Dirk meyer‘s      fire - gilding studio


The technology of fire - gilding

Dirk Meyer‘s


registered conservator in

gold and silver smithery


00498383 - 922783



E - mail:

dirkmeyer (at) fire-gilding.com

Dirk Meyer at XING

Postal address:

Atelier für Feuervergoldung

Dirk Meyer

Neppen 1

D - 88167 Maierhöfen


copyright by dirk meyer // webdesign phil zinser

Fire-gilding means that gold is dissolved in the liquid metal, mercury. The resulting amalgam is applied on the body of a metal object. After that, the mercury is vaporised („fumed off“) at about 300°C so that the gold will remain as solid coating of the metal object.
This procedure is several times repeated till the layer acquires the proper thickness (deep yellow). In the final step, a polish will provide the desired gloss.
The adventage of fire-gilding is
high resistance 
against mechanical and especially chemical stress.
advantages of this technology
Those parts which may be treated by galvanic processes are limited in size. Galvanic gilding of objects that extend across more than 100 cm2 in size is not possible. The thickness of the layer is limited to 20 microns.
The only really persistent is achieved by fire-gilding. In fire-gilding the gold is getting amalgamated, very persistent, and thick layer of gold is applied to the base metal. Completely fire-gilded objects are this way getting sort of preserved and resistant against all kinds of ambient influences such as sulphur, oxygen, and acids.
Galvanic coating turn unsightly after ca.   1 year, assuming dark tarnish. That happens because the galvanic coating simply forms a popous deposit. Through these pores, sulphur and oxygen may access the base metal, react with it and repel the gold, so to say.
With fire-gilding, the size of the object is unimportant. The object to be gilded may be a sculpture, a handrail, or a car rim.
galvanic gilding       and          fire - gilding
galvanic gilding
fire - gilding
protective layer
base metal
(copper, brass, bronze)
pure gold
base metal
(copper, brass, bronze, iron, aluminium)

Layout for the implementation of a fire gilding -

Technical condition

Fig. 1  -   cubicle
Fig. 2  -   precleaner
Fig. 3  -   filter( activated carbon filter)
Fig. 4  -   ventilator

Fig. 1 - cubicle

Fig. 3-4 filter/ventilator