Estofado Workshop

Workshop Outline

Detail of estofado work

This workshop focused on the reconstruction of Estofado, an embellishing technique of scratching through a paint layer to reveal another layer of contrasting colour or material below.

This technique was used extensively by polychromers and gilders in seventeenth-century Spain to depict rich embroidery and brocade on polychrome wooden sculptures. The garments of sculptures were covered in gold leaf and painted over with brown paint, then incised in intricate patterns to reveal the brilliant burnished gold underneath.

During the workshop the students carried out the following work steps:

  1. Sizing of wooden support;
  2. Preparation and application of ground layers;
  3. Application of bole layer;
  4. Gilding;
  5. Application of dark brown tempera paint;
  6. Decoration steps (Applying designs, revealing the gold, punching).