Our talented instructors are current members of SOG who are committed to sharing their expertise.
Brendon J. Brandon
Designs & Signs was founded in 1978 by Brendon J. Brandon. Mr. Brandon has a lifetime of sign make experience, working in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, and the United States. He is past President of the International Society of Gilders, and for six years he was head editor of its magazine, “The Gilders Tip”. He has taught gilding and sign making classes for the Society of Gilders, The International Sign Association, and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
His recent significant projects in Washington D.C. and Maryland include:
- Glass Gilding at Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
- Monument Carving at World War II Memorial
- Historical Restoration at U.S. Postal Service Headquarters
- Surface Gilding at National Museum of Women in the Arts
- Surface Gilding at U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
- Glass Gilding at Potomac-Electric Power Company Headquarters
- Sandblasting at Thurgood Marshall Monument
- Architectural Gilding at Navy-Marine Corp Memorial Stadium
- Vinyl Graphics at International Spy Museum
- Architectural Gilding at Iwo Jima Memorial
Micki Cavanah is the owner of Reed’s Gold Leaf Studios in Nashville, TN. The company was founded by her mother Lou Reed in 1972. She passed along her knowledge and expertise to many students along the way as well as Micki and her husband Mitchell who now continue to provide the gilding and restoration services to their clients. Their work can be seen all around the Southeastern United States in various galleries, museums, historic homes, commercial buildings and private collections. Included in their work are Athena Parthenos and The Schermerhorn Symphony Center both in Nashville, TN. Micki teaches one on one classes and selected group classes in restoration and gilding.
Smith Coleman is a professional frame maker and master gilder. Active member of the Society of Gilders for 30 years, he has extensive work and teaching experience. A fine arts graduate from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, he founded Coleman Fine Art in 1974. At the beginning of the 90s, he relocated his studio in the heart of Charleston historic district, South Carolina. Deeply committed to making each frame an exceptional creation, he worked for a large private clientele, institutions and museums including the Gibbs Museum of Art, Charleston and the Greenville County Museum of Art. Since 2016, he lives and works in Savannah. He continues his creative works, he is still active as a consultant and continues to teach the art of gilding.
In the early 1980s I began my gilding career in conjunction with painting Victorian exteriors in San Francisco. Special details were highlighted with 23 karat gold leaf. In the mid 1990s I received some finer training from Stanley Robinson, a founding member of the SOG. I commenced and continued interior architectural gilding in the early 2000s, working with pure silver leaf on mouldings, niches, ceilings and furniture. I concurrently did and continue to do various decorative finishes, and restoration, repair and touch up of decorative finishes. I also work on restoring / repairing damaged gilded projects: for example, solder Art Deco gilded finishes, some more contemporary gilded finishes in compo, silver, and gold leaf. I continue to do interior projects primarily in pure silver leaf and composition silver leaf. Education: B. A. Hons. in English literature and Classical civilization from University College Dublin. Diploma in Art History, a joint program from University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin.
Miriam Ellner has been working in the field of Design and Verre Eglomise since 1987. She has studied in Europe, Pilchuck Glass in Washington, Urban Glass in New York and The Studio in Corning, New York. Her body of work, for such designers as Juan Pablo Molyneux, David Easton and Tony Ingrao, extends to projects worldwide. In the fine arts field, her glass paintings are on a commission basis. Miriam has been featured on the Martha Stewart Living TV show and as a designer in the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse in NYC. Her work has been auctioned at Sothebys.
Samuel Feinstein trained formally at the North Bennet Street School program under Jeff Altepeter and Martha Kearsley. Since graduating in 2012 he has been in private practice specializing in fine bindings, luxury clamshell boxes, new bindings in period style, and gold finishing for other binders. His work can be seen on his website: www.SamuelFeinsteinBookbinding.com
Leah Beth Fishman
Leah Beth Fishman
Leah Beth Fishman is a Brooklyn-based artist specializing in all types of gilding from architectural gilding on interiors and exteriors, traditional water gilding, restorations, and a particular passion for sign gilding and verre eglomise- the art of reverse gilding and painting on glass. Trained by master gilders of world renown with over 10 years of experience, Leah Beth’s work can be seen on two covers of architectural digest, in the Oval Office, Rockefeller Plaza, Tiffany & Co stores, countless historic churches and landmarks, businesses and residences around the world.
Michael Gilbert is a gilder, carver, and frame maker with nearly forty years of experience. The American frame designs of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century are the inspiration for most of my work. I have been a teacher since the late 70’s, with sixteen years at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and with the Society of Gilders since 2001.
Michael Kramer is the founder and president of The Gilders’ Studio, Inc., an award winning firm with prestigious projects across the United States and overseas. Formed in 1985, the studio works on monumental sculpture, state capitols, government and commercial buildings as well as churches and pri- vate residences, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, New York Life, the National Academy of Sciences, as well as the Washing- ton Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. Since 1987 he has taught gild- ing and decorative painting at the Smithsonian, for the Society of Gilders and other venues. He has also written several articles on gilding and related fields. His chapter titled “Exterior Architectural Gilding” was included in the book, Gilded Metals from Archetype Press. A longstanding member of the Board of Trustees of the Society of Gilders, he served as President from 2006 to 2013.
Francis is a calligrapher, fontographer, sign artist, and professor emeritus of physics and history of science at the State University College at Buffalo, NY. Awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s and President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Founded Signs of Gold, Inc. in 1994 to create the finest, most elegant, unrivaled, entirely hand crafted, gold leafed, wood signage that are works of art, not just signs. He has won ten national first place awards from the United States Sign Council Design competition, as well as the International Sign Association contests. Author of 21 articles on gilding and hand carved sign artistry in SignCraft magazine, SignBusiness, Signs of the Times, and WoodCarvers Illustrated. Francis is the recipient of the “Innovators & Influencers Award” presented by Sign & Digital Graphics trade journal in recognition of those “who have changed for the better the way our industry conducts business. “Francis’s lifelong fascination with calligraphy and lettering as artform has led him to design five original digital typeface fonts which are commercially available on the Web.
Jill is a master gilder and educator, with over 30 years experience. She got her start in the field by serving a traditional apprenticeship after graduating from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. A long-serving board member of the Society of Gilders, Jill served as Education Chair for the Society for over fifteen years and is a noted educator in the gilding arts across the country. She has studios on the East and West coasts, where she incorporates gilding into her paintings. Part of her time during the year is spent working on large scale architectural gilding projects including the General Sherman sculpture, the Nascar Hall of Fame, the New York Life Insurance Co., Union Train Station in Washington, DC, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and the Orange County Performing Arts Center, among others.
Anne McDonald holds dual trade certificates in Signwriting and Screen- printing and has been in the industry since 1989. She was mentored by John Jordan (Sydney,Australia) and has been an active gilder of signs since 2002. Largely self taught, Anne has attended workshops around the world with some of the best gilders in the business to learn the necessary skills
to take her work to the highest level. Her work can be seen at Shanghai Disney, the mayoral office of Streator, Illinois and on the streets of Christ- church, New Zealand where she lives and works. Her work is also exhibited at the Leeston Art Gallery where she is an active member.
Patricia Miranda is an artist, educator, and curator, using interdisciplinary and interactive exhibitions and projects to make connections between art, science, history and culture. She is founder and director of MAPSpace, miranda arts project space in Port Chester, NY, a gallery and collaborative art space in Port Chester NY, where she instituted a collaborative workspace residency program. She has been visiting artist at Vermont Studio Center, the Heckscher Museum, and the University of Utah, and been awarded residencies at Weir Farm, Julio Valdez Printmaking Studio, and Vermont Studio Center. She has been the recipient of grants from ArtsWestchester and New York State Council on the Arts, and an NEA grant working with homeless youth. She is currently visiting assistant professor at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of University of New Haven. Miranda develops education programs for museums, community institutions, college and K-12 schools, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Smithsonian Institute. She has exhibited at Wave Hill, Bronx, NY; the Cape Museum of Fine Art, Cape Cod MA; the Belvedere Museum, Vienna Austria; Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn, NY; and Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Larchmont, NY.
Peter H. Miller
Peter came to gilding and frame making through early exposure to wood- working through his father, and later, through clients at his frame shop asking for samples. After meeting members of the Society of Gilders, Peter took on with full commitment the process of learning everything possible (which is impossible) about water gilding. Frame making and water gilding were parallel paths. After studying with several SOG gilders during the 90’s, Peter tailored his business to offer only frames of his own design, inspired by history, tradition, and fine craftsmanship. Peter has designed and made frames for private clients, antique dealers, interior designers and institutions. Publicly, Peter’s frames are in the collections of the Brandywine Museum, George W. Bush Presidential Library, Mattatuck Museum, Two Red Roses Foundation and, most recently, George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Peter’s affiliation with the Society of Gilders includes serving on the Board of Trustees for 17 years and serving as the Society’s President for 7 years.
Sarah Pringle, an applied artist, is the owner of Cinch in Easthampton Massachusetts. Founded in 2000, Cinch offers custom surfaces for furniture and architectural elements for architects, interior designers and contractors to the trade. Techniques offered include surface and glass gilding as well as parchment and leather.
Lynne Rutter is a fine art muralist and decorative painter based in San Francisco, whose work emphasizes site-specific design and authentic materials and techniques. She has been an active part of the design community for over 35 years and has completed hundreds of installations nationally and internationally. Gilding has played an important role in Lynne’s work whether in restoration, ornamentation, or her large-scale paintings.
Sandra Spannan – in memorium
Sandra Spannan, a native of Germany who has lived in NewYork City since 1993, was a painter, gilder, and founder of the decorative painting company see. Painting, Inc. and gilding company see. Gold, Inc. As an artist special- izing in verre églomisé (glass gilding) as well as restoration and decorative finishes, Sandra worked on private interiors, set designs, landmark restorations, and large-scale commercial projects throughout the world. She won the Lucy G. Moses award for Excellence in Historic Preservation, the New York Preservation League’s Excellence in Preservation Award, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation Award for her gilding and restoration work at the historic Williamsburgh Savings Bank in Brooklyn, NY. She has done gilding work for Victoria’s Secret, Balthazar, Le Labo, Deciem, the Ace Hotel, and Tiffany & Co., to name a few. Sandra has given gilding workshops and tutorials at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC, through the Society of Gilders in Chicago, Dallas, and New York City. She was featured in a gilding documentary directed by the accomplished filmmaker Craig Teper, with music by Emmy award winning composer Blake Leyh, and appeared in the “Sunday Routine” series of the New York Times. To make a donation in her memory, click here.
Born in the Philippines, Marybeth ran her own design and construction company in Manila. One of her landmark projects was designing the Shrine of St Therese, a Roman Catholic church in the heart of Manila. She was also the recipient of the Design Excellence Award from The Metrobank Foundation in 2005.
Shortly after, Marybeth moved to Toronto where she discovered the art of verre églomisé – an art form embedded in rich history dating back to the 18th century, employing various metals and the iconic gold leaf on glass to produce a lustrous finish. A traditional art complemented with contemporary techniques, Marybeth has elevated the art form inspired by nature motifs, natural patterns and profound textures. Her artistry continues to evolve exploring skills in patination and using mother of pearl inlay on glass.
Marybeth is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers New York-Metro and the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario, and a member of The Home Trust International that brands refined tastemakers, artisans and trusted advisors who source the affluent market. Marybeth has worked with clients on commissioned pieces ranging from glass paintings, tabletops, kitchen backsplash and wall panels. Her work is being exhibited and collected internationally.