An Introduction to Gold Finishing

by John Mitchell

The Standing Press, 1995
Part of the "Craftsman's Guide" series

readability rating
Readability
5 star readability rating This book has the best explanatory style I have run across in a bookbinding book.
content rating
Content
5 star content rating From what I can tell, this is the beginner's book on gold finishing. Many of my instruction books have a brief section on the topic, but this one covers it comprehensively and clearly.
The Good Stuff
This book has some of the best instructional prose I've run across in bookbinding. Mitchell appears to have no irrational prejudices about techniques or materials. He explains the strengths and weaknesses of all the choices in the gold tooling process. The pictures, though black and white, are clear and illustrative. And he describes how to make most of the gold handling tools and materials from scratch.
Could Do Better
Grasping at straws here. The only quibble is that it costs 35, which seems like a lot for 102 pages in softcover.
Best Bit
It's hard to choose; the whole book is of such a high standard. The six pages of detailed discussion of the appropriate pore filling techniques, glaire application, heat, pressure, and dwell times on various covering materials stand out for their clarity and usefulness. I imagine my copy will fall naturally open to those pages after a few years.