Solo [The Midnight Gem] Koi Ponds & Other Curious Creatures

Kelski makes a custom piece for a lady who loves koi.

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[The Midnight Gem] Koi Ponds & Other Curious Creatures

Postby Kelski on August 4th, 2018, 11:29 pm

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Timestamp: 80th of Summer, 518 A.V.


Kelski had a long day ahead of her in the workshop. So she left Ebon minding the retail shop and set up in her workshop with Little Rhaus and Ember in tow. Ember would run as she saw fit, but Little Rhaus whom they'd all started calling LR would sing to her. The building itself seemed groggy, as if just waking up. Kelski had read in her tome that such things were common but it was up to her to wake up the structure and keep it awake. Kelski knew if she couldn't do that, the mood of the workshop would infuse her and make her own work very hard. So she placed her hand against one of the wooden walls near the forge, bowed her head, and concentrated her emotions. She visualized energy and light and bright awareness and fused it into the wall, pushing it through her will. The groggy presence took notice, and Kelski shared the plans she had for the day with the structure, showing the building how she would visit a special place later to get her design for the ring just right and how excited she was to start a new project. The building responded with its grogginess dissipating and its awareness growing interested. Creating? Kelski could tell it was interested in the process of creating. Such things made sense to her because she knew from her readings that the buildings were all about creation.

"LR will you play for us? Something soothing and hopeful, maybe a little energetic?" Kelski asked of the statue whom she'd already boosted up on the counter. Ember was sitting at another workstation, coloring with some sort of jewelers chalks Kelski had given her. Ember wasn't interested in learning a craft. Her life span was going to be too short to worry about such things. But adventures were great, and Kelski would keep her busy and take her along when she went to sketch the do the fieldwork that was required today.

Finally with Rhaus strumming a bright tune, The Gem more awake and watching and Ember out of the way, Kelski got to work.


First and foremost, she had to design a completely original piece for the wedding ring of one of the prominent associates of Goldfinger. It seemed the woman loved the long elegant decorative goldfish that she kept in her extensive gardens in the gated community. For that reason, her husband had declared he’d wanted her wedding ring to be a massive blue sapphire cut in the shape of a square wading pool, with two elegant Koi Fish with long interwoven fins entangling each other acting as the stone setting. It had to be in twenty-four carat gold. His only instructions to Kelski were that the stone needed to be brilliant and look different at every angle yet still resemble the wading pool at their home in the garden.

After a quick visit to that pool and garden with Ember to verify the size and shape of the stone she'd design, Kelski got started planning. In Jewelcrafting, half the work was planning and laying out a design, getting customer approval, and executing it. This was the business aspect of her job and unless she did a good job with the art, her customer couldn’t see her vision.

Taking her sketch pad, Kelski had carefully measured the diameters of the pool – so she could miniaturize it in jewelry – and then sat a whole afternoon sketching the koi while Ember carefully and respectfully explored the gardens. Making line after line on her parchment, Kelski had really admired how sinuous the fish were, twisting and turning in their lazy circles around the pond. Their fins were truly beautiful and it was no chore to be out and sketching them for work. The only amusing aspect was how the fish had tended to avoid her at first, even refusing to take food from her as if sensing her fish-loving eagle soul. In the end they caved and joined her, taking food and modeling for her charcoal. Their elegant motions would make crafting jewelry beautiful and interesting. The Kelvic only left when the fish made her grow hungry and she had a rough sketch of the wading pool itself, several likenesses of the koi and knew exactly what she was going to do.

As far as Kelski was concerned, the ring had to be made in three stages. First, the band had to be made, sized, and then incorporated into the other features. It then needed to be pronged in an open face eight point setting, and the koi had to be designed around it to fit down and be soldered in place with a gentle hand caging in the cut sapphire so it could never be lost. She made a mock up sketch of the final ring, carefully to add in the details, and then scheduled with the Goldfinger associate a certain Kalvin Devanto, to come in and approve her final rendering. She also asked him to bring his future wife so she could be fitted to a proper sized band. The sketches she showed to Kalvin Devanto, and she only fit ugly plain ring blanks on Nancy Devanto-to be’s finger… withholding the surprise of the ring. Much to Kelski’s joy, it turned out Nancy’s finger was a nice fat eight which gave Kelski more room to play than she would have with her design if the woman had been say a six or four.

Kelski then had to order in a chunk of sapphire of gem quality large enough to work. She sent Aer’wyn down to the port to pick it up when the buyer sent word he had acquired one. The almost twenty carat piece was rough, so much of it would have to be cut away forming the stone itself. But when she examined the stone under her lens, she saw two potential slabs big enough for the two or three carat stone Kalvin Davento wanted.


Taking a moment, Kelski held the rough sapphire in her hands and concentrated on it. She felt for the djed in her body and gently encouraged it up to her eyes. Without her jewelers lens, Kelski focused her djed letting it pool in her pupils and looked at the stone again. There was nothing special about it revealed by the auristics. It was solid, though several inclusions were within that compromised the beauty of the stone in its rough form. Her magic completely backed what her lens had told her and she released the djed to flow back into her body.

Next, she had to decide on stone cut. There was one obvious choice. The Barion Cut. It was a mixed advanced cut that was fairly rare in the jewelcrafting world. It wouldn’t be easy, and Kelski liked a challenge at this stage in her skill. The neat thing about it was that it placed a brilliant pavilion onto a fancy shaped gem. And if Kelski could step-cut the crown, she would get an amazing brilliance far greater than most other rings held. Barion cuts could be done in almost any shape, and a rectangular stone mimicking a pond would be perfect. She carefully sketched out the step cut elongated stone then got busy working on its pavilion which would show tons of light refraction beneath despite the Koi surrounding it. What was so amazing about the barion was that when cut properly it gave quarter moon facets directly beneath its girdle. They would create a characteristic crisscross shaped pattern in the center of the stone that would resemble water ripples and should delight the future Nancy Davento. It also did something nice for her as the artist. It maximized the rough gemstone she had, concentrating on its deep color rather than on hiding inclusions if it had some. The light discipline inside the gem would be amazing and it would look like a ‘fountain of light’ inside. The Devanto’s should be very pleased if it all worked out to her liking.

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Kelski smiled. It might even be one of her finer pieces if she worked it right. And, lucky for her the chicken Goldie had just laid another egg so she didn’t have to go out and find ore anywhere. She had a nice 24 carat egg to melt down and use. So… with ring size verified, sketch approved, ore acquired, and raw stone sitting in front of her Kelski made her checklist.

  • Form ring
  • Add prongs
  • Cut rough into the barion cut she wanted
  • Sculpt the koi out of jewelers wax.
  • Do a lost wax casting of the koi
  • Assemble ring
  • Polish ring
  • Final approval and delivery

It would take her several days and unfortunately it wasn’t her only custom piece going. But Kelski was fine with that. She loved her work and didn’t mind staying busy day and night. It distracted her from all the things she didn’t want to think about during the day.

Count: 1504
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
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Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100424
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
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[The Midnight Gem] Koi Ponds & Other Curious Creatures

Postby Kelski on August 5th, 2018, 3:40 am

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Kelski decided it was always better to get started on the boring stuff first that way she could reward herself with the interesting stuff. That meant firing up the forge. Little Rhaus followed her over to the forge and kept up a steady stream of dialog as the Kelvic got down to the dirty work of loading it and using the bellows to get the fire up to snuff. She put in wood this time because gold had a lower melting point at around nineteen hundred and forty five degrees. The Kelvic wouldn’t actually need much gold, but it gave her a chance to make some ingots and pull some wire so she’d have more ready when she needed it later.

Once the forge was up to temperature, Kelski took one of Goldie’s eggs and laid it in the crucible. She kept watch on the forge as she pulled out the wire blanks, set the wire puller blank in her vice next to the forge, and pulled out a ring blank. Fortunately because the face of the ring was so fancy, Nancy’s fiance only wanted a gleaming gold band with maybe tiny water lilies etched encircling it if they had the same flow as the fins of the fish. Kelski could do that with just a ring mold, so she took out her size eight mold, oiled it, and prepped it along with the wire blanks. She also took out several ingot molds, laid them out, oiled them and watched the gold melt down. Once it was good and liquid, Kelski skimmed any impurities off the top, cast that aside in her casings bin, and used her gloved hands to pick the crucible up with her tongs and poured all the molds out until she ran out of ore.

Setting the crucible aside, she shrugged out of her gloves, and laid them carefully aside. Then she only had to wait for the molds to cure before she got really busy working on the ring, prongs, and following those steps. She took a few chimes to call forth djed, gently this time, trying to see how little she needed to get some sort of reading with the auristics. Kelski had to sit for ten full chimes trying to calm her mind enough to coax the djed up into her field of vision to use it for the magic. Then, once she did, she could easily see the differences between the actual ring mold and the metal within it. The wire molds were just as easy, so she turned and looked at her casings bin where she put all her extra ore. It glittered with a multitude of colors, so she took the time while still waiting for the molds to cool to look at each type of ore and see if she could memorize what their auras looked like. It was interesting work, and indeed a skillset she could use for looking at ore to see if what she was buying was pure or diluted. The prism in the casings bucket were a good tell-tale about how mixed impure ore looked. Since Kelski sent Aer’wyn out shopping for her sometimes, she wondered if it was a trick she could teach him to use.

Ember interrupted her, done coloring, and Kelski sent her upstairs to start on something for the crew to eat when everyone started trickling in from their various jobs. The mouse had turned out to be a decent cook and everyone appreciated the break from trying to choke down Kelski’s cooking. The Sea Eagle tried, but cooking just wasn’t the same as eating raw foods. Raw was delicious to her.

Kelski checked the molds, found them cool enough and broke out the ring. She immediately took it to her grinder, ground down the fine mold lines, and then took it to the polishing lap, scattering diamond dust around the wheel so she could begin polishing it with finer and finer grit. It was simple work, work that she could teach Ren since the Kelvic had expressed interest. But the making of jewelry had so many parts in it that sometimes one had to do the simple work along with the complex work to make something complex and beautiful. Besides, Master Li had taught her to break everything down into small parts, keeping it simple and easy.

Once the ring was polished and ready to go as a simple band, Kelski began carefully pulling wire to make prongs with. She had molded forms for prongs as well, but these she wanted to craft individually as woven branches of pond lily. She’d use thick wire, score it like the lily had been, and craft little leaves to lay over it as it arched up to hold the cut sapphire. Needing eight of them and the fact that they wavered as they climbed off the ring, Kelski pulled the wire blanks through the wire template until she had a thick firm wire and then ran it around her wire machine, splaying it flatter than the rounded wire would be. She gently heated it with an alcohol torch and bent each ‘vine’ to curl upwards. Then she scored it with a tool designed for doing just that to the soft gold. She added nubs and leaves, making the gold look realistic in the form of molding gold solder by adding the nubbins and then taking it back to the lap wheel to gently polish. Much of the complex ring would be polished by hand, but Kelski wanted the entire thing as polished as she could get it before she set the stone and the face plate of Koi.

Once she had the prongs set, she used a blank stone, one the shape she wanted the barion cut to be and made sure the prongs were set correctly and would hold the shape of the stone. There was always room for adjustment, but until she actually had the rough cut into the barion and set it up, she wouldn’t know how high or low the prongs had to be and if the spacing was absolutely correct. So she had cut the prongs with their vine shapes as extra long. That way she could loft the stone by straightening their sinuous forms or shorten them by making them extra curvy. Just a touch or two with the torch passing by them would soften the gold enough to manipulate without removing the prongs from the band.

Kelski set the finished band with its prongs aside and looked thoughtful. It was actually time to check in on the building. She rose, stretched, and rather than walk upstairs to where Ember was making some sort of soup, she paced out onto the deck and sat down in one of the chairs that leaned up against the back wall. There, she closed her eyes, let her mind drift, and cleared her head. Kelski consciously slowed her breathing, inhaling softly and gently, holding it, then exhaling again, so that she could let her breath regulate her heartbeat and keep her mind steady. It took her a few moments of the meditation to get into the right mindset before she reached out and touched the wall behind her as she sat in the chair. The building was hard to sense at first. Kelski panicked because she knew sometimes the awareness never grew and died back. The book had told her as much in her reading. But then, after drifting a time, she felt the quiet curiosity and she greeted it as warmly as she could in her mind.

The Kelvic loved Kynier’s hands on her and she knew too that Ren loved being petted. She had to figure out a way to carry over the same thing to the building. So she reached out with her awareness and tried to do exactly that, stroke the building’s awareness with her own in a gesture that she filled with affection and love. Was it happy? Kelski sought to know, but it was hard telling… until she found a spot of irritation. She paused in her mental wanderings lost in the buildings awareness until she realized it was a door. The door to the outside where all the visitors came and went squeaked. That squeak irritated the building to no end! Kelski smiled, sent reassurance to the house, and went to find her handyman’s toolkit which contained some lubricating oil. The little oil can was a half circle thing, complete with a dome and a little long narrow funnel that allowed you to get the oil exactly where you wanted it. So Kelski took the little oil can, held it to each hinge, and pressed the back of the half circle to force out drops of oil to lubricate the hinges. She did each of the hinges then worked the door open and shut repeatedly to let the oil coat the hinges. Soon, the rude squeak was gone and Kelski could hear the building’s sigh of relief. The newly made Architectrix mage stroked the building’s door and soothed it, trying to send good thoughts of being happy to help directly at its core.

And after she felt she got through to The Gem, she knew she had to get back to the ring or it wasn’t going to get done.

Count: 1556
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100424
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
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Medals: 5
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Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

[The Midnight Gem] Koi Ponds & Other Curious Creatures

Postby Kelski on August 5th, 2018, 3:40 pm

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Cutting gemstones was one of Kelski’s favorite tasks as a jeweler. Before she’d started training in this craft, she’d never understood about potential. But now that she’d been crafting, she completely saw shapes in shapeless things. She could take an image in a chunk of stone and make it a reality. It was something she was good at and something that gave her great satisfaction. And the whole thing began with the promise of the rough. She had to be careful. All gem cutters did. An ill planned cut could shatter the whole thing. And as Master Li used to tell her, cutting was half intuition and half skill. If she didn’t trust herself, she couldn’t cut well.

Kelski was ready to move onto the next step, but she caught a sense of the building watching her, curious, and so she reached out with her mind and slowly and carefully cleared her thoughts. With her hand on the workbench she sat at, Kelski reached out with her awareness and looked for a connection with the offer of information on her mind. It was sluggish at first, the touch hesitant and almost fearful, but Kelski reassured it and seemed to make a connection. She could feel the building’s curiosity about the rocks and metal within its walls. So Kelski let her mind drift, wondering if she could work connected, and carefully laid out a thought process about gemstones that hopefully helped feed the building’s interest in her jewelcrafting. Her tome on Architectrix said the buildings were creative and crafty, often taking up hobbies.

So Kelski gave in to her urge as a mage to teach the building, and started a lesson. Sometimes she spoke aloud, other times she simply thought about the information, filling her mind with words and images so the building would understand.

Most of The Midnight Gem’s supply of stone came as rough-cut having never been worked by a jewelcrafter. Kelski thought of the vault and how precious the treasures within it were and how important it was to guard them… then she moved on. Rough cut gemstones, in Kelski’s experience, came three ways.

The first way was still within their crystal habit, meaning they grew normally that way. Sometimes the stone that surrounded them was still present and the jeweler had to carefully tease the gem out of the undesired rock. Sometimes the crystal habit was a long spike of stone like a tourmaline had. She preferred buying stones in their natural forms because she could more easily tell what they could become. The gems themselves felt happier too. Kelski stressed this all in her mind, going slowly, emphasizing images she conjured in her head to show to the building.

The second way they came was broken up, sometimes by transport and sometimes by whomever took them from the ground. This wasn’t a bad way to get the stones either, but Kelski couldn’t help but think something was a bit broken about them. Cutting them felt more like rehabilitation than anything, because the gems tended to feel traumatized. Kavala too concentrated on making sure there were images from her memory to support her words.

There was a third form which gemstones came in…. wherein they looked like tumbled glass tossed up on the beach. Their surfaces were pitted and rough. Master Li had taught her these were sea worn like sea glass or twisted and broken by water or ice. This form was called alluvial and these stones always came as rounded pebbles. Many gemstones were found in piles of alluvial stone which was the piles of stones all massed together that big sheets of ice pushed around, scraping from the soil as they migrated north and south seasonally. A lot of the alluvial stones came from around Aventhal which made sense. Kelski pictured a map of the world she’d seen once in Li’s office and stressed where they were in Sunberth and where Avanthal was in the far north. The building didn’t yet understand hot and cold, having only been born in the summer, so Kelski didn’t attempt to explain.

In bigger cities, those far larger than Sunberth, big shops would often cut massive amounts of gems in standard sizes to sell to smaller shops which had no skill or time to cut such things. These pre-cut gemstones were called production pieces and made soullessly by slaves that often sat at their laps for hours. Kelski felt stones should be cut with love and emphasized this in her lesson to the building.

Then she showed the structure the sapphire she’d been planning to cut. This particular sapphire was a deep blue and perfect for her pond depiction and was a broken up piece with all sorts of jagged edges. But it was large, and Kelski could see at least two possible Barion Cut angles, and if she was lucky she could pluck both out of the raw and just have large enough pieces left to cut some accents for other work when she needed them. Kelski’s livelihood depended on putting even the tinest scrap to good use, and she wasted almost nothing. What was too tiny to cut and sale went into her powders jars which she powdered using a special mortar and pestle and then used on the lap wheel to polish softer stone than the powdered stone was.

Kelski felt the building’s interest wane and its exhaustion start to flow in her. The Kelvic could do nothing about it being tired so she gently broke off the connection to let it rest and got back to concentrating on her project. Without feeling the need to explain what she was doing, Kelski got busy. She carefully sat down and sketched out the Barion cut with its step crown carefully, adding in measurements she wanted and planning the degrees of the angles of cuts. She consulted her jewelers lens frequently, planning around the inclusions so that the table of the cut would be at least 50% to 60% of the stone… maybe larger due to its rectangular shape. She planned out the crown and pavilion, making the crown a third of the stone and the pavilion more than two thirds so that light bounced around in it. Then she outlined the girdle on paper and decided on the shape of her girdle facets and how they would support the main table facets. The step cuts were more difficult for certain because they were long rectangular supports themselves rather than points that were easily hacked off by just a quick trip through the lap wheel. The pavilion was more complex as well because instead of a multitude of triangular support facets in long points radiating upwards from the cutlet or point of the pavilion and downwards from the girdle, there was a series of eight faces of irregular squares doing so. It took more time to cut and deeper thought to manage. Kelski stared at her sketch, picked up the stone again, and headed to the lap to get going.

The first thing she did was use her diamond cutter and work the stone in two. It took time and effort, but once she got the lump of raw in two parts that would both support a barion cut, she set one aside, the least promising of the two. Then by hand she fired up her lap wheel and got going on the preshaping. All gems needed to be roughed out and put into a freehand shape that resembled the finished product without the facets and calculated cuts. Kelski simply held the rough stone in her hand and then held it to the lap wheel, moving it frequently as she cut away all the undesired excess and set it aside. She sprinkled diamond powder on the wheel periodically, so the stone would wear faster and did so until the stone had a very very rudimentary shape.

Next she heated up her dop wax and got out her hand held faceter. She attached the stone to the dop with the hot wax and when it had set she attached the dop to the hand faceter. Faceting was the true skill in a jewelcrafter’s toolbox. The way a jewelcrater finished a stone could make or break the stonework. Kelski thought of her talent as incredibly specialized and next to useless away from gemstones. But she could place hundreds of tiny faces or facets radiating from the table downwards to the girdle and from the gridle upwards to the table…. The girdle being the center of the stone. And then she’d radiate hundreds more facets from the girdle down the pavilion to the cutlet or point of where the stone ended… hundreds more would radiate upwards towards the girdle. The combination made the stone gleam.

Faceting a gemstone was in essence creating a prison for light to get captured and refracted around inside the stone without giving it a window to escape from. Escaped light resulted in dulled stones. Properly faceted stones became brilliant when held to the light. Kelski new the clients were paying for breathtakingly beautiful and she’d give that to them.

Count: 1524
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100424
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

[The Midnight Gem] Koi Ponds & Other Curious Creatures

Postby Kelski on August 5th, 2018, 6:34 pm

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Grading


Kelski

Experience: Jewelcrafting +5, Architectrix +5, Planning +4, Drawing +2, Carving +1, Metalsmithing +2, Auristics +2, Carpentry +1

Lores: Kavlin Devanto: Who he is, appearance. Nancy Devanto: Who she is, appearance. JC: Barion Cut, JC: Planning Plate Overlays On Rings, JC: Planning for Maxium Light Refraction, JC: Using Ring Molds, JC: Three Forms of Gemstones, Architectrix: Connecting With A Structure, Architectrix: Teaching A Structure, Architectrix: Tending A Structures Needs, Architectrix: Empathizing With A Structure



Count: 1360
Last edited by Kelski on August 27th, 2018, 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100424
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)


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