We're very lucky to have Ken Bova with us this year, since Linda is abroad with a group of students in Italy. And while we miss Linda very much, we're all super happy about working with Ken, so we asked if he would teach a workshop at this year's symposium.

Ken Instructing Us on Color


Ken has recently been working with mineral pigment temperas which he mixes himself. I've heard him talk a little bit about it, so I was very excited to see his demo. He started off with a brief power point on the history of mineral pigments as used in Renaissance manuscript illumination. It was really fascinating, especially since these things are still intact today. Works done uses this technique last for centuries or more.

Demo Table


Ken's work table was AMAZING! Colors, gold leaf, rocks and small vials of mysterious powers, some of my favorite things! His samples were simply stunning. I found myself not really caring what kind of jewelry he's made using this technique; I just wanted his sample sheets to frame and hang on my wall.

Tiny Mineral Pigment Paintings


A painter at an artists residency he was attending told Ken her secret to egg tempera. This egg tempera recipe has been handed down from master to student for centuries, and Ken was nice enough to put in all in a handout for us! He also had a recipe for sizing or mordant, the adhesive used in gold leafing, which he also demonstrated. Ken talked at length about color theory, and the minerals he uses, which provide a very specific color range.

 Ken Applying Gold Leaf.

Ken showed us how to make the gold leaf sizing, how to apply the leaf, how to grind minerals and how to make the actual egg tempera. This involved Ken doing the most incredible thing with an egg that I've ever seen, and I can't really describe. All I can say is that it took him three tries and he was somehow left with just the egg yolk, absolutely no white. We were all super impressed. After he mixed him color, Ken showed us how to apply it to the paper in thin, even coats.

Ken Bova, (you can get )From There to Here

Ken's workshop was incredibly comprehensive and I can't believe how much testing and troubleshooting he's done on this really obscure (at least for jewelry) technique. I know some artists (myself included) that can be a bit proprietary with their methods, but I think Ken literally told us everything he knew about this subject that he's spent so much time testing and perfecting. I'm excited to see where he goes with this.


Be sure to check out Ken's brand new website!


Thanks for reading!


Ken Bova, Earrings

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Great post. Thank you Liz.

For those who want to get in touch with Ken Bova, as luck would have it he's on crafthaus:


Or find him in the member section.


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