Dictionarium polygraphicum. Japanning with gold size.

Dictionarium Polygraphicum:
Or, The Whole Body of Arts Regularly Digested.
Vol II.
London: Printed for C. Hitch and C. Davis in Pater-noster Row, and S. Austen in St. Paul's Church Yard. MDCCXXXV.
1. When your work is wrought, and you would decypher on it, draw the gold size (see GOLD SIZE) all over that part, and that part only, which you intend to gild or adorn with gold, omitting those places where you intend to lay your metals and other colours, as silver, topper, brass, &c.

2. The size being thus wrought for the gold, let it remain 'till it is so dry, that when you put your finger upon it, it must be glutinous and clammy, and stick a little, but not so moist, that the least particle of it should come off with your fingers; but that it may be much like to thick glue, when it is half dry.

3. When it is in this temper, it is the very nick of time, when the gold is to be apply'd; then take a piece of soft washleather, or the like, and wrap about your fore-finger; dip it in your gold dust, and rub it where your gold size is laid, for it will stick on the size, and no where else.

4. If any gold dust lies scattered about your work, brush it all away into your paper, in which your gold is, with a fine varnishing brush, which has not been us'd.

5. Then with your pencil draw that part with gold size also, which is design'd for your copper; and let it dry, as has been directed for the former, and then cover it with copper dust, after the same manner as you did with the gold dust.

6. Having done this, lay your silver size, and when it is dry as before, lay on your silver dust, as you did the two former.

7. But this is always to be observ'd, that the metalline colours are to be laid, successively one after another, letting each be covered, and thoroughly dry, before you enter upon a distinct colour.

8. After all these, the other colours (which are not metalline) are to be laid on, with gum-water, reserving the rocks, &c. for the last part of the work.

9. If you have mix'd more gold size than you have occasion for at one time, or if you are hindred from finishing it in one day, (you will observe that your size, in 5 or 6 hours time, will have a skin upon it:) in order to this, put the pencils into a gallipot of water, and pour fair water over your pot of gold size; and if your size should grow too thick, you may thin it with Venice Turpentine; but you are to take notice, that doing this oftener than once will spoil the size.

10. Let your size be of a due consistence, neither too thick nor too thin, that it may run smooth and clear, and that your strokes may be fine and even, so that you may be able to draw the most fine hair strokes.

11. If you would imitate Japan-work exactly, avoid filling and thronging your black with draughts. In the true Indian work the ground is never crouded up with many figures, houses, or trees; but a great space is allow'd to a little work, for the black adds lustre to trie gold; and the gold adds an excellency to the black.

12. Sn these works you may use some variety of metals, but in a very slender proportion to that of gold, which is the general ornament and characteristick of the genuine or true Japan work.

13. Be very exact in tracing or drawing out your design in vermilion or gold, to do it with an even hand: then your gold size being ready prepar'd, make with a small pencil the outward lines; ths boundaries of the rocks, and those things that seem to lie beyond the buildings.

14. Begin those parts of the work that are most distant from you; because then you will not be liable to rub or deface any thing while it is wet.

15. When you have done the farthest parts, work just according to your pattern (if you have any) and draw the gold size on the places, answering to the black lines of your print or pattern, and no where else, leaving the white for the black Japan, or ground of the work.

16. And in all respectt use your size, at is you were to copy the print or patternon white paper with ink or black lead; only you must take care, that while you are working on one part, you don't suffer that which is already done with size, to grow to dry, that it will not hold the metals; and for that reason you must often try in what case those parts of your work that are already siz'd are in.

17. And therefore you must sometimes be drawing, sometimes gilding; and then go to drawing again, and then to gilding; continuing this alternately 'till your whole work is quite finish'd.

18. If you find it troublesome to draw the white, and over pass the black, or on the contrary to draw the black and omft the white; on the tops of houses, foldage of figures, faces, or the like; then for your ease overlay all those parts of buildings, foldages, faces, &c. with gold size, and lay the metals on them; and when they are well dried, wash over those places only which you design to set offwith black, with your securing varnish.

19. Tho' in some Japan-work, silver is sometimes made use of; yet it is but very seldom, except in some rais'd works, because the best and brightest silver is too splendid a metal for black Japan; and therefore we chuse instead of that a kind of dull or dirty silver, which is tin-powder.

20. And lastly, you may set off your plain metals, when rubbed on gold size, either with metals mix'd with gum-water or gold size, viz. when the plain metals are laid and thoroughly, dry, hatch or work in the size for setting off, as you would do with metals mixed with gum-water, and it is not to be doubted you would find the gold to be the best.

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