Solo Making Treasure Out Of Trash I

Jaren dumps inferior gemstones on Kelski and demands she improve them.

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

Making Treasure Out Of Trash I

Postby Kelski on May 21st, 2018, 3:18 am

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Timestamp: 45th of Spring, 518 AV



She was tired. There was nothing else to say. The damn Sun's Birth gang had adopted a big fluffy domestic cat that had promptly had kittens and that parcel of felines had been doing an amazing job of mousing and ratting The Barracks. That meant Kelski's food supply had dropped significantly. The fresh meat she'd been eating for a season and a half had been doing her good, even though she'd had to catch it herself. The bigger rats made great targets for her throwing daggers though, and those were just about all that was left to eat. Kelski had considered hunting the cats themselves, but Jaren had seemed happy with the mousing situation and all the gang members had treated the cats fairly well.

It still pissed her off. All that left her was thin watery soup and stale bread at The Gold Lodge and whatever she could hunt off the street when she could sneak away. If Jaren had let her use her kelvic animal form, her hunting would have been a lot better. She could have overflown the city and hunted at leisure, perhaps even taking fish which was her favorite. But no... instead he half starved her, let Darvin use her, and threw more and more work on her. That limited the time she could sneak away, getting out onto the streets now that it was safer for her to do so. Darvin wouldn't tolerate any hunting from her on their excursions. So she was left to basically starve.

Kelski hated it.

And it made her head fuzzy when she had all this work to do. Today, alone, Jaren had 'dropped by' with what she considered stolen gems - probably purchased cheap off of street rats or acquired by the Sun Birth's operatives themselves. He wanted them 'improved' so he could turn a fine profit off them at Silvertongue's Silver Tongue. And she hated it. Had Kelski been in charge of her own stock, she wouldn't be melting down shit-tastic metal and making it workable by augmenting it with good metals from Dagwoods. She'd be working with nothing but the finest because that’s how she’d been taught.

Now looking at the small box of gemstones, some in settings and some not, she knew she had her work cut out for her. Taking out her jewelers loop and moving her stool to the window where the light was streaming in, Kelski got to work identifying the stones and rating them. The first thing she did was pull out all the pearls from the box. There were necklaces, a ring, three odd earrings that had no matching mates, and what looked like a headpiece with better-quality pearls set in it. The rest of the mess of pearls had terrible coloration. They were oddly tinted, and somewhat muddy. Junk. She could fix that though.

The Kelvic frowned, knowing the more she did this the more valuable Jaren would consider her.

She set the box aside and got the pearls laid out in front of her. Quickly cutting them from their strings, removing them from their settings, and prying them from the poor-quality metalwork earrings, Kelski put them all in a jar so she could add bleach.

Bleach wasn’t hard for her to make. She took careful measurements of wood-ash which was actually a lye, a bit of lemon juice which she kept in a dark bottle to keep fresh, and water. She added more water than she normally would, stirred, and then added all the pearls to the mixture. She hoped to get the pearls pale enough to re-dye.

Leaving them in the bleach, she went back to sorting the box.
Last edited by Kelski on May 25th, 2018, 2:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.


Painted Sky Jewelry (The Wildlands) | Crossroads Jewelry (The Outpost)
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Kelski
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Making Treasure Out Of Trash

Postby Kelski on May 24th, 2018, 1:38 am

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It didn’t take much to sort the rest of the box. Kelski started with evaluating pieces and settings. Her goal was to make the jewelry more valuable. That meant most of the time she needed to break down the actual jewelry pieces from what they were into something that they could be… improving them if she could.

For example, a very simple ring with an inferior gemstone would go through the following steps. She’d unseat the stone, set it aside, evaluate the actual ring, decide what she could do to increase its value, then set it aside with the intent to make those improvements later. Such things could be adding filigree work on the sides, adding some etching, polishing up the metal, or even plating more metal onto the actual ring.

Next, she’d work with what was set in the ring. Picking up the stone she’d then evaluate it for color, clarity, and what type of stone it was. Once that was determined, she’d decide if she could recut it to make it better, some how enhance it to give it better color or a clearer structure to give the gem value.

Kelski was clever at improving gemstones. Good gems were rare in Lhavit and it was one of the first skills Master Li had taught her. They had to make do with what they had, giving the city the best jewelry they could without cheating them or overinflating the value of the piece because it was ‘fake’ and not natural. In Sunberth, Kelski didn’t even remotely care if people got what they paid for.

Kelski evaluated each piece, most she found inferior, and carefully removed each and every stone from its setting. The metal she put in piles based on type. Gold went in one, silver in the other, and everything else in the ‘trash’ metal pile. She’d sort out all the varieties later. Then, once she had the jewelry sorted by color, she made sure each type of stone in the piles were the same type. Once her ‘type’ piles were done, she simply had to select a first pile to begin with and get going.

It meant that at least one of her work-surfaces, a repurposed dresser in this case, was covered with ‘todo’ piles that ate into her free time. Work was work, and if she looked like she had piles of it, that was less time she had to rattle around feeling sorry for herself for working hard and making almost no coin. Plus it meant she really WAS busy when Darvin came to see if she was in a position to accompany him somewhere. She usually wanted to go because being inside wasn’t good for the Kelvic. But these days that wasn’t so safe for Kelski to roam with Darvin who was growing bolder and bolder with her care.

Kelski knew she had to face the facts. She had to get out of here and soon. Maybe that meant doing good work. The Kelvic looked back at her pile, plucked the green stones which there were only two of, out of the little groupings, and moved over to her workbench.

She fitted her jewelers lens into her eye and examined the first green stone. It was definitely an emerald. It was a good size, about two carats, but it had very tiny inclusions – cracks and fissures – that reached the surface of the stone. When these imperfections were visible like they were on this particular stone, they interfered with the stone’s refractive qualities, making it look duller and muddy. The color often wasn’t as good either. Kelski ran her thumb across the first gem, pulled the lens from her eye and murmured softly “I can make you better.”
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.


Painted Sky Jewelry (The Wildlands) | Crossroads Jewelry (The Outpost)
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Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1598
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Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: The Wildlands of Sylira & The Empyreal Demesne
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Making Treasure Out Of Trash

Postby Kelski on May 24th, 2018, 1:39 am

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She set that stone aside and picked up the second one giving that one an examination too. This one was smaller… just shy of a full carat. It had the same problem. Kelski tsked because if it had been up to her, she would have cut the stones differently so the inclusions weren’t included in the cut if she could at all help it. These were ‘scrap’ stones at best, but Jaren needed her to help turn a profit.

“So… my pretties…. I need to fill you…. make your inclusions shine instead of dull you.” She said, setting the second stone down by the first. They would both due with the same treatment once she decided what it was.

A jeweler could enhance the clarity of a stone by treating it. She could make the cracks disappear – as long as they surfaced first so she could get to them – by filling them with any number of substances. Oil, wax, epoxy… all could be used. If one had a good enough set up, one could actually melt more scrap emerald or emerald dust and use it for fill. Kelski wasn’t set up for that though.

The Kelvic gave it some more thought and decided she’d use an oil that she could then seal into the stone using clear enamel. The stones would look a hundred percent better and she could turn them over to Jaren so he could sell them for significantly more.

Kelski moved about her workshop, taking out the vial oil and gently setting it on the edge of the warm forge to heat and get good and viscous. She got out a dropper of green dye and added droplets to the vial until it was the tone of green that was very similar to both stone’s primary color. The vial took almost no time to heat and once the oil was warm, Kelski uncorked it, used a fine set of jeweler’s tweezers, and plucked the two emeralds up and dropped them into the vial. While the oil had heated, she’d fired up her buffing wheel and buffed both the stones vigorously to take off any varnish they might have had over the face of the open micro-fissures.

She loved emeralds. They were one of her favorite stones, but they were also notorious for their mazes of internal flaws that jewelers considered imperfections. Some jewelers even called the mazes ‘gardens’ duet o the gemstone’s color. Treating emerald ‘gardens’ was one of the simplest enhancements that a jeweler like Kelski – trying to increase the value of a stone – could do. It was also a treatment that was virtually invisible.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.


Painted Sky Jewelry (The Wildlands) | Crossroads Jewelry (The Outpost)
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1598
Words: 2015468
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: The Wildlands of Sylira & The Empyreal Demesne
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
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Medals: 11
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (2)
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Making Treasure Out Of Trash

Postby Kelski on May 24th, 2018, 1:40 am

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She let the emeralds soak in the warm oil, knowing the liquid they were sitting in would invade the dry cracked parched spaces of their ‘garden’s and fill those cracks that cut down the clarity so horribly. That would do wonders to improve their shine and base coloring lending them more value and profit in Jaren’s pockets. Kelski appreciated the improved transparency and brilliance, but she still couldn’t help thinking the original cut could have been better. It wasn’t a permanent fix, but as she fished the completed emeralds out of the oil and set the mixture aside with a re-corking, she knew it would last long enough. The oil would eventually evaporate and escape out of the ‘garden’ and need to be re-treated again and again. But Kelski could slow that considerably by first drying the emeralds – which she did – and then treating them like she did every single finished item.

She set the gems on her workbench, uncorked lacquer, and then carefully took out a brush and began coating the emeralds – first one then the other – with the sealant that would help preserve the oil treatment and make it last. It also gave the emeralds an extra gleam that showed off their new clarity. When she had tops, bottoms, and the surrounding pavilions coated with two nice thin coats of lacquer, then she set them aside as ‘done’ and moved on to other projects.

She dug through the rest of the green pile and found some obvious inferior Zircon. Curious, she dug through the brown pile and found even more. Sorting these gems aside and giving them a second glance to make sure they were in fact Zircon, Kelski added more coal to the forge, pumped it up, and got it really heating. She then laid out the gemstones on a ceramic crucible tray and frowned down at them. “You lot are worthless in these ugly brown and muddy green colors… but sometimes… just sometimes heating you up and watching you closely will turn your ugly into pretty…. you brown stones will turn colorlessly clear and beautiful like a diamond and you muddy greens should go brilliant blue… lets try it.” Kelski said, watching them closely and running the bellows as she slowly ran the temperature up and watched the stones like a hawk.

It wasn’t a project she could walk away from easily. In fact, Kelski had to take the tray off often, check the stone colors, and pluck them out one at a time as each stone hit its optimal temperature and color. They never gleamed red like metal would when heated, but they individually each reached their colors slowly and unpredictably and as Kelski plucked them out, she laid them aside to cool and knew they would hold their color. And their new color added new value. And that meant too that it would be harder for Jaren to be linked to stolen or fenced jewels that people might have been attached to or would easily recognize.

And truthfully, it made Kelski feel useful. She was turning trash into treasure and doing what he’d asked… ‘turn a profit with this’. That, she could indeed do and was by enhancing the items he’d given her to work with.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.


Painted Sky Jewelry (The Wildlands) | Crossroads Jewelry (The Outpost)
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1598
Words: 2015468
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: The Wildlands of Sylira & The Empyreal Demesne
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
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Medals: 11
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (2)
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Making Treasure Out Of Trash

Postby Kelski on May 24th, 2018, 1:42 am

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Going back to the pile, Kelski pulled out a huge opal that looked amazing until she looked closer. The entire gemstone was crazed. It was such a disappointment. Crazing was a jewelcrafting term used to describe what happens when a gem is treated badly in cutting and then cracked or splintered internally due to the bad treatment. She stroked the huge opal and shook her head. “I’m sorry, love…. They should have put you in a cool dry place to cure for at least a year…. Or heated you slowly and steadily for an entire week. Instead, they cut you and threw you aside and it broke your very core.” Kelski said, stroking the gem and shaking her head. Even tumbling opals and ambers were hard on them.

But she could fix it.

Fitting her jewelers lens to her eye, she studied the internal structure and saw where she could cut two fair sized gems out of the big one and maybe a thin cabochon slice and discard the rest of the ruined stone. Then, once it was cut, she’d heat it to dry it gently over a longer period of time until it was properly cured. Normally she’d just set it aside for a time, but she didn’t know what the future held and didn’t want to promise a gemstone something that wasn’t going to get delivered due to her instabilities in life.

Moving to her cutting bench, she attached the opal to a dop, set her cutting stones to the angle she needed, and with her foot pump set the lapidary stones into motion. She affixed the dop into its arm, carefully laid the opal against the grinding surface adding a bit of grit, and began cutting the damaged craze off the stone. Taking it slowly, she also noted the potch, which was the colorless part of opals, and began to remove that as well so she had really pure really good quality opal left. Sure, it was a great deal smaller than the original opal nugget had been, but it was so much more fine once she had two distinct gems removed from the original.

She tired to cut the stone as large as Kelski possibly could while minimizing waste and maximizing the end size of both the progeny stones. She kept her hand on the dop stick light, understanding that the stones could be easily ‘burned’ with the friction that would just cause more craze or worse yet pits in the stone that would mean it would never get smooth when polished.

Her diamond grinding wheels did a great job and she could see immediately that one stone would make an awesome cabochon and the secondary stone would make a great emerald cut. The math for the cabochon was easy, and Kelski had cut so many emerald cuts that getting the shapes just right were second nature. The Cabo had a flat bottom while the emerald got a very extensive creative girdle that gave that particular gem a real sparkle that really fired up the nacre on the stone.

When she was done, there was only the heat curing left to do.

Continued in: Making Treasure Out Of Trash II
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.


Painted Sky Jewelry (The Wildlands) | Crossroads Jewelry (The Outpost)
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1598
Words: 2015468
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: The Wildlands of Sylira & The Empyreal Demesne
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 11
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Trailblazer (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1) Power Fork (1)

Making Treasure Out Of Trash I

Postby Kelski on May 28th, 2018, 4:35 am

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Grading!


Kelski

Experience: Jewelcrafting +5, Planning +5, Philtering +1

Lore: JC: Improving The Value of Jewelry Pieces, JC: Unseating Gems From Settings, JC: Bleaching Pearls, JC: Dying Pearls, Philtering: Making Bleach, JC: Evaluating Gemstones & Jewelry Settings, JC: Filling Inclusions To Increase Brilliance & Luster, JC: Oil Treating Emeralds, JC: Cleaning Fragile Stones, JC: Sealing Oil Treated Stones W/Lacquer, JC: Clarifying Zircon, JC: Opals – Discerning Treatments of Doublets and Triplets, JC: Fixing Craze in Opals, JC: Removing Potch From Opals (the dull parts)
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.


Painted Sky Jewelry (The Wildlands) | Crossroads Jewelry (The Outpost)
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1598
Words: 2015468
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: The Wildlands of Sylira & The Empyreal Demesne
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 11
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Trailblazer (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1) Power Fork (1)


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