Get the midas with an ancient craft at Leigh Park studios

Maker Deryn Relph talks about Richard Walker, one of the local artists currently in residence at Making Space, Havant, who is hosting a gilding workshop next month

Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 11:08 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:45 am
Richard Walker of Watergild Studios hard at work at Making Space, Havant. Picture: Malcolm Wells (170403)
Richard Walker of Watergild Studios hard at work at Making Space, Havant. Picture: Malcolm Wells (170403)

The fascinating ancient craft of gilding has been in use for more than 4000 years, so it is certainly not a new or modern craft.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t try your hand at some of the skills first used by the ancient Egyptians.

Richard Walker of Watergild Studios is one of the resident artists at Making Space in Leigh Park, Havant.

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Richard learned his craft at the University of Portsmouth and has 20 years’ experience having worked on a variety of projects – from the restoration of antiques and museum pieces, to much more contemporary applications.

In addition to his wealth of gilding experience, Richard is an accomplished tutor and is currently working on a book of gilding projects in conjunction with an international supplier.

Although gold is usually associated with gilding it is possible to use other metals such as silver or copper, and achieve a range of interesting finishes using various techniques.

Richard is a firm believer that virtually anything can be gilded, and seeing that gold is edible, he has even been known to add a little flourish to food!

Last month, Making Space held its annual open studios. As it is our 10th anniversary year at Making Space, 2017 is quite special, so it was very fitting that Richard chose to embellish a chocolate brownie or two at the event!

If you have a family heirloom or upcycling project in mind or would just like to try something different, Richard will be running a three-day gilding masterclass at Making Space next month.

The course, which takes place from July 6-8 from 10am-3pm, is suitable for complete beginners. All tools and materials will be provided too.

Richard will guide you through several gilding techniques with his infectious enthusiasm, and you will get the chance to gild a selection of items as you learn.

If you do have something in particular that you would like to work on during the masterclass, Richard is happy to discuss this in advance in order to accommodate this over the three days.

Further information about the workshop is available on Making Space’s website. Visit to book a place online. Alternatively you can book by calling (023) 9247 2491.

To read more about Richard’s work at Watergild Studios, visit