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291 main st
beacon, new york 12508
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(914)720-9029

Gilded Twig reflects art conservator and master gilder Deborah Bigelow's long career in art conservation and current business interest in handmade gold leaf art jewelry. 

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Natasa Morovic, conservator of frames and gilded surfaces at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, let the gilding conservation effort, with help from contract conservator Deborah Bigelow, who has expertise in architectural gilding. They created a team of gilders and conservators who undertook the intensive restoration of the panels in a temporary conservation lab installed in the museum galleries. The treatment focused on returning the gilding to its original nuanced, high-quality execution.
— Lesley Bone, Head of Objects Conservation
An extraordinary scene has been playing out at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor museum over the last year. Through a window installed into a temporary wall, conservators in lab coats can be viewed as they minister over the disassembled pieces of one of the finest examples of French Neo-Classical interior architecture anywhere: the Salon Dore, originally constructed in 1718.
— NY Times Style Magazine
American Burnish prepared several samples for Walter De Maria's underground installation at the Chichu Museum in Japan. His signature on our gilding sample "green-lighted" one of the most satisfying jobs in my professional life.

American Burnish prepared several samples for Walter De Maria's underground installation at the Chichu Museum in Japan. His signature on our gilding sample "green-lighted" one of the most satisfying jobs in my professional life.

Thanks again for your help.
— Carl Bernstein
Thank you for your beautiful restoration of my three miniature bookcases. I had been hoping for improvements in their appearance, but you have performed miracles! Having been disappointed by two previous attempts to repair the bookcase for the 1823 Pickering Shakespeare, I was really thrilled to see your tasteful repairs... Thank you again for your always excellent work, which has given me back my enjoyment of these items from my collections, while greatly adding to their value.
— Deborah Evetts, Book Conservator
Thank you for the photos of the Icarus in gold. This in my opinion is terrific perhaps a little Barbaric which is also appropriate. Thank you and many best wishes.
— Don DeLue, Sculptor
I’m honor bound to save what I can of an object,” says furniture conservator Deborah Bigelow. “That means preserving evidence of the original manufacturing techniques, evidence of age and as much of the original material as possible. That’s what being a conservator is all about.
— In a Class By Themselves by Chris Warren, Historic Preservation Magazine
In leading the Legion of Honor’s painstaking restoration of the Salon of the Hotel de La Tremoille, one of the finest extant examples of a French neoclassical interior, Chapman has orchestrated an international effort by scholars and conservators, gilders, weavers, and master carvers to return the Salon to its glorious origins.
— 3D Magazine
It’s the time of year when The Corning Museum of Glass sends its Annual report to the Board of Trustees and all its Members. Since it includes a photo of the micro mosaic you repaired for us so masterfully, I thought you would like to receive a copy for your files.
— Dr. Jutta-Annette Bruhn, Curator, European Collections
We look forward to placing the eagle wall brackets in the reception rooms. Thank you for your interest and support to the Americana Project for furnishing the Diplomatic Reception Rooms.
— US Department of State
Thank you so much for your skill & devotion on the gilding of the Salon.
— Martin Chapman, Curator - European Decorative Arts + Sculpture
During the years preparing for the Gilding Conservation Symposium, Caroline Keck encouraged me with letters of support. One of which included a small card bearing this message (above) and after the book was published (below).

During the years preparing for the Gilding Conservation Symposium, Caroline Keck encouraged me with letters of support. One of which included a small card bearing this message (above) and after the book was published (below).

Whatever the headaches involved and unless I am gravely mistaken, there must have been an overload of these... the final product is worth it. A handsome and well-put-together statement to come out of your symposium. Given all the diverse extremes of personality and interests, it is truly miraculous you made it through. Congratulations...
— Caroline Keck, Art Conservator
Reading Gilded Wood is like the difference between seeing the concert live and having it on video. The lack of immediacy is more than made up for in intimate camera work and the ability to replay. I am so excited about this book, Deborah, and wanted to congratulate and thank you for your help in making it possible for all gilders, and those wanting to learn more about keeping gilded objects in tact. I read and re-read it like a novel. Not only do I feel more connected to the current gilding community, but also the gilder’s of the past; their ethics, work habits, and global connection through materials and techniques held in common. The symposium and subsequent book have done so much in contributing to conservation and restoration of gilded objects.
— Nancy Thorn, Gold Leaf Restoration