Solo A Masked Affair

Kelski works at her job to finish some Daggerhand Masks.

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A Masked Affair

Postby Kelski on December 1st, 2018, 4:19 am

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Timestamp: The 75th of Fall, 518 A.V.


Kelski stared at the row of masks, knowing they would not completely finish themselves. She wished they would, since it was hard to do such repetitive work and keep it interesting. The Masks needed to be spruced up, but she was unsure of how she was going to keep them unique, fancy enough to suite the clients, and delivered on time. Kelski knew she could do it, but she wanted to have fun doing so... to put some passion in to the work. And staring at the ugly wooden things, she simply couldn't figure out how to turn something so ugly and clunky into something beautiful without completely altering them via carving or etching.

Maybe it would take both.

The saving grace was that she had an order for a lady’s mask as well. The order had come in along with another wooden half mask that the man had said fit his lady well. Masks were tricky, often ill fitting, so if one didn’t have some sort of idea of the face shape one was fitting a mask too, there was no true way to guarantee a fit. She’d save the ladies mask for later though. She had a few ideas for the row of ugly masks in front of her, including painting, inlaying, overlaying and gilding that would help out a lot. And if each pattern was different, the owners wouldn’t complain too overly much.

Kelski picked up the first mask, moved it to her active workbench, and pulled out her charcoal pencils. She began sketching flames upon it, fully intending to take the full faced ugly thing and create arching lines around the eyes nose and mouth that curved away as if flames were burning from the orifices and licking back along the skull.

Her charcoal flew across the wood, creating the decorative swirls until she was satisfied with the pattern. Then she clamped the mask into her vice, padding it with cloth, and pulled out the woodcarver’s kit she picked up in the market. Taking a chisel and hammer to the flames, Kelski carefully began to carve out the excess material so the flames were sunken into the mask.

She was no expert carver, but what she was doing took little in the way of skill. Remove material, sand, and gild. Then she’d paint the mask a dark black, manufacture and glue class gems along the licks of the flames, and it should be passable for the price the mask owner wished to pay. He couldn’t complain about the real gold gilding either. It would truly be nothing less than spectacular.

Kelski carefully carved, removing material so that the wood was beveled downward and then carefully began to sand the indentions with thick paper that had been glued with sand. It took her bells to get the carving just right, smoothing out the whirls. She fussed and fussed until it was smooth enough to satisfy her because the gilding was unforgiving and would show flaws.
Last edited by Kelski on December 3rd, 2018, 2:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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: 900
Words: 1140566
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
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Medals: 6
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A Masked Affair

Postby Kelski on December 3rd, 2018, 1:46 am

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Once the carving was done, Kelski took out her paint kit and carefully began to paint the inside of the whirls with yellow paint. It wasn’t a necessary step, but the gold gilding was somewhat transparent and it looked far better on a light background than it did just simply adhered to plain dark aged wood. Once the gold flames were carefully painted, Kelski washed her brush and switched to black paint.

She painted everywhere else on the mask, including inside, adding red directly to the black around where the yellow flames where. That gave the jeweler the satisfaction that once the gild was in place, the reddish hue to the black around the flames would pop out and make it seem as if the flames were heating the dark.

Stepping back, Kelski took a thick paint brush, dipped it in white paint and flicked her thumb across it roughly. The white splattered the black and made the impression of stars in the background. Kelski smiled, liking the effect. She continued to work, prepping the mask ultimately for her unique jeweler’s touch.

When the stars were scattered across the mask in a light touch, she stepped back and gave the paint time to dry. She needed to make a few tools to work with the gilding that she didn’t have. Along with the paint and carving kit, she’d picked up two squirrel skins at a man’s booth that dealt in furs. Then she’d bought several other paint brushes – mostly cheap – that she could tear apart and rework. The cheap brushes she took the bristles off immediately, and separated the handles from the ferrules, casing aside the bristles of the brush. Then she trimmed the tails of both squirrels, taking all the fur to make two different brushes.

One brush was like a big broad flat brush, the second was more rounded – identical to the cheap brushes she’d bought to make them from – but put together with far more care and quality glue. It was almost nothing for Kelski to disassemble the brushes, change out the bristles, and put them back together. She set them aside to let the glue dry and started on the next project.

She needed to make gilding adhesive. That was a bit more complex. She had to boil down pig hooves she’d saved from the grocery shopping where she’d brought whole carcasses home and render out the material in the hooves. Luckily Kelski had a pile of pig hooves she’d saved. They needed to be crushed down as small as possible, so she’d laid out burlap bag material over a big block of wood, scattered the hooves on it, then laid another bag of burlap over the top of the hooves. Taking her sledge hammer, Kelski began to pound the dried hooves up, shattering them into chunks that broke into smaller pieces repeatedly the harder she pounded.
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: 900
Words: 1140566
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 6
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
One Million Words! (1) Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

A Masked Affair

Postby Kelski on December 3rd, 2018, 1:47 am

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When the hooves were broken up, she added them to a big pot upstairs on the hearth, and then took a glass jar full of what looked like a vile liquid down from the mantle. It was the stomach acid from the pig. She dumped the contents into the pot and added water to it setting the fire to burn. “Will you mind this fire?” She asked no one in particular, sending the request down the link from the shard in her arm.

A warm answering affirmative filled her mind as The Gem decided it didn’t mind watching a pot boil while a jeweler got on with her creation. The building wanted to know why though… what was in the pot. And so Kelski had to take the time to visualize the pot boiling, then carefully boiling down, until the hooves were gone and the thick soup at the bottom was left to harden into a hard block.

Then she pictured the hard block broken up again, into bits and pieces, which she then reactivated with hot water and painted on things to use as a glue. Glue was harder to explain to The Gem, but she managed to do so relating how they’d recently hung some decorative paper on the wall in one of the upstairs bedrooms. Once The Gem’s curiosity had been satisfied, Kelski got back to work.

Kelski skipped back downstairs, left the flame mask alone knowing she could go no further until the glue was finished and cooled, so she plucked up another mask. She needed to gain some ideas and studied this ugly thing, deciding instead of carving out depressions, she’d mold wire for a raised embossed pattern all over it and gild the entire thing gold. Black glass gems could accent the mask and cover the cost the owner paid for its decoration.

She’d do that by making more glass gems, tinting them dark. She’d have to melt sand to make glass and tint it with chromite which would turn it black. But she thought if she gilded the entire mask then accented it with black gemstones of various shapes, it would look stunning.

Kelski got out an ingot of nickel, sighed because it meant reheating the forge, and tossed it in her crucible. All she needed to do was make nickel wire, which would be easily bent and pulled even thick where she could weave it and glue it around the face if the mask, tacking it into the wood if necessary but not adding weight to it.

The smelt happened before Kelski was ready, but she prepped her thick wire molds – deciding she was going to make the mask at that thickness and not pull the wire thinner – and quickly prepped the molds. She poured out the nickel into them, left them to cool, and went upstairs to check the glue.

It was bubbling in a thick mass at the bottom of her pot so she took it off the fire, ran it back downstairs to her workshop, where she strained it through cheesecloth and poured it in a loose soap mold that would easily release. Letting the majority of it cool in the mold, she took the excess, placed it in a glass jar, and went to find the first mask.
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: 900
Words: 1140566
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 6
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
One Million Words! (1) Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

A Masked Affair

Postby Kelski on December 3rd, 2018, 1:48 am

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The Kelvic loved working like this. She loved having multiple projects to bounce back and forth with. Something always had a step ready to do while another project had a wait time for something to cool or dry or even adhere. But the flame mask was ready for its gilding, so she took out a normal paintbrush, dipped it into the glue, and painted a light coat – which she actually thinned a bit with water – into the carved flame marks she’d made right over the top of the yellow paint. Then she blew on it gently, working on one ‘flame’ at a time, until the glue wasn’t wet anymore, but had dried down to the stage of tacky.

Then, avoiding her box of neatly cut and thinned sheets, Kelski took out the tray of ‘scraps’ from the process, knowing these would do the masks nicely until they were all used up. She plucked the first fragment of trimmed edge off the platter with her bamboo tongs. One didn’t ‘grab’ gold foil, one just simply slipped the tongs under it and gently lifted it because it weighted nothing and moved it to where it was going to be laid. The foil seemed to float through the air and the movement of the tongs just seemed to gently guide its flight. The gilding was a lot like down feathers, Kelski thought with affection.

Then she used the new squirrel fur brush to gently pat it down into the flame grooves. She trimmed what rose up out of the carved indents and patched next to the edge of the foil, slowly covering the inside of the mask ornamentation with gold. She added more glue, let it grow tacky, and then added more foil, continuing on until all the carved-out portions of the mask was stunningly gold.

The gold gilding didn’t lay neatly in the grooves. It was rough, feathery, sticking up in places and truthfully completely unfinished. Kelski remembered how Master Li had finished his gild, using an agate stone burnisher to gently rub the gild smooth, locking it into itself, creating a thin manipulated layer of gold over the wood. The burnishing created a fine smooth finish. The only problem was that Kelski didn’t have a burnisher.

Which wasn’t a problem. She could make one. All a burnisher was consisted of a paintbrush handle, a ferrule, and instead of bristles, a long-curved fat agate that ended in a round smooth point sort of resembling a talon or claw upside down. Kelski rose from where she was sitting, went to rummage through her stones, and found an agate that would work. She’d have to grind off one side of it to fit the ferrule, then polish the whole thing on her lap wheel using finer and finer grits.

When it was as slick as she wanted, she finished the agate with a sealant that made it shine. Once the sealant was dry, she pried open a ferrule on one of her old brushes, attached the agate with the same thick glue she was using on the gilding, and then bound the agate to the brush handle re-using the ferrule by clamping and soldering it into place.
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: 900
Words: 1140566
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 6
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
One Million Words! (1) Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

A Masked Affair

Postby Kelski on December 3rd, 2018, 1:49 am

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Kelski took a moment to marvel at how easy things were. As an apprentice, all this activity would have taken her days. Instead, she was multi-tasking … producing glue while she was making other things, and having multiple projects to move through as one drew to a halt due to a process of drying or setting or even soaking… then moving on to another that would get finished as the first process got started. It truthfully felt freeing to be a Master. And for the first time she felt it was a title she deserved.

Smiling slightly, the Kelvic went back to work. Setting her new burnisher up to dry, she went back to the wire molds, checked to make sure they were cool enough, and then pulled the wire out of the molds. When she saw how little there was because of how fat the wire was, she decided to pull it just a bit to give herself more material. She rolled the wire through the wire rollers, stretching it out, and finally pulled it through her wire blank at its thickest setting to make sure the roll-out gave her uniform wire.

Kelski then cut the lengths down to more manageable sections, got out iron wire as well, and bent the iron wire in U shapes before she cut them forming tiny staples she could hammer into the mask to secure the nickel wire. Then she took down a large burlap bag of cut dowel rods of various thicknesses, and sat down at her work bench with the mask in front of her.

She took the wire, still malleable, and began winding it around the dowel rods. The inner turns she did around small dowels, but as the curves came outward, she wrapped them around bigger dowels until the spirals were perfect when flatted with a nice tap from a rubber mallet between leather coated wood blocks.

Then she lined up the wire and began bending it to fit the mask so coils of perfectly curved and rounded spirals of metal fit up against the wood. She tacked them with the iron staples which she would disguise with gemstones she’d solider on later. The whirls wrapped around the mask, spiraling out from the eyeholes and up across the forehead.

Kelski rather enjoyed the task, having fun changing the ugly wooden thing into something of beauty she knew the men wearing would enjoy. And when she was done, she painted the entire mask yellow in the same process she’d done for the inside of the carved-out flames.

While the paint dried, she moved back to the first flame mask and tried out her new burnisher. She took the agate-ended brush and gently began to rub it through the flames, smoothing down the gilding and making it seamless as it molded against the painted wood. The process was actually easy, relaxing, but it took a light touch and an infinite amount of patience to chase down each flake of gold gild and gently press it into the layer forming. It resulted in a brilliant look that was so shiny she could see her own reflection in it.
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: 900
Words: 1140566
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 6
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
One Million Words! (1) Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

A Masked Affair

Postby Kelski on December 3rd, 2018, 1:50 am

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When she was done – for that took a while – Kelski got out sealant she’d made for other projects and carefully coated the entire mask front and back. She gave it two coats for extra shine and called it good, setting it aside to dry. Sighing, she put the sealant away, cleaned that brush, and moved back to the embossed with wire mask.

The second mask was slightly hideous painted only bright yellow with her eyes being used to staring at the gleam of the truly golden flames on the first mask. But still, she brought it over, took out her squirrel haired brushes, and lightly began to coat it with the adhesive. Then, as with the first mask, she carefully began to lay the gold foil leaf over the mask. Kelski coated the entire thing, layering the edges so they would overlap slightly and fully seal together without leaving any yellow gaps that revealed the paint.

The paint, she reminded herself as she covered it up, was just to give the gold foil a bright base that wouldn’t be the ugly dark mask. Then, without having the distraction of having a couple dozen other things going, she was able to completely foil the whole surface, running the gold up and over the overlaid spirals of nickel wire.

Kelski slowly transformed the second mask into something lovely, waiting until the last foil was laid and the burnishing was done before she coated it with sealant. Then, when those two masks were done, she started on the other three, making one a tiger, one divided by harsh triangles of gold, and the fifth one containing concentric circles of carved in inlaid gold foil.

When she had the foiling all done and the burnishing smoothed and the sealant dry, she did what every good jeweler of her level would do and cut glass gems to affix to the surface. The bling was the simplest easiest step and just required her to affix cut glass gems here and there in smatterings to finish off the decoration. She didn’t need to make the gems because she had plenty in stock… and there was no special settings or faceting necessary since she was simply gluing them onto the surface of the masks.

Finished, she packaged up each mask, gave the packages to Duncan, and had him deliver them to their perspective owners.

Count: 2,999
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: 900
Words: 1140566
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 6
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
One Million Words! (1) Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

A Masked Affair

Postby Kelski on December 3rd, 2018, 2:37 am

G R A D E S
Planning + 2, Drawing +1, Painting +3, Carving +2, Construction +2, Philtering +2, Cooking +2, Body Building +1, Sledge Hammer +1, Architectrix +1, Metalsmithing +1, Jewelcrafting +5,

Philtering: Making Gilding Adhesive, JC: Gilding Wooden Masks, Carving: Carving Flames In Masks, Drawing: How To Draw A Flame, Painting: Painting Wooden Masks, Painting: Painting On Adhesive, Metalsmithing: Melting Down Nickle, JC: Making Spiral Wiring, JC: Adorning Masks With Nickle Décor, Construction: Making Squirrel Hair Paintbrushes, JC: Making A Burnisher, JC: Making Iron Staples, JC: Using Dowels To Form Perfect Spirals
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: 900
Words: 1140566
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 6
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
One Million Words! (1) Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)


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