soluble, comes in plastic container
What does the shell have to do with the gold? In the middle ages there were not really any good alternatives to shell halves for transporting and storing the powder. Even today, shell gold or shell silver can still be purchased in shell halves. We have, however, for practical reasons, chosen re-closable plastic containers for this precious product.
The base material of shell gold/silver is the equivalent of POWDER GOLD/SILVER, but it is intermixed with gum arabicum, which enables it to be used much like the paints in a paintbox and makes the use of a undercoat unnecessary. Applying it with a brush like, for example an AQUARELL BRUSH, SYNTHETIC HAIR, allows it to be used not only for touch up or icon work but for lettering and decorative inscriptions as well.
Because it is water soluble, shell gold and shell silver are not particularly durable, unless, after allowing to dry, ZAPON SPRAY VARNISH is then applied in two or three thin coats. Shell gold can be used in combination with GOLD LEAF and POWDER GOLD when they have the same karat value.
Gold has been fascinating mankind to an incredible degree for time immemorial. Since its discovery in about 6000 BC, gold has been equated with power. Very early on, techniques for producing gold leaf were already developed which made possible the encasing of objects made from base materials with precious gold. They then gave the appearance of being made from solid gold but were naturally much more affordable and considerably lighter in weight.
Practically any material can be gilded but different types of preparation are required. Absorbent substrates must be sealed and metal surfaces must be free of corrosion, grease and the like before being coated with primer. Depending on the gilding medium or, alternatively, the gilding technique, an adhesive coat must be applied whereon the precious metal is to be adhered.
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