When gold is fired onto a glass or a ceramic it is vanishingly thin. One of the most common signs of wear on such pieces is work spots on unprotected edges and surfaces. Although we can restore such damage, it is a costly process and we not usually recommend it. In some cases, as this vase, the gold is used as an integral part of the design – and so it is important to restore it. In this case an entire spider web was painted in gold luster on the satin surface of the glass. At first glance, all that remained were the edges of the web and a trace of the spider. In raking light, however, one could see faint matte lines where the gold web had been before it was rubbed off. This was enough for us to reconstruct the web, using a thin gold size and 23 karat Japanese gold powder – an exact match for the remainder of the original gold.

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