In 1898, Andreas’s great-grandfather Eduard Buhr opened his gilding workshop close to Vienna’s city centre and laid the foundation for the company’s future success with significant projects in the Habsburgs’ crown lands. From the 1960s to the 1990s, Andreas’s father was a key participant in the most prestigious restoration projects in and around Vienna. Andreas grew up in this family deeply rooted in craft – he’s proud that, as a child, his cot was placed in the workshop and his toys were his parents’ tools. He now runs the business on his own, continuing to work on the restoration of objects and buildings. He and his wife Christine Dosch also founded the design label Goldlieb, for which they create extravagant objects with gold, silver or other precious metals.Read the full interview
We master all kinds of gilding techniques. The most noble one, only used for silver and gold, is spirit gilding (gilding suspended in a varnish), used unchanged for centuries, which requires 15 different steps. Oil gilding and peintre-doreur are other techniques we use.Does your architectural environment influence your work?
I’m happy to live and work in Vienna, because this wonderful, historic city provides so many architectural and artisanal treasures, especially of the baroque and Jugendstil era, which not only inspire my work but are also potential restoration projects.
One of my oddest orders was to gild a gallstone of one of my customers. I've also gilded a soother, baby bootees, a favourite Barbie doll and even a piece of a human bone. Together with my wife, I create gilded everyday objects which make daily life glow.What gives you most satisfaction?
There are some moments I particularly love. Firstly, it’s when I find inspiration and can visualise the finished object. Then, as soon as it's completed, it’s the joy of having conjured something glamorous out of an unsightly item. Lastly, it’s the sparkle in the eyes of the happy client – sparkling like gold.