Solo [The Midnight Gem] Gilding The Lily

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[The Midnight Gem] Gilding The Lily

Postby Kelski on December 1st, 2018, 4:58 am

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Timestamp: 60th of Fall, 518 A.V.


Gold was incredibly malleable. It was a fact no one that worked with metal could deny. A single ounce of gold could be stretched and stretched into wire so thin no jewelcrafter had ever been able to walk as far as that particular wire would uncoil out to in a singular line. Master Li often bragged it would reach from Lhavit to the great capital of Syliras if a Master Jewelcrafter stretched it right. Kelski wasn’t so sure. But what she did understand that gold had amazing ductility.

Ductility was a term jewelers and metalsmiths used to measure a metal's ability to withstand tensile stress. And jewelers could put major stress on metals. Gold was capable of being pounded, pulled, stretched, and ultimately hammered until it was thinner than paper. One could pull the two ends of gold a bar of gold away from each other and it would actually stretch like fabric and retain that stretch. It was a miracle material.

She’d watched Master Li work it too many times to not understand that fact. Gold was indeed the most malleable of metals. And her aim today was to make some gold sheets so she could carefully cover the Daggerhand wooden masks in the way – and in the budget – they had for the task. Master Li loved gilding things and Kelski had seen him do it often enough. His favorite saying was that gold in the same mass as a Kina coin could be thinned repeatedly until it was too thin to measure and could be stretched over the area of large area rug in a home’s great room that Lhavit tended to favor in their architecture.

That meant a single ounce of gold could be beaten out into a sheet that is 300 square feet. And when it got that thin and that stretched, it was somewhat transparent. A candle could be held up next to it and in a darkened room one could see the candle perfectly from the other side of the sheet. Yet that gleam…. the gleam still remained. So, for the first time on her own, Kelski was going to attempt to make some sheets.

But it indeed needed special handling… because thinned gold was incredibly delicate. But to stretch a bar and make it that thin, Kelski had to do some specific things to the gold. In fact, she had to add in a little silver and copper to act as a binder to keep the metal flexible and well able to stretch. The ratio was easy. Master Li always said it was ten percent copper and ten percent silver to eighty percent gold. Kelski knew she didn’t need much material to get started on the masks for the Daggerhand, but if she was going to make sheeting, she might as well make it worth her time and do a batch big enough to serve her for a season or more at the same time.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
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Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 900
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Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
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[The Midnight Gem] Gilding The Lily

Postby Kelski on December 2nd, 2018, 5:13 pm

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So, first thing that morning, she fired up the forge, loading it with coal and got it really rolling as she prepped for the smelting. Into her crucible she added ten ingots of gold and one ingot of copper and one of silver. Then she used her tongs to let the whole thing settle over her fire, and went to talk to Duncan. Handing him coin, she sent him into town to a person she knew made quality paper. She asked him for a large order of dozens of sheets of paper that had been pounded so intensely that the fibers in its making had been flattened out. The papermakers mixed it with an oil and special liquid they distilled from fruit to soak the paper and make it slick. Shiny smooth paper was appealing, though Kelski wasn’t getting it for looks. She was getting so it would more easily flatten out her gold and make it easier for her to form the gold leaf.

Kelski laughed as Duncan squirmed at the specifics of her request. Some sheets had to be eight by eight, some twelve by twelve, and finally twenty-four by twenty-four. Then she had him stop by the leathermaker and ask for smooth thin leather in the same dimensions in pairs. She also asked him to pick up straps, four each for the packets she’d make. And finally, she asked him to stop by the blacksmith and see if he could procure a few sledgehammers for her with a long handle of various weights on the sledge ends.

Making the sheets would be backbreaking work, but it would be so worth it in the long run. Kelski could expand her offerings and allow gilding and foiling services out of the shop as well. People could get bone, stone or even wooden buttons gilded for virtually nothing and then sealed in resin and it would be indistinguishable to the casual eye from actual gold. That would appeal to the poorer part of Sunberth who could order all sorts of ornamentation in real gold at not the cost solid gold would be.

While Duncan was running his errands for her, Kelski checked her melt, found it nice and liquid, and pulled out molds that would house the gold. She oiled them well, laid them out on her work bench next to the forge, and gloved her hands. Using her tongs, she plucked the crucible from where it was heating and poured out the vessel into the molds. When cooled, these newly created bars of gold alloy would be ready to make the sheets from. Setting the hot crucible aside in its resting space, the Sea Eagle let the white-hot molds settle with a few taps with her tongs. And then Kelski went to set her forge to rest for the day, glad The Midnight Gem had an almost unlimited source of heat if they didn’t light the fireplaces.

The bars would take a bit to cool, so Kelski took the time to walk the shop and take inventory note of what was needed in terms of restocking. While she did so, the Kelvic answered a delivery knock on the workshop deck door and took possession of three new sledge hammers with long handles and a graduated size of heads. She hefted them and nodded that they would do for the task at hand. Then she went outside to where their wood stack was and looked around until she found a block of wood that was more or less square to use as a surface to pound. It was obvious to Kelski she’d need to use the floor rather than a work table for the intense violence that was to come.
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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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[The Midnight Gem] Gilding The Lily

Postby Kelski on December 2nd, 2018, 5:14 pm

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Wandering back inside, she checked the gold alloy, found them cool enough to start on, and took the first one over to her set of rollers. Jewelers worked with metal a great deal by pressing it through a mechanical device they simply called rollers. They flattened it this way much like carpenters used planers to flatten wood. The giant heavy rolls could be spread part and things like ingots placed between them, clamped tight, then worked back and forth with the rollers applying pressure that gradually flattened and stretched the metal.

Then, by working the gradually flatter and flatter bits of metal (trimmed after it too big for the rollers) and increasingly tightening rollers after clamping the rollers flush against the ingot or bar, they could be then worked back and forth to take advantage of the mailability of the metal – especially gold.

It was hard work, pushing those handles back and forth. It worked her shoulders, her arms, her biceps, trisepts and even her quads. The Kelvic tied back her hair before she started, took off her heavy apron, and began the lengthy process of working the metal back and forth and back and forth between the rollers. When it was growing too big to work with, she’d take the ingot back to her workbench, cut it in half, adjust the roller’s grip, and begin again.

She wanted the gold to be as thin as a typical sheet of tin, so she took bells, rolling out each bar, cutting it in half, rolling out those halves, cutting them in halves, well into the afternoon until her arms and back ached from the strain of using the machine. She knew it was good for her, good for her arms and her overall strength, but the five bars she’d poured out literally took the rest of the day.

It wasn’t until the next day that she looked at the thin sheers and shook her head. She could bend them with her thumb and forefinger, but they were still way to thick. By then Duncan had returned with the paper stacks and leather. So, she cut the sheets with her tin snips into four inches by four inches, patiently piling up the little flat squares of gold on one end of her bench while the odds and ends of sheeted gold alloy trim piled up on the other side in a large chaotic pile.

Once she had the sheets cut into four-inch squares, Kelski grabbed the eight by eight sheets of paper. Then carefully and patiently she laid out four straps in a checkered pattern, laid one of the flat leather pieces the same size as the eight by eight papers and started layering paper, gold sheet, paper, and gold sheet over and over until she had a thick thick stack of them. She topped the stack with another piece of leather, brought the straps around and bungled the whole thing together.

Then she took the bundle to the block of wood near the hammers she had prepared, and laid it out. Starting with the smallest sledge hammer, Kelski started working in over head swings, bringing the hammer up and over her head and down so it pounded on the packet.
Last edited by Kelski on December 2nd, 2018, 5:16 pm, 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.
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)

[The Midnight Gem] Gilding The Lily

Postby Kelski on December 2nd, 2018, 5:15 pm

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Gods. It was hard work, swinging that sledge hammer over and over again. But she consistently hit the packet, working across the center and pounding outwards in even uniform strikes. The sweat broke out on her forehead, on her back, and all up her arms as she continued to work the sledge hammer repeatedly on the packet.

Strike. Breath. Strike.

The Kelvic used the overhand swing to constantly pound down on the packet with a rhythm that would do a blacksmith proud. She eventually figured out if she stood up and put the packet braced at a 45 degree angle to her body, it was easier on her swinging and went faster. She had three such packets to do, and this was just the first stage of the leafing process. Kelski worked well into the afternoon, conscious of her muscles, of not straining them and yet getting an amazing workout as she lifted the hammer, and swung, putting force into the blow and timing the hit and the location of the strike so that each strike flattened out just a bit more of the gold in the packet.

After two bells, she stopped, took a break, and checked the contents. The leafing was spread out, but not thin enough. Good gilding foil should be almost see through and so thin it made paper look thick. Kelski then took the other packets and began working on them. Over the course of the rest of the day and the next two, she pounded out all the packets and when the gold was stretching past the confines of the eight-by-eight packets, she carefully set up the twelve-by-twelve packets and used a thin bamboo set of tongs to move the sheets from the eight-by-eight to the twelve-by- twelve packet and then pounded those.

It was backbreaking work and more than once she wondered if she could simply get Duncan to manipulate the packets with his special hand. But in the end, she didn’t want to take the chance. Gold had traditionally always been pounded out this way, carefully and methodically, because it gave it an even smooth finish that was completely transparent when held up and looked through.

When the twelve-by-twelve packets were done, Kelski sat down one more time, and transferred the sheets – that were by this time looking a whole lot more like gold leafing sheets – into the final twenty-four by twenty-four pages and made up three more packets. By this time her arms were getting used to the pounding, even though she’d moved up to larger and larger sledge hammers as she worked larger and larger surface areas.

The biggest hammers were agony to swing, but Kelski was determined to get her sheeting just right. So she worked through the burn then flat out pain until she had a sort of pounding zone she could exist in a sort of haze of pain and strain as she swung the hammer up, paused, and brought it down. Pounding from the middle outwards on each side, from the middle towards the top and towards the bottom. The larger packets surprisingly didn’t take any longer than the smaller ones. Kelski decided it was because she was still hitting the same surface area because she’d moved on to bigger hammers.
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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: 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)

[The Midnight Gem] Gilding The Lily

Postby Kelski on December 2nd, 2018, 5:22 pm

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Her arms were starting to bulk out as well and she was glad she had all the muscle she’d gained through flying all the years of her life to support the efforts of so many bells of pounding with the sledge hammers. Gradually her sheets that had been cut only with her tin snips got bigger and bigger until they were large, uniform, and completely thin. When she was satisfied, she cut four strips of iron into a sort of square foot cookie-cutter, welded the edges together with her soldering iron after fluxing and laying a line of solder up each seam.

Then she spent some time at the grinder putting edges on one end of the ‘cookie cutter’ and bracing the four metal pieces together with a sort of wooden frame they pinned too. It didn’t have to be razor sharp or fancy. Kelski just wanted something she could pull the leaves of paper out of the packet, gently push down on with a ‘cutter’ and have a perfect sheet of gilding she could then stack into a container for sale or use for later.

It worked well, the new cutter, and before long she had a nice pile of neat sheets of gold foil leafing in a twelve by twelve box it fit nicely down into, and she had a nice large platter of ‘scrap’ cut offs she could then use up by starting to work on the Daggerhand masks. The process of making the gold leaf foiling paper was hard, but not impossible. It was one of those situations where Kelski wished she were stronger. But then again, it was one of those processes that definitely by virtue of running through it would indeed make her strong.

Setting the large finished box of gold foiling leaf aside, she stared at the platter of miscellaneous scrap and decided it was time to get started on those masks after all. She had more than enough leaf to coat each of the ones she had. The only challenge would be to make them unique, decorative, and scary all at the same time based on the decorating fee each mask owner had supplied her with.

Kelski smiled, as she was eager to get started. But she was proud of what she’d accomplished. Her gold leafing and gild took a step to make the alloy and pour the bars. Then they were flattened. Then they were divided into sheets and pounded… three different times… and then stored. It had turned out to be a brutal six step process that was backbreaking at best.

She’d learned a lot from the work, and had a whole new respect for what lengths human craftsman went to in order to make the amounts of gold they had last longer and go further. But in truth, it was Semele’s metal that made such things possible. It had wonderful properties, unique properties. And she wondered what uses humans would find for it in the future besides decoration. Kelski was positive there would be some amazing things – probably some magical – that gold would allow people in general to do.

Ledger: 3 Sledge Hammers = 3GM, Paper = 40 GM , Leather = 7 GM
Total: 50 GM

Job Thread Count: 2,722
Last edited by Kelski on December 2nd, 2018, 6:08 pm, 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: 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)

[The Midnight Gem] Gilding The Lily

Postby Kelski on December 2nd, 2018, 5:48 pm

G R A D E S
Jewelcrafting +5, Planning +1, Metalsmithing +2, Leadership +1, Bodybuilding +3, Endurance +3, Sledge Hammer +2

JC: Making Gold Leaf Gild, Metalsmithing: Making Gold Alloy, Metalsmithing: Creating A Gold Leaf Cookie Cutter, Sledge Hammer: Pounding Out Gold from sheets to paper, Sledge Hammer: Properly Swinging A hammer
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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