Gold Leaf – Al Dixon Men’s Wear

I am so proud to be asked to replace the 60 year old gold leaf on the glass window of Al Dixon Men’s Wear. Mr. Ron Dixon, the son of AL Dixon shared with me some memories he had of when his dad opened the store and the gentleman Named Floyd who first did this original Gold Lettering on the window.

   Mr. Al Dixon worked at Neel’s Clothing Store on the corner of Broad St. and Jackson St. when he got back from the war. After some years he attempted to buy the Mens Department from the Neil Family but because it was a family owned business, it was not available for sale. So he took his GI Bill and opened Al DIxon Men’s Wear. Mr. Ron, Al’s son, had memories of the old sign painter Floyd brushing the gilders tip in his hair to get the gold to stick to his gilders tip brush. I know today and use the same technique, the oils from your hair holds the gold to the Gilders Tip, Then the gold is transferred to the glass. Mr. Ron said he would come back every couple of years to touch up and re varnish the back to preserve it. Over the years Ron has taken great care to preserve it as best a possible but it has shown its age. So on this 60th anniversary of Al DIxon Men’s Wear,  Mr. Ron decided to redo the Gold Lettering. I am so Proud to be apart of this rich history.

   Mr. Ron wanted an upgrade of the Original lettering so I made it larger and added a mat center for easier readability from the road. I added the established  date and a more modern design but still using his original lettering. I was able to use modern tools and materials on to produce this new traditional gold leaf lettering on glass. In the next few pictures I will show you how I produced this project.

   The modern part of this project is that I used a vinyl paint mask to apply the black outline and the varnished centers. The varnish causes the shiny gold to look dull and increase readability from a distance. Between the varnish and the black outline is what’s called a glow line. It has a shiny mirror finish.

After the vinyl mask is removed I scuff the varnish centers to increase the mat appearance of the gold and remove any imperfections that can be caused by dust particles.

After the varnish was scuffed I applied the gold leaf. Once the gold is applied I trimmed the “Men’ Wear” edges of the lettering and backed up the ” AL Dixon” with black paint to encapsulate the gold and varnish. The excess gold was removed and the final step is to varnish the back of all the lettering to preserve it for many years to come. I too will continue to check back and re varnish if necessary and of course visit with Mr. Ron Dixon to catch up on what’s been going on.