Solo Stalks of Wheat

In gold, of course

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Known as the Celestial Seat, Nyka is a religious city in Northern Sylira. Ruled by four demigods and traversed by a large crevice, the monk-city is both mystical and dangerous. [Lore]

Stalks of Wheat

Postby Alija on February 28th, 2016, 3:36 pm

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Now that she had made something for both Xannos and Laat, she wanted to give a gift to Skerr, of the Bountiful Wheat. After all, without the plentiful wheat of the harvest, Alija would sell so little, or at least she believed so. It seemed that about half her sales were spades or scythes or something to help with the work. That was all because of Skerr.

Besides, Alija had a great idea of what to make. A few stalks of wheat, which she could paste on a frame of sorts. Artwork honouring the thing she was known for. Alija couldn't wait to get started.

She took a long rod of gold, using a hacksaw to cut a decent length. She had once seen Rals making something similar, and was planning to copy that method.

Marking halfway, then halfway again on both sides, Alija wedged the rod in a vice, hammering and pulling with a tong to create a bend. Gold was so malleable, it bent easily, but that didn't stop Alija from hammering it on the anvil face as well, bringing it into tight curves. Gold was such a strange material to work with, Alija finding the whole process strange but also very informative. If she wanted to be a good smith, she would have to learn to use various metal types.

She took another gold rod, tapering the end into a point. This was so easy, simply holding it at an angle to the anvil face and hammering down. Once she had done that, she prepared the other piece for welding, hammering the middle, closed section tighter together and into a point. She brushed it all down as she let the fire die down to a reducing flame, then heated it quickly, applying flux as soon as possible. With gold, perhaps she was doing it all wrong.

The smith held both pieces in the fire for a little while, deciding to go back to the wire trick. As soon as it started to stick to the metal, melted in the fire, she pulled it out, forcing the two together. They met, pushing the flux out as the metal joined. She hammered around it, making the join almost unnoticeable. It was fairly easy - drawing the metal around the weld to hide that it was ever there in the first place.

The last thing to do was to bring the two loops out. She grabbed both with tongs, and pulled. The metal shifted, spreading out. Two heads of wheat, ready for her to actually shape. Alija smiled, wiping her hands clean. She couldn't wait.
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Alija
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Stalks of Wheat

Postby Alija on March 5th, 2016, 8:43 pm

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Alija pushed her hair back out of her eyes, spotting Thegans watching her. She ignored him for a little while, simply brushing flakes of metal away from her, but he remained, forcing her to address him.

"What are you doing here?" she asked, smiling as she pushed more hair away. She managed to add a smear of coal black to it, and along her forehead. He giggled like a little girl, moving closer. Reaching out, he wiped it away with his thumb, hand lingering on her cheek. Alija blushed, turning around as if nothing had happened. "Want to help?" she asked, but had already handed him the materials for the next stalk of wheat.

"Guess I have to. What do I do?"

She showed him what she had, handing him the ruler and chalk. "Mark out the halfway and quarter points." He did as she told, under the careful eye of the woman. She faked disapproval, shaking her head with a smile, "What is wrong with your measuring? Mark here!" She snatched the chalk from his hand, drawing on his cheek. He pushed her away, laughing.

Alija joined him, then got back to work. "Then fold in half, and bring the other ends down." He started to move towards the fire, Alija stopping him. "You can cold forge it, you know?" He rolled his eyes, bringing the metal back to the anvil. He hammered at it at a weird angle, deforming the metal more than bringing it together.

Sighing, she took the hammer from him, placing the rod in the vice up to the halfway point. She hammered down, bringing the metal into an angle, then grabbed it with the tongs and started to pull, using the hammer as an aid. "Got it?" he nodded, but she continued anyway, bringing the ends together. By the end, it was back to hammering again, making the bend in the gold.

Once it was folded in half, she grabbed it with the tongs again, having to pull it out a little to begin hammering. Of course, hammering up made no sense, so she had to flip it in the vice. The smith hammered at the very end, but when that started to bend towards itself, she shifted to the other end and the middle as well, making sure it bent evenly. Only after she had done that did she hand it over to Thegans.

"Do the other side." He nodded, copying her. Alija reminded him to make use of the tongs and the hammer, giving him tips as he went. It wasn't the best and at the end of it all she had to add to it, to make it look right. Thegans seemed a little disgruntled but let the more experienced smith take over.
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Alija
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Stalks of Wheat

Postby Alija on March 5th, 2016, 9:00 pm

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She welded that one too, a lot more experienced than before. She wouldn't let Thegans, with his lack of skill, attempt something like that. She remember how she was at his sort of skill and experience. It was so long ago, or at least it seemed so. Either way, she knew how bad her welds were. There was no way she would let Thegans weld gold, which was so much more complex.

Once all that was done, she secured both stems into a vice, gesturing her friend nearer. Showing him what to do, she grabbed the right hand loop at the base, twisting it to make a kernel. Then she moved to the other loop, twisting it the other way. "Make sure to alternate, to keep them even." He started on the other one, Alija watching closely to make sure he was getting it right. Occasionally, he would make them not close enough, and Alija would stop him, grabbing the twist with her own tongs.

Untwisting didn't look as good, the gold having changed shape slightly in the process, but once she re-twisted it closer together, it didn't look too bad. Her wheat was much better though. Alija took care over it, making sure to clamp it face side up and grab the metal closest to the last twist to do the next one.

She left a little section at the top, reminding Thegans to do the same. Then she took a small sliver of gold, heating it and adding it to the back of the wheat, showing Thegans how to do the same. She had to hammer it very lightly, with both hers and Thegans, making sure that she didn't distort the kernels. Not yet anyway.



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Alija
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Stalks of Wheat

Postby Alija on March 5th, 2016, 9:21 pm

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Alija heated the gold now, only very, very slightly on a reducing flame. Then she hammered straight down to flatten it a little, bringing the two loops together. The parts where the metal joined together too much, she had to fix separately. Alija searched the forge for a chisel, snatching up the first she found. It would work.

Balancing it on a corner, Alija brought the hammer down on it, chipping into it. She worked around the kernels, making them well defined, before turning to Thegans, hand on her hip. Tilting her head a little, she pointed to his own. "Come on, what are you waiting for?"

He grinned, copying her. He held it in the fire too long, Alija having to pull his arm back. "That. I was waiting for you to do it for me!" Alija rolled her eyes, although she had taken over. She hammered lightly over it, lighter than before and flipped it over too, hammering on both sides. Altogether, though, it totalled about the same and she had to chisel it again, marking out the kernels.

"Sorry Thegans," she finally said, after the silence of just the noise of her hitting the metal, "But I want this the best I can make it."

"You mean, I'm rubbish?" he joked in reply, moving over to poke the fire, tend to it a little. Before she could mutter out a reply, he spoke again, smiling from ear to ear. "I know I am, but I don't care. You're the smith, not me. I want to go out and explore the world again. Not be stuck behind an anvil - it isn't for me."

"Then why aren't you out there?" Alija asked, curious.
"Your father needed me. I promised him I would help."
"But I'm here now. You did what you had to do. You have nothing else keeping you, right?"
Thegans smiled weakly, blushing, "I like being here, with you. Travelling is fun, but I forget how nice it is to be with a real friend."

Alija grinned, taking the hammer again and shrinking one of the kernels. She flipped the wheat on its side and hammered down, making it fatter and shorter. Then she drew out another of the kernels, making them all even. "Well, if you ever decide to leave, I'd be happy to help whichever way I can."
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Stalks of Wheat

Postby Alija on March 5th, 2016, 9:39 pm

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Next, she had to taper the end. Thegans could do this, so she gave the hammer back to him. Simple using the hammer head worked, but she showed him the trick with fullering. Using the peen of the hammer, she created indentations and ridges. She then struck the ridges to become level with the indents, forcing the metal to stretch into a point.

She moved over to Thegans, resting her hand on his to help with the movements. He got it, but she found herself applying extra pressure when he didn't hit it hard enough, or at the right angle to bring it to a taper.

Then, she drew out the stalk more, using the same method until it was long and thin. Each hammer hit was matched with one from Thegans, who was struggling to keep up. Once she had done hers, he let her finish his. Alija smiled, twisting the stalk as she did so to make it more rounded. She managed to make it fairly thin and long - almost too long, so she secured it in a vice and used a hammer and tongs to make it double back on itself.

These pieces she flattened, drawing them out in a different dimension to make them wider. Once it was wide enough, she held the flattened section at an angle, hammering down to create a smooth groove in the middle. Then, at the end where it bent, she tried to make it fit around the stalk, tugging with a pair of tongs as well as hammering around. Once it fit around, at the very end, she simply hammered down and round, making the two join.

The last thing to do was make a frame. Alija didn't bother with gold this time, taking a piece of iron and hammering it into a long cuboid. Once that was done, she held it over the edge of the anvil, hammering down to add a bend. It wasn't a nice right angle, so she had to fix it up with the face, using that as a guide.

Once she managed to add all four corners and join the ends up, Alija heated it, taking a chisel. She first marked out the top section and bottom section, working with the chisel hard to make a fairly deep dent. Then, she made smaller cuts in the metal, working around it. They were less noticeable, but added plenty of texture. She took a brass brush, working over it to add a shiny gold colour to it.

Then she quenched it, heating it up to a good temperature then cooling it by submerging it in a barrel full of water. When it reached the colour she liked, Alija added wax to it, to keep the colour slightly longer.

With the frame and wheat done, she secured the two together with some wire she hammered out, drawing out a small piece of metal until it was very long and thin. The work was boring a repetitive, but she managed to roll it as she hammered it, making it slightly quicker. She wrapped the wire around the frame then around the wheat stalks, moving them to a good position.

Holding it up, she smiled. Beautiful.
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Stalks of Wheat

Postby Dove Brown on September 7th, 2016, 9:50 pm

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Don't forget to edit/delete your grade request. If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding your grade, please do not hesitate to send me a PM.



 
Alija
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  • Blacksmithing 4
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  • Metalsmithing: working with gold
  • Cold forging gold
  • Blacksmithing: making a frame

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