Red clay (bole) ready to use.
Clay and hide-glue mixture.
The act of gilding itself symbolizes the “breath of life” because when we apply the gold, we must breathe deeply from within onto the clay bole for it to adhere. The moisture from one’s breath wets and creates a tacky surface, allowing a perfect bond. The clay and the gold together represent man’s dual cosmic and earthly nature, material and spiritual sides.