The universal desire to cover things in a thin sheath of gold has led to revolutions in architecture, dentistry, and the stagnant discus-shaped chocolate industry. Revel in the gilded age with today's Groupon: for $20, you get a two-hour Introduction to the Art of Gold Leaf Gilding class at the Charles Douglas Gilding Studio (a $62 value). Two workshops are held Saturdays from 10 a.m to 12:00 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Charles Douglas, a 25-year veteran of professional gilding of frames, furniture, and fixtures, initiates students into the intricacies of his medieval craft during two-hour workshops. An Introduction to the Art of Gold Leaf Gilding class covers the basics of gilding wood, metal, glass, stone, and tax returns. Each student works with bona fide 22-karat gold leaf to explore multiple techniques such as oil, glass, and traditional water gilding, learning the skills needed to put the finishing touches on their new summer palace. Though students will take home their newfound know-how after the lesson, the workshop will not include a finished product or project, focusing instead on exposure to a wide variety of techniques and tools.