The application of gold leaf in restoration is undoubtedly the most well-known in Italy and around the world. A great variety of products differentiate themselves according to the various fields of application. The aim of restoration is always the same: to give new light to the surface being restored.
This time, the subject was the gates to the Roofless Church, a little place of worship located in New Harmony in the State of Indiana, USA. The peculiarity of this work of art is precisely the fact that it is without a roof. Indeed, the designer and architect, Philip Johnson, who completed the church in 1960, believed that the only roof big enough under which to fit all faiths was the sky. From this belief, he created this little work of art, whose uniqueness makes it one of the most popular venues for weddings and other celebrations.
To reach the church, you have to go through a series of ornamental gates with gold reliefs, designed by the Lithuanian sculptor Jacques Lipchitz, member of the cubist culture. The gates are the antechamber to the garden of flowerbeds and green lawns that surround this modern architectural wonder, which is fully open to the public.
The gates of the Roofless Church are shining once again, thanks to the restoration undertaken by Luke Randall, with a painstaking 200 hours of work to achieve a simply fantastic result.
The work was carried out using Giusto Manetti Battiloro 23.75 carat yellow gold leaf of 24 gram thickness, using mission gilding; a technique that allows the application of gold leaf to any non-porous or varnished surface.
In order to achieve optimum restoration results, an adhesive liquid (size) must be spread over the object to be gilded before applying the gold leaf. Here, a varnish-type size was used, which requires three hours to come to tack. It is ideal for gilding extremely compact surfaces for outdoors, such as metal, marble and glass.
The objective of Giusto Manetti Battiloro has been, for generations, to achieve a reputation for producing the highest quality product that shines on the greatest monuments all over the world.
The gate of the Roofless before the restoration
The gate of the Roofless Church after the restoration.
Gilder at work