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Pre-Industrial Finishing: The Tools and Their Use

  • University of the Arts 333 South Broad Street Philadelphia, PA, 19107 United States (map)

University of the Arts
333 S. Broad St.
6th floor bindery, rm. 632
$250 members
$300 non­members

Day one of this two­ day workshop will be spent creating a small assortment of decorative finishing hand tools. Beginning with brass stock, students will cut, drill and file simple designs that can then be used to build a surprising diversity of patterns. They will also learn techniques to durably mount their newly cut tools into maple handles. Thermodynamic considerations, and soldering basics will also be discussed.

During day two students will learn the essentials of pre-­industrial gilding, including leather preparation, moisture management, cutting and handling gold leaf, and maintaining proper tool temperature. We will make a batch of glair, fall in love with the magic of gold erasers, and perhaps most importantly learn how to trouble shoot! Students will practice on a small plaquette and as the final project tool a design on a model book spine. While we will be trying to work neatly, more importantly we will be trying to work quickly!

Though all materials and an assortment of tools will be provided, students are encouraged to
bring any fine files or other jeweler tools (Day One) and finishing tools and handle letters (Day Two) they may be interested in using.

Please email Jennifer Rosner at if you're interested!