October 2 - October 6, 2017

The president of the Gilders’ Studio noted in an interview with D+D last month that industry-wide education is lacking when it comes to understanding what exactly gilders do. Do you think the knowledge gap between specialties in the industry has gotten too wide?


Answers Votes
Yes 81%
No 13%
Other (please respond in the comments) 6%


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Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Education; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Gilding; Good Technical Practice; Latin America; North America; Worker training

Comment from Trevor Neale, (10/2/2017, 9:13 AM)

Our industry has fundamentally changed over the last 50 years due to specialization. In my opinion there are now broadly 3 groups, decorators, commercial painters, and industrial painters and each of those can be subdivided into specialist groups. Gone are the days when a call into the painter labor pool could provide the skilled craftsman for all of the 3 groups. One only has to look at the many courses offered by SSPC and others to see how specialized we have become. For example the preparation and lining of railcar interiors is a special skill as is the application of protective coating to bridges and offshore structures at one end of the scale compared to gilders and other decorative processes at the other end!


Comment from Michael Halliwell, (10/2/2017, 12:43 PM)

Although I agree that specialization has created gaps in a lot of fields (including those in the coatings industry), I think part of it for guilders is how uncommon it has become. There was a time where having something gilded was a status symbol (i.e. wealthy individuals), a source of pride or crowning piece (i.e. buildings)....but now, people tend to want avante garde designs or tallest buildings or extravagant colour instead of guilding. Like bowyers, wheelsmiths and coopers, the guilders are not in as much demand and are highly specialized in an art that modern society has moved away from. It's too bad they are not as well known and the gaps are there, but I also think the specialization is needed as many of these "old" arts need that specialization (i.e. artesians) in order to be done properly.


Comment from Jesse Melton, (10/3/2017, 8:04 AM)

Yes, the knowledge gap is large enough that it's detrimental to everyone. Unfortunately, that's just part of industrial evolution in any industry. There's a point where tangible improvement and/or market growth plateaus and the only thing left to do is look for ways to cram another angel or two onto the head of a pin.

Technical elitism, commingling of research science and applied science, protectionism of skills and materials and leveraged manipulation of legal systems become the value drivers instead of real improvements.

Overall it's an indicator that an industry is ripe for huge change, but those aforementioned factors mean change is slow to come. In the meantime it means it's a bad investment because things will go backwards for a while. It's extremely visible in the commercial side of the built environment where the best new thing is chopping down trees to make wooden high rises.


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