Gesso

Traditionally a substrate applied to a base material to achieve a smooth surface for the application of paint or other materials, gesso or “Italian gesso” has been an important material in traditional European arts.

Made by combining gypsum powder and hide glue, the gesso is applied hot in multiple layers then sanded between each layer to achieve a perfectly smooth material base that supports various hand-applied finishes including water-gilding, natural lacquer and cracked wax polished surfaces.

At Alexander Lamont we use gesso to achieve certain finishing effects upon which lacquer or pigment or wax is then applied. Through various techniques we achieve innovative effects such as “craquelure” that resonate of antique crackled tusk or smoldering embers.