Completed [The Midnight Gem] Cutting Rare Gemstones

Kelski gets a rare oportunity to work with unusual stones.

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

[The Midnight Gem] Cutting Rare Gemstones

Postby Kelski on May 27th, 2019, 3:16 am

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Timestamp: 55th of Spring, 519 A.V.




The carnelian the man who had arranged the commission from her was actually slightly bigger than her head. He stated that he’d been using it for a doorstop which was almost offensive to Kelski. She looked the boulder over, turned it back and forth in the light, and decided the best way to deal with it would be to cut it on her bandsaw in half, and then half again. Once she got that done, she’d start evaluating it with her loupe and trying to find out where to start the cuts she wanted to make.

Kelski fired up her band saw, using the foot pedal to rotate the blade, and began adding water as she applied the stone and began cutting carefully through it. She felt more like a butcher than a jeweler and half expected blood to spurt out of the stone as she made the first halving cut. Navette cuts, sometimes called Marquise, were beautiful but they were so entirely wasteful.

Kelski hated making them unless the waste material taken off a stone was shot through with enough flaws to take away from its brilliance. It was a lovely cut, based roughly on a rectangular emerald cut with the length wise edges thinned down to points. Once the stone was cut, one could almost re-draw the rectangle around it and see that more stone was removed in the making of the cut than was left. That was why it was considered wasteful and unfavorable. She charged more for the cuts too, due to that waste, plus the fact it took too much time.

A quiet voice asked…. “Can I watch a while?” Kelski hadn’t heard the blonde man enter and she certainly hadn’t expected company as she butchered one of nature’s perfect creations.

“Sure. I’m… making a set of jewels for a customer… a custom order. It’s an elaborate necklace and earring set.” She explained, gesturing at the huge carnelian she was in essence chopping up into thick slices. “He wants it made from this which is sentimental to him.

“I have the metal part all laid out and stones set….” She gestured to the half-finished pieces on another work bench. “But I need to cut some of this red stone. Its carnelian; a type of red brilliantly clear chalcedony that I’m going to cut to mimic flower petals. The cuts are called Navette or Marquis… a sort of eye shaped cut.” Kelski explained as she worked, listening quietly as Dess pulled up a stool.

The man was quiet, watchful, and not a chattering sort. But his brilliant blue eyes missed little. Dess had been like a ghost in her life, quietly wandering around her home, unsure of himself and his place. He was slow, ever so slow, to come out of his shell.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
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Kelski
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[The Midnight Gem] Cutting Rare Gemstones

Postby Kelski on May 29th, 2019, 4:14 am

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Kelski continued to work as she talked… finding the time going faster now that she was sharing knowledge with someone. It felt good, reaching out, feeling not so alone at her bench. And though she understood the fighter didn’t know anything about what she was talking about, it didn’t bother her. She could tell he was intelligent and absorbing what she said with little trouble.


“Navette cuts are just brilliant cuts that we usually make on round gems that we stretch from a circle to more of an elongated ellipse. It’s a beautiful cut, one I seeing, because it makes fat fingers appear thinner – longer – more elegant. It is a cut of rich people, the kind that don’t mind excesses. There are rules to navette cuts. Rules like always placing its setting lengthwise in solitaire rings.” She added, feeling obligated to do so.

“But I love breaking those rules.” Kelski admitted softly. She’d often gather three navette cuts in a cluster arranging them like flowers. She reached into a drawer below her work bench, pulled out a blank ring with no stones but with the settings ready for them, and showed it to him. She smiled sheepishly knowing she’d finish it after this project was done and put it into her inventory.

Dess returned her smile as he met her eyes. She could tell he understood what she showed him. Kelski felt odd sharing rules with him that she had no intention of following. But somehow it made her feel closer to Master Li when she shared the lessons with Dess that Li had shared with her. Dess brushed a lock of his blond hair out of his eyes and whispered… “Go on.”

Kelski did so.

“The second hard fast rule…”, which Kelski never broke “…is that the proportions of the stone need to be always twice its width. Without these exact proportions, the stones looked asymmetrical, off, and the refraction will be all wrong in the gem. Cutting gemstones is a lot like a religion. You have to honor their inner spirit and fire… their refraction.” She said softly, glancing at him to see if he understood.

“Refraction?” Dess asked. He had a curious expression on his face, though he looked more intrigued at what the Kelvic was doing or rather at her intensity at her task than he looked truly interested in the task itself. It was as if he were studying her.

Kelski immediately answered. “Refraction is simply the bending of light and its slowing as it travels through a facet on a gemstone. We can tell what kind of gemstone it is by how the light bends. The slower the light travels, it gives the gemstone more of a brilliance. That’s why its important.” She answered, keeping it simple for him.

Dess tilted his head, his eyebrows furrowed. It was obvious these were all new concepts for him.
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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
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[The Midnight Gem] Cutting Rare Gemstones

Postby Kelski on May 29th, 2019, 4:16 am

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“Let me back up. There are three things we look for as jewelers in well cut gemstones. Brilliance… which is how bright our eyes see the stone. It’s really just the internal and external reflections of the white light in the gem when you look at it from the top. Then there’s the dispersion which is also known as the fire. It’s the flashes of colored light you see created by the facets of the stone. Then there’s scintillation, which is the contracts created within the gemstone by the light and dark patterns created by the facet pattern. The scintillation is the overall sparkle when you gently move a stone back and forth. So, these three things all combined and optimized are like a beautiful group of musicians all playing together.” Kelski said softly.

The Jeweler kept working, not pausing with Dess’ interruption but rather incorporating him into her work. She was content to let him watch, asking a question here and there. It gave them a chance to get to know each other a little better. Dess was still recovering, weak, and had been ghosting about The Gem without saying much. He watched, as if he didn’t quite believe what was going on around him.

Kelski took another slice off the carnelian, this time thicker, and when it was done she laid it down and inked out with a wax stick where her first cuts would be. She set up the lap wheel with the correct stone, began to cut the slices small. She took rectangles out of the thick slice, laying out the first of twenty-six navettes she needed to cut.

They were big navettes, but it didn’t negate what the inherent weakness in the stones would be. They were fragile at the tips, where the cuts came together, so shed have to use a v-end or v-tip prong to set them in to protect the tips. The girdle was fragile too, stretched thin at its perimeter and elongated almost unnaturally. Because of that, after she laid out the first setting and roughed out the first of the twenty-six stones, she decided she’d do a halo setting around each of the navette gems.

All this she quietly pointed out to Dess, talking him through what she was doing.

When she had the twenty six rectangles cut out and laid on her workbench, Kelski reconfigured her lap to work with doing the actual cuts themselves. Faceting the gemstones weren’t exactly cuts. Jewelers mainly ground away what material wasn’t needed to free the brilliance, dispersion, and scintillation from the stone.

She had to re-calibrate her brain to think brilliant cuts, which were going to be primarily how she cut the circular parts of the carnelians utilizing the scrap she had left from the original chunks. However, the great thing about the navette was that it was in essence a brilliant cut stretched out to a point on either end. One formed the cuts with multiple facets to that when it catches the sunlight it shown amazingly well.
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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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[The Midnight Gem] Cutting Rare Gemstones

Postby Kelski on May 29th, 2019, 4:18 am

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Dess asked no questions as she worked, only watched and nodded, as she described how she was working out the round brilliant cuts and stretching them to fit the navette cuts.

Kelski liked the fact that the cut allowed the maximum amount of light to be reflected through the gem and bounced around inside it. “Brilliants have eight star facets, eight kite facets, sixteen upper girdle facets, sixteen lower girdle facets, eight pavilion main facets and one culet that was optional if the setting was high enough to support a culet.” Kelski’s settings weren’t supporting anything but would be flat so she would skip the cutlet.

She told Dess so.

Then finally she said… “That’s fifty-seven cuts in total on each stone – thirty-two on the top half of the stone and twenty-five on the bottom half. I will be at this a while.” She said, gesturing to the amount of stone rectangles she’d cut out of the carnelian. “So much of jewelcrafting is math and repetitive action.” She added, glancing at the warrior to see what he thought.

Dess had a new expression on his face, one of absolute respect. “I had no idea your work was so complicated.” What he left unsaid hung in the air…. for a kelvic. He said nothing else, just quietly watched.

The Sea Eagle was careful as she worked, making one facet cut at a time, rotating the stones, and skimming off the least amount of material as possible. “The key to a really good quality brilliant cut is that the gem needs to stay heavy – maintaining its carat weight, while still getting all the facets necessary. I treat them all like this. You ruin them if you do less than the best work for each stone.” Kelski admitted.

“I can see that. I like that about you, Kelski. You are intense about your work. I can tell that you love it. It’s a specific kind of gift to love the work that you do.” He said softly, leaning back against another work bench, still watching her as if this was a whole new side of the woman he hadn’t seen before.

Kelski missed the significance of what he said. To her, luck had nothing to do with it. Her drives went deeper. And when she did things, she had to make them perfect or she didn’t stop doing them until they were as perfect as she could get them… especially in her jewelry work.

For her, there were three visual properties of gemstones that made hers the best in her opinion. Partially it was because of her eagle vision, but part of it was just the way the stone set. She wanted brilliance, dispersion and scintillation to be equal so that they were a visual banquet for the admirer. One could not exhibit more scintillation than say brilliance, because then they competed with each other and took away from the stone. To her they had to be equal, working together, like flavors in a dish a chef prepared to be a taste sensation.

Kelski finished cutting the rest of the navettes, then she polished the first one showing Dess how to run the stone through the steps to polish it. When he picked up the work quickly, she smiled and left the rest of the stones with him to polish as she began to do the next step.
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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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Posts: 1598
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[The Midnight Gem] Cutting Rare Gemstones

Postby Kelski on May 29th, 2019, 4:19 am

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From the scraps of the carnelian, she cut the small brilliant rounds that would pepper the necklace in their own small gallery settings. Dess polished slowly, which gave Kelski time to facet the rounds quickly. And by the time he was done with her large navettes to her satisfaction, she had the rounds cut and turned them over to him to polish as well. Then, carefully with the wire she had already molded, she pulled the gold, wrapped it around the chain rondel, and then clipped the links and began weaving the chain. She made the clasp, attached the chain to the clasp, and then made the settings for the rest of the rounds and navettes.

Kelski set the stones in the gallery and bezel settings, then carefully began soldiering them together by laying them over the parchment sketch and soldering them in place following the diagram. It was an easy task at this point, one she bent over and worked diligently at. The pieces designated for the necklace went into its layering, while the pieces that were designated for the earrings were set aside and assembled independently. Then, the earrings were backed with heavy posts that were soldered in place as well.

The Kelvic worked feverishly, nearing the end of the process, tasting the work being done.

Dess wandered off, returning a bit later to leave her a plate of food, and then wandered off again. Ebon poked his head in, said something that Kelski didn’t catch, and he too left after he watched a few chimes. Kelski worked for bells, putting together the piece, soldering each individual gemstone in place by its setting and building the final piece. Once she had them all together, she worked hard to clean up the final product, polishing it by hand with oil and polishing cloths – diamond dust where it was needed, and finally coating it with a clear polish that was a protectorate on the piece.

Once coated, she moved out into the deck and in the morning light and began polishing the pieces by hand. The polishing cloths were new and she rubbed each stone, each setting, and checked and rechecked her soldering and attachment work. Some places she took a tiny needle-sharp file and smoothed down rough spots before she moved across it with the cloths. Then, finally as an end step, Kelski waxed the pieces down to protect them from fingerprints, the elements of weather, and general dust and dirt. Then, and only then, was she satisfied enough to hang the pieces on a sculpted clay neck model to make sure the piece was weighted well and would hang evenly on the unknown woman’s neck.

Stepping back, Kelski examined it with a critical eye, walking back and forth until she nodded to herself. It was finally done. She walked forward, took the necklace and earrings off the model, and laid them gently in a velvet lined box ready to be picked up.

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Count: 2519
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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
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Medals: 11
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (2)
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[The Midnight Gem] Cutting Rare Gemstones

Postby Kelski on June 11th, 2019, 12:03 am

G R A D E S
Kelski-

Teaching + 4, Mathematics +2




PM me with questions or concerns.
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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