THE SOLAR LADY

 

Statues that are famous works of art are layered in gold leaf

HOME | INDEX | FIGUREHEADS

  

 

 

 

GOLDEN - Two views of the original artwork that inspired the making of The Solar Lady statue. Copyright Lime Park Heritage Trust 17 March 2017. You will need the permission of the LPHT to reproduce these photographs except for private study or research.

 

 

ABOUT

 

The Solar Lady is a three meter tall statue mounted on a plinth in the driveway to Herstmonceux Museum representing the Fountain of Youth where this is a water feature. The sculpture is symbolic of life on land, in the air and in water. The Solar Lady is an amalgamation of a female human form with the wings of a bird and the tail of a fish - so encompassing life in all mediums on planet earth. The womanly form is symbolic of nurturing and protecting life as only the female of the species has a womb to grow a baby and breasts to nourish infants as they grow - and is therefore most appropriate in terms of sustainability, the circular economy and using energy from nature to pursue these aims.

 

The same general theme is applied to many figureheads affixed to ships for good fortune and safe steerage. These are frequently busty maidens or just bare breasted mermaids for the same reasoning, with the sometimes exaggerated glands being symbolic of fertility - the larger the more productive or able. The Ancient Egyptians worshiped the sun and built statues in human form with wings, being typically female, while the Philistine's fish god, Dagon, was male. Other mythical hybrid forms include centaurs and minotaurs as horse bodies with human torso and head and human bodies with a bull head.

 

Nowhere can we find a statue of a hybrid human, bird and fish that precedes the Solar Lady, making her unique and the first of such themes ever to be created.

 

 

MAKING

 

The Solar Lady will be carved from timber and encased in composites. The wings will be formed from sheet metal alloy with reinforcing frames of wood and stainless steel. Once carved, a mould will be made from the artwork from which the statue will be produced in carbon fiber to make her strong and light. She needs to be strong because her twin, a nautical Solar Lady will be produced to be mounted on one of the most important boats in this decade for her launch and for this vessels maiden voyage. This is our (Lime Park Heritage Trust) contribution to that amazing project.

 

The figurehead is likely to be painted gold or vinyl wrapped in gold. The static sculpture is likely to be gilded in 22 or 24 carat gold leaf.

 

 

GOLD LEAF

 

Gold leaf is gold that has been hammered into thin sheets by goldbeating and is often used for gilding. Gold leaf is available in a wide variety of karats and shades. The most commonly used gold is 22-karat yellow gold.

Gold leaf is a type of metal leaf, but the term is rarely used when referring to gold leaf. The term metal leaf is normally used for thin sheets of metal of any color that do not contain any real gold. Pure gold is 24 karats. Real yellow gold leaf is about 91.7% pure gold. Silver colored white gold is approximately 50% pure gold.

Layering gold leaf over a surface is called gold leafing or gilding. Traditional water gilding is the most difficult and highly regarded form of gold leafing. It has remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of years and is still done by hand.

Gold leaf is sometimes used in art in a "raw" state, without a gilding process. In cultures including the European Bronze Age it was used to wrap objects such as bullae simply by folding it tightly over, and the Classical group of gold lunulae are so thin, especially in the centre, that they might be classed as gold leaf. It has been used in jewellery in various periods, often as small pieces hanging freely.

Gold leaf has traditionally been most popular and most common in its use as gilding material for decoration of art (including statues and Eastern Christian icons) or the picture frames that are often used to hold or decorate paintings, mixed media, small objects (including jewelry) and paper art. Gold glass is gold leaf held between two pieces of glass, and was used for decorated Ancient Roman vessels, where some of the gold was scraped off to form an image, as well as tesserae gold mosaics. "Gold-ground" paintings, where the background of the figures was all in gold, was introduced in mosaics in later Early Christian art, and then used in icons and Western panel paintings until the late Middle Ages; all techniques use gold leaf. Gold leaf is also used in Buddhist art to decorate statues and symbols. Gold leafing can also be seen on domes in religious and public architecture. "Gold" frames made without leafing are also available for a considerably lower price, but traditionally some form of gold or metal leaf was preferred when possible and gold leafed (or silver leafed) moulding is still commonly available from many of the companies that produce commercially available moulding for use as picture frames.

 

 

   

 

 

 

GILDING

The term gilding covers a number of decorative techniques for applying fine gold leaf or powder to solid surfaces such as wood, stone, or metal to give a thin coating of gold. A gilded object is also described as "gilt". Where metal is gilded, it was traditionally silver in the West, to make silver-gilt (or vermeil) objects, but gilt-bronze is commonly used in China, and also called ormolu if it is Western. Methods of gilding include hand application and glueing, chemical gilding, and electroplating, the last also called gold plating. Parcel-gilt (partial gilt) objects are only gilded over part of their surfaces. This may mean that all of the inside, and none of the outside, of a chalice or similar vessel is gilded, or that patterns or images are made up by using a combination of gilt and un-gilt areas.

Modern gilding is applied to numerous and diverse surfaces and by various processes; those used in modern technology are described in gold plating. More traditional techniques still form an important part of frame making and are sometimes still employed in general woodworking, cabinet-work, decorative painting and interior decoration, bookbinding, and ornamental leather work, and in the decoration of pottery, porcelain, and glass.

Other gilding processes involved using the gold as pigment in paint: the artist ground the gold into a fine powder and mixed it with a binder. Then the gold was applied in the same way as with any paint. Sometimes, after either gold-leafing or gold-painting, the artist would heat the piece enough to melt the gold slightly, ensuring an even coat. These techniques remained the only alternative for materials like wood, leather, and the vellum pages of illuminated manuscripts.

 

 

 

FOUNDATIONS - The site for the Solar Lady is dug out to a depth of around one meter (3 feet) and rammed with hardcore. This was the site of an old brick wall adjacent to what might be an ice house or simply a vented septic tank. In the picture above you can see the clay vent pipe running uphill from the underground domed brick-built chamber on the right.

 

 

 

CONCRETE - Shuttering is placed around the hole to prevent the concrete from spilling out onto the ground, where there is a considerable slope to take into account. Concrete and steel are the bedrocks of our modern city dwelling society. Most buildings use concrete for their foundations and most tall buildings, such as skyscrapers, use steel as the structural support frame.

 

 

Stainless steel framework ready to be set in concrete

 

STAINLESS STEEL - This is the framework onto which the statue will be mounted and that will carry the loads of the Solar Lady down into mother earth. The frame is set  into concrete up to the half way point to give the sculpture a really solid base. Thick wall 30mm x 30mm section tubing was used to make the frame. Additional stainless bracing will be added before the sculpture is fitted. Copyright Lime Park Heritage Trust 17 March 2017. You will need the permission of the LPHT to reproduce these photographs except for private study or research.

 

 

 

 

FOUNDATIONS - With the concrete set, our master mason will work out the best pattern to lay the bricks to make a hollow pillar. Copyright photographs Lime Park Heritage Trust 18 March 2017. You will need the permission of the LPHT to reproduce these photographs except for private study or research.

 

 

 

 

HOLLOW WALL - In these pictures you can see the void that will be filled with more concrete, but not until additional stainless steel cross-bracing is added to make the pillar really strong. Copyright photographs Lime Park Heritage Trust 18 March 2017. You will need the permission of the LPHT to reproduce these photographs except for private study or research.

 

 

 

NEARLY THERE - The brick pattern is established. The statue will be mounted on a central stainless steel rod that is to be fitted into the frame so that it can be rotated to face the sun (south). Copyright Lime Park Heritage Trust 18 March 2017. You will need the permission of the LPHT to reproduce these photographs except for private study or research.

 

 

 

STAMCO - Most of our structural building timber and other supplies come from Stamco in Eastbourne and Hastings. We also use Wickes and purchase other buildings products such as, EPDM roofing rubber, online. The brick wall that runs alongside the steps to the coal bunker and other features, has yet to be rebuilt. Copyright Lime Park Heritage Trust 18 March 2017. You will need the permission of the LPHT to reproduce these photographs except for private study or research.

 

 

 

BRICKWORK - Only original 100 year old bricks were used, all of which were reconditioned and recycled from the site, including the round caps. The wall behind is also being rebuilt - again using the original bricks, cleaned up and jet washed. Copyright Lime Park Heritage Trust July 2017. You will need the permission of the LPHT to reproduce these photographs except for private study or research.

 

 

 

 

FOOTINGS - One hundred years ago garden walls were mostly built without footings. We did not like it that this wall would be taking a lot of traffic in the future, with handrail forces, but had no solid footings. We soon fixed that, digging out the original bricks and going down a bit more, then pouring in concrete over hardcore in regular bays to reach the height of the hill. Copyright Lime Park Heritage Trust July 2017. You will need the permission of the LPHT to reproduce these photographs except for private study or research.

 

 

 

BRICKLAYING - A skilled bricklayer, also a landscape gardener, set out his line and proceeded to lay the original bricks mixed with a few others found on site. It took two days of solid effort for a team of two to lay over (700) seven hundred bricks to make this sturdy 9" inch wall. Copyright Lime Park Heritage Trust July 2017. You will need the permission of the LPHT to reproduce these photographs except for private study or research.

 

 

 

THE WALL - And this is what it looked like when the rain had passed. Yes, it bucketed down in between. Next comes the handrail, positioned here roughly to get an idea of the final look. Copyright Lime Park Heritage Trust August 2017. You will need the permission of the LPHT to reproduce these photographs except for private study or research.

 

 

LINKS & REFERENCE

 

Gold leaf supplies

Stone houses

Gold leaf supplies tips techniques beginners guide to gilding

Ebay gold leaf

Amazon gold leaf

Wikipedia Gold_leaf

 

Gold Leaf Supplies
Unit C, Ogmore Court,
Abergarw Trading Estate,
Brynmenyn, Bridgend.
CF32 9LW. United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1656 720 566
info@goldleafsupplies.co.uk

 

Gold Wrights of Lymm Ltd
Wright House, Crouchley Lane,
Lymm, Cheshire WA13 0AS
Tel: 01925 752226
Fax: 01925 757569
info@wrightsoflymm.co.uk

https://www.goldleafsupplies.com/

http://www.stonehouses.co.uk/

https://www.goldleafsupplies.com/tips-techniques/beginners-guide-to-gilding/

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2386202.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xgold+leaf.TRS0&_nkw=gold+leaf&_sacat=0

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=gold+leaf&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Agold+leaf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_leaf

 

 

.....

 

 

HERITAGE INDEX A - Z

 

BARCLAYS BANKING LET DOWN - MISSING ACCOUNT MONEY

BARON CARL VON ROEMER

CAMPBELL HALL - BLUEBIRD ELECTRIC CARS

GAS ENGINES - COAL CONVERSION, INTERNAL COMBUSTION

HX FIRE STATION

HX MUSEUM

HX SCIENCE EXHIBITS

OBSERVATORY - HERSTMONCEUX CASTLE

SX MUSEUMS

PLANNING APP JAN 2015

RAF BEACHY HEAD

RAF HERSTMONCEUX

RAF HERSTMONCEUX & WARTLING

RAF SEAFORD BAY

SOLAR LADY - STATUE

SUMMER SOLSTICE

SUSSEX TRUGGERY

THOMAS ALVA EDISON

TOURISM DCMS

TREE HOUSES

TREE PRESERVATION

TRUGS

WORLD ELECTRIFICATION HISTORY

WWII AIR RAID SHELTER

 

The Solar Lady ship's figurehead

 

 

This website is Copyright 2017.   All rights reserved.  All other trademarks are hereby acknowledged.  Contact Us   www.cherrymortgages.com