SOG Instructors


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

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

Smith Coleman opened his business Coleman Fine Art over 30 years ago in Philadelphia, PA. In 1991, Coleman and his wife, Mary Whyte, moved to a small barrier island off the Carolina coast. They reopened Coleman Fine Art in Charleston, SC, where Coleman specializes in frame restoration and the making of new frames. Working with various preservation societies and museums in restoring antique and period frames, Coleman has also taught several workshops nationally, including one at the Smithsonian and The Louisiana State Museum.

 Miriam Ellner

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 

Samuel Feinstein trained formally at the North Bennet Street School Bookbinding program where he studied under Jeff Altepeter and Martha Kearsley.  Since graduating in 2012 he has been in private practice creating fine bindings, luxury clamshell boxes, new bindings in period style, and gold finishing for other binders.  His work can be seen on his website or in more detail on his blog:  He currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.

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

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

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 private residences, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Georgia State Capitol and the Washington Monument. Since 1987 he has taught gilding 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 recently published book Gilded Metals from Archetype press.

 Francis Lestingi

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 London

Jill London is a painter and a gilder. She has spent most of her life dedicated to the study and practice of the visual arts. Jill has a long history of working on various forms of gilding: water gilding, mordant gilding, restoration and conservation of gilded objects, reproduction of gilded frames, fine art gilding and teaching. Jill coordinates the educational programs within the Society of Gilders, offering the community more lectures, classes and demonstrations. Jill is a member of AIC and BAACG and listed in Who's Who of American Women.

Patricia Miranda 

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 Miller, a woodworker since his youth, has been involved in the framing industry since 1977. He established his framing business in 1983 and began gilding in 1991. Since those days, Peter has been designing and creating frames as well as restoring frames and objects for private collectors, museums and antique dealers. The specialty of the P.H. Miller Studio is historically influenced carved and gilded frames designed specifically for the individual painting. Mr. Miller’s inspiration comes largely from American frame designers such as Hassam and Prendergast as well as the Bucks County frame makers Frederick Harer and Bernard Badura.

 Sarah Pringle

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

Lynne Rutter is a fine art muralist,decorative painter, and colorist, whose work spans three decades of experience, and emphasizes site-specific design. Her interest in period design and classical methods led her to work on a large number of historic interiors, while seeking out authentic materials and techniques to use in her own artwork.

In modern architecture Lynne applies her knowledge and skill to adorn previously barren spaces with original designs and refined surfaces, using traditional expertise, even as the definition of ‘contemporary’ changes from year to year.

You can see more of Lynne’s work on her blog The Ornamentalist where she writes about the finer points of color and décor, and her adventures while traveling with her camera.

Sandra Spannan

Sandra Spannan, a native of Germany who has lived in New York City since 1993, is a painter, gilder, and founder of the decorative painting company see. Painting, Inc. and gilding company see. Gold, Inc. As an artist specializing in verre eglomise (glass gilding) as well as restoration and decorative finishes, Sandra has worked on private interiors, set designs, landmark restorations, and large-scale commercial projects throughout the world. She has 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, the Paramount Hotel NYC, and Tiffany & Co., to name a few. Sandra has given gilding workshops and tutorials at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC, on multiple high end job sites and art projects, and in afterschool programs in the New York public school system. She has been featured in a gilding documentary directed by the accomplished filmmaker Craig Teper, with music by Emmy award winning composer Blake Leyh.


6 thoughts on “SOG Instructors

  1. Anne Domenech

    Dear instructors,
    I am interested in classes in NYC , could be private.
    What and when and who would be available? And the cost…I do own my tools.

    I already work as an architectural gilder and have some water gilding experience and I would be interested in acquiring practice with antiquing and toning and perfecting water gilding techniques!

    Thank you for your response
    Anne Domenech

  2. Roberta Marovelli

    I am interested in verre eglomise technique. I am located in the Washington DC area, but can travel to a workshop or private class. I am a decorative painter working in the industry for 25 years. I have taught painting & drawing at the Corcoran College of Art and Design and egg tempera at the National Women’s Museum. If you have any information on opportunities of I course I would appreciate it. Thank you, Roberta Marovelli

  3. Greg

    I am in Charleston South Carolina and I am looking for a beginner Gilding class.

  4. Dean Anthony


    I am interested in becoming a gilder, can anyone assist me in obtaining the proper instruction?

  5. Naomi Admin

    Dear Dean,
    Great! The more gilders, the better. And you are in luck – we are holding our biennial conference this year, June 5-10. It will be in Arlington, TX, and details will be posted on the SOG website shortly. There will be classes in oil (mordant) gilding, which would be a very good introduction to gilding, as well as classes in water gilding, verre eglomise, and other techniques. You will also get to meet other gilders, hear world-class lectures, and participate in our community gilding project, for hands-on experience. If you can’t make the conference, we will be offering classes intermittently during the year, at different locations. Also, some of our teachers give private lessons – contact for more on that. If you sign up for our email list, you will be notified of all events. -Naomi Lipsky, President


    Dear Naomi,
    I wish I would have discovered this site sooner I would have joined the June classes. I am looking for classes on verre eglomise and more! I am in San Diego, Ca. I would appreciate any direction you might offer.
    Thank you,
    Melanie Durkee
    Studio M

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