The technique of gilding dates back thousands of years to ancient Egypt & is mentioned in Homer's Odyssey. I use 24 Carat gold leaf in my taxidermy art to gild creatures of all shapes & sizes to mount in my assemblage boxes. I'm currently working on some insects, which is incredibly tricky as they are so fragile.
I've mentioned in my Blog before about how I am passionate about wildlife & our environment; I would never harm an animal. I only use things in my work that have died of natural causes & been found, or vintage taxidermy.
For the piece 'Grace' shown here, I water-gilded a Hornet that I found dead at my home when I was living in France a decade ago. It is mounted in an old sherry glass, and sits beneath a part gilded Great Tit taken from an antique case of taxidermy. Gilding is a painstaking technique which requires a lot of preparation & care by me & the small team of artisans I am training to work for me. Imagine being the first person to come up with this idea, thousands of years ago.