An Interview with Anouk Smetana

Anouk Smetana works as a gilder and framer in the canton of Vaud. She did her apprenticeship in Lausanne and has taught her art to four apprentices since the beginning of her career. Two of them are currently independent and live by their work as gilders and framers, which is the pride of Anouk Smetana, who believes she has succeeded in transmitting her passion for the profession to her two apprentices. The frames she creates are unique pieces, which are there to sublimate the work while remaining discreet. They must not take over the main element of the work, which is the piece of art. It is actually the pieces of art that inspire her creations. She mainly gilds with tempera (water). This technique allows the gold to be polished and therefore to play with mats and shiny. According to her, this is the most beautiful way to gild on the leaf, because it holds very well over time. She also sometimes gilds with the 12-hour mixtion, a much easier technique but with a lower quality rendering. Anouk Smetana restores mostly frames or carved consoles, but she also responds to more surprising requests such as gilding a snall shell with gold leaf ! The result was beautiful but also very fragile. Anouk Smetana gives classes to adults so that they learn to frame and apply the cooper sheet to the mixtion. It is also possible to create frames from A to Z during internships.

A big thank you to Anouk Smetana who kindly accepted to answer our questions about the world of gilding and framing!

Credits photos: Anouk Smetana

gold leaf and gilding