Solo [Painted Sky Jewelry] Blood Red

Kelski gets musical cutting a ruby.

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While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

[Painted Sky Jewelry] Blood Red

Postby Kelski on January 21st, 2020, 4:29 am

Image
Summer 90, 519 A.V.


Kelski took a deep breath and examined the rough chunk of ruby in her hand. To her, it was already beautiful. It was already perfect. And for some reason, sitting at her lapstone she grew angry that in order for the rest of the world to appreciate its beauty, she would have to mold it – shaving off most of what made it what it was – in order to reveal the gleam and glitter inside. And in order for her to provide what she needed to provide for the people who dwelled here, she’d have to sell the dark red beauty.

The Sea Eagle sighed and kept turning the rough-cut gem in her hand. It had a large inclusion of calcite that detracted from it. She noted the imperfection and decided it would be best cut out of the gem if she kept the ruby in a lovely oval shape. It lent itself to an oval far more than a round or square… or even an emerald cut step. It was rough, but the way it displayed looked like someone had preformed it into an oval already. Kelski mused at the language. Jeweler’s preformed. They took stones and preformed them. Then, once preformed, they took it further and cut a multitude of facets into the stone to make it shine.

There were three basic gem cutting styles. Brilliant cuts were the most common. They had triangular and kite-shaped facets that starburst out from the center of the gem. Cutting the rough beauty in a brilliant-cut gave off the most scintillation she could get out of it. Turning the gem further, Kelski regarded it as if asking it what it truly wanted.

She could step-cut it, which in essence meant she’d cut a set of rectangular facets ascending the crown and descending the pavilion much like steps going up and down a large building. Step cutting leaned itself to showing off the gemstones' inner fire. It also could bring light in and hold it in for those gems that weren’t going to be as pretty as this one was going to be. Kelski paused, pursing her lips, turning the rough ruby up to the light and examining it. She was waiting for inspiration and so far, none was coming to her.

The third style was to mix it up, combining step cuts and brilliant cuts. She studied the gem and decided immediately that was the way she’d go. There’d be brilliant facets on the crown and then she’d step it down to the pavilions to help out the red color which was on the darker side. The steps would bring in light, and wash out the dark color bringing out a brighter fire to the gem then it normally would have. A normal jeweler might not have thought to help the gem’s fire out so much, but Kelski was very well practiced in making something out of nothing.

Kelski hummed a tune as she thought, deciding what to do next in her workshop. Fairly soon, a tune burst out of her and she began to sing. It helped her decide what she was in the mood to make verses what needed to be done. The song was one Master Li used to sing to her as he worked and she cleaned. The thought made her smile.

"Pour me a glass
of diamond dew
and I will taste the clouds...

of sapphire juice
and I will sleep
beneath the tranquil blue skies...

of lime green jade
and I will
become soft grassy fields...

of apple red ruby
and I will grow
into an orchard...

of topaz necter
and I will
dance with the angels...

of obsidian wine
and I will
dream wondrous dreams...

of turquoise mist
and I will sing
with the universe...

of grape amethyst
and I will
become a vineyard...

of carnelian ale
and I will
birth into a field of poppies...

of agate tea
and I will
Pirouette with color...

of white stone milk
and I will drink
from Mother Earth's
azurite breasts...
and flow eternally
in her garnet blood."


The song had put her in the mood to work. So she got right too it.

And oddly enough, her resources as a jeweler here were limited. She had to make the most out of any gemstone she acquired. It could be something simple, but then again it could be something well and truly special. Kelski wanted everything in The Painted Sky to be special. This gem was no exception.

WC: 751
Last edited by Kelski on February 29th, 2020, 4:07 pm, 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.
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1570
Words: 2000549
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
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[Painted Sky Jewelry] Blood Red

Postby Kelski on February 29th, 2020, 3:48 pm

Image
Shaping gemstones was meditative.

To Kelski’s mind, all it involved was resting her foot on the foot-peddle and starting her lap wheel spinning. Then, depending on the stone, she’d drip water and diamond dust on the wheel. Then by hand, she’d gently hold the stone to the wheel and start preforming the rough ruby into a more recognizable shape. Most jewelers held their gems in their fingers for the first step, but Kelski had long hard nails that made it difficult for such things without wearing at her lap wheel with her talon-like nails. Instead, she held the gem by her nails and pressed it gently against the spinning wheel.

As the wheel ground microfine pieces of ruby off, gently reshaping it, Kelski spun the gemstone in her fingers, keeping it moving so the shaping was even and didn’t find more internal damage or inclusions. The clearer the stone, the brighter the sparkle. Her grit was about 260 with infused diamond dust and since she was pumping the wheel fast, the pace was high speed. She dribbled water and kept rotating the stone. She planned out the moves carefully in her mind, knowing she’d shape the crown, take the inclusion off the base, and then be free to work on the rise and pavilion.

Kelski hummed under her breath as she did so, singing a morbid little song Mosa had taught her about life and death. She didn’t stick to the lyrics though… she changed them all to be about sunbeams and shade. The tower had quite a few shadows now since The Gem had been installed. The shadows flocked to her daughter, sheltering in her arms as much as any of the Meraki did. So, one of the reasons she sang was because she knew it pleased them.

“"I love you, little maid,"
Said the Sunbeam to the Shade,
As all day long she shrank away before him;
But at twilight, ere he died,
She was weeping at his side;
And he felt her tresses softly trailing o'er him.”


The tune made her smile and she sang it quite a few times as she preformed the ruby. Then, when she set the gemstone aside to heat up her wax and attach the stone to her dop stick so she could get down to some serious faceting, she switched songs to something more intense.

“Upon the river's bank I lie
Beneath the cloud-flecked, azure sky,
While sedge, and fern, and waving tree,
In Nature's looking-glass I see—
The hay-rack, with its fragrant load
Passing along the grass-grown road—
The teamster with his easy swing,
The mower's scythe, with backward fling,
The falling grass, the rhythmic tread,
Mirrored upon the river's bed.
The swallows flitting to and fro,
Meet shadow-swallows down below—
While nearer, with their busy hum,
The bumble-bees and blue-flies come.”


Kelski had a deep rich alto. She tended to add in trills and clicks as punctuation as she sang, something a human would find annoying perhaps, but something that pleased her eagle’s nature enormously. She sang the same short song multiple times as she lit her alcohol burner expertly with a lit brand from the brazier warming the workshop, picked up her dop stick, with a set of pliers and began heating the end up over the burner’s flame.


Count: 550
Last edited by Kelski on February 29th, 2020, 3:59 pm, 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.
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1570
Words: 2000549
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: The Wildlands of Sylira & The Empyreal Demesne
Race: Kelvic
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Medals: 11
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[Painted Sky Jewelry] Blood Red

Postby Kelski on February 29th, 2020, 3:49 pm

Image
She dipped the hot dop stick into wax, melting it slightly, coating the end of the stick thoroughly. Then she gently pressed the hot wax to the preformed gemstone that lay on her counter, getting just the perfect angle and a really good seal between stone/wax/dop. She guaranteed the bond by running the ruby stuck in the wax across the burner a couple of times, letting the flame dance against the stone. A heated gemstone stuck much better than a cool one.

Then, once she began faceting the gemstone, pressing it lightly against the spinning wheel to more firmly refine the rough shape she’d just completed. Kelski danced it along her spinning lap wheel fastened to the end of its dop stick, careful not to hold the stone in one single place for too long. If she did so, the stone – especially the ruby – could crack or burst into tiny virtually unusable dust and debris piles. To an outsider, it might have looked like she was playing with the gem, making trails of red dust along the grinding wheel surface. But she knew exactly what she was doing, working the gemstone carefully, ever turning, ever-moving, getting it ready to have its facets added. Kelski didn’t want any overheating or damage to happen, so she worked the gemstone across the lap wheel much like she would work her beak across her feathers, never lingering in one place long, keeping the constant motion going.

When its shape was to her desire – ignoring a small cavity in what would be its crown – Kelski stopped the lap wheel and changed its stone out for finer grit that would cut more slowly giving her a better control over the outcome. Then she ran the wheel and ground the stone finer until she had its perfect outline ready. All it lacked was the facets. She pulled off the wooden handle to her dop stick which allowed her to hold the stone freehand, and moved over a vice that she clamped to the edge of the lap wheel table and placed a complex arm of metal into the vice.

She checked the setup with a ruler, adjusted, and rechecked it until the faceting adaptor was set up perfectly. Then she affixed the dop stick with its ruby waxed to the end into the adaptor and used it to cut a perfectly precise 90-degree table. It involved placing her dop in a 45-degree angle into the adaptor that was adjusted to the table at 45-degrees. The resulting cut became a 90-degree table which would be absolutely flat.

She set the wheel spinning again, added droplets of water and bits of diamond dust, and began the cut. As she cut, she began to sing. Cutting was second nature to her so she was able to concentrate on holding her diaphragm firm and working on holding the notes of the music. Her voice was muted over the sound of the grinder, but still, the song pleased her enormously. She sang it multiple times while the table was being cut.

“She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent."


It took her about ten chimes to get the absolute proper cut, but once it had been made it was the flat crown of the stone against which all other cuts would be made.

Count: 666
Last edited by Kelski on February 29th, 2020, 3:58 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
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1570
Words: 2000549
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)
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[Painted Sky Jewelry] Blood Red

Postby Kelski on February 29th, 2020, 3:50 pm

Image
Kelski paused to contemplate the red stone in her hand. She should be doing this quickly, unthinkingly, without all the thought and singing and fussing. She was a Master, after all. But the truth was she enjoyed the basics of her craft… turning the greyish stone full of inclusions into the gleaming blood-red coveted thing it was becoming under her treatment. It was a vanity of hers – a secret pride. She was a good jeweler. She hoped to be one of the best. And so, she gave extra care to these things… to this stone as she cut it and moved on to the next step.

She needed to cut in the main crown facets next. She carefully removed the stone from its table adaptor and then placed the dop stick into the main apparatus attached to the vice. This process she could control by hand. Crown facets were less critical than an absolutely straight true 90-degree table cut. Kelski adjusted the top stick to match what the crown facets would require to establish a level girdle. These were tighter angles – the degree didn’t matter much to the Kelvic – only that they would level the crown. She set the angle by hand and set to cutting ten cuts around the table. She smiled as she did so, turning the lap wheel blood red because now she was getting truly into the meat of the garnet, all its imperfections cut away. Again, she sang….

“Dark is the forest and deep, and overhead
Hang stars like seeds of light
In vain, though not since they were sown was bred
Anything more bright.

And evermore mighty multitudes ride
About, nor enter in;
Of the other multitudes that dwell inside
Never yet was one seen.

The forest foxglove is purple, the marguerite
Outside is gold and white,
Nor can those that pluck either blossom greet
The others, day or night.”


She didn’t know who wrote the songs…. Or if they were even songs. She’d read them in books here and there or collected them in her memory from buskers on the streets. Kelski liked pretty things, more like a magpie or crow in her desires than an eagle. She supposed it was the human side of her, the side that hadn’t had a chance to own much in the way of pretty things until this stage in her life.

Kelski stopped the lap wheel, adjusted the dop bar again, and cut the star facets. The stars were some of her favorite. To her, a girdle facet meeting a table facet was ugly until a star was cut into the girdle and tables, lending interest and that neat star shape that tended to invite and trap light inside the gemstone… setting it on fire.

The gem was dark – too dark now – and she pulled the lap wheel off and exchanged it for a polishing wheel. Kelski didn’t care that the ‘meets’ or where the three cuts came together were imperfect. The polishing took care of that. If she cut the facets down all the way before polishing, the gem would be significantly smaller and there was a lot more waste. Kelski had copper and ceramic polishing laps, but she selected the copper one almost every time.

It wasn’t a true fully copper stone. Instead, it was a hard stone coated in copper that she spun in place of a lap wheel and used to clean up the table, crown, and star facets. The reality of polishing was tedious. It meant she had to put the table apparatus back on the vice and run through all the steps she’d just done to cut the stone’s table in order to polish it. She could polish by hand, but she’d run the risk of taking the table off its perfect center level cut.




Count: 637
Last edited by Kelski on February 29th, 2020, 3:56 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
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1570
Words: 2000549
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)
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[Painted Sky Jewelry] Blood Red

Postby Kelski on February 29th, 2020, 3:56 pm

Image
After she repeated the steps, Kelski polished the main crown facets. She used the copper wheel again, adding very very fine diamond dust to the lap to get the gem to sparkle. It gave her a chance to correct any imperfect meetups with the main facets which were very close as they were. Now… she had a beautiful half-cut stone on the end of her dop stick with the table and crown completely done.

That left the girdle – the main set of facets that connected the upper crown to the lower pavilion. Instead of cutting facets into the girdle – the pavilion cuts would automatically do that – Kelski simply polished the round segment that ‘belted’ below the crown while her copper wheel was on the polishing machine. She used a paste of 8k diamond powder which meant she didn’t have to add water and make a mess as she did on the actual lap wheels themselves. She could have polished the girdle after the basic outline was cut, but Kelski liked to leave the girdle polish until this step because more material was already removed and she wasted less time and less paste smoothing what was left.

Next, she melted the wax holding the gem to the dop stick and flipped the gem over. She would re-attach it upside down so she could work on the bottom of the gem. Firmly embedding the crown in fresh hot wax, Kelski blew on it to cool the wax and set it aside to change over her lap wheel into a faceting setup instead of a polishing setup.

The Jeweler attached the dop stick to her vice apparatus, measured the correct angles, and pumped at the lap wheel to get the wheel spinning. Then she began to put very precisely and carefully measured cuts in the pavilion, turning the rough bottom of the stone into a faceted point. There were four main X facets leading down to the point, then each X wing had four facets cut into that, creating a structure that would capture and flame with light when one held it up to the sun or some other source. The cutting took time, and Kelski carefully sang her way through it.

“Under the after-sunset sky
Two eagles sport and cry,
More white than is the moon on high
Riding the dark surge silently;
More black than earth. Their cry
Is the one sound under the sky.
They alone move, now low, now high,
And merrily they cry
To the mischievous Spring sky,
Plunging earthward, tossing high,
Over the ghost who wonders why
So merrily they cry and fly,
Nor choose 'twixt earth and sky,
While the moon's quarter silently
Rides, and earth rests as silently.”


She ran through the cuts on the facets of the pavilion. Cutting like this was no Masterwork. It was actually something she could have an apprentice do. But there was no one here but her to work gems, so she gladly did the work herself. And she enjoyed it…. enormously. The pavilion took no time… it was just grinding, adjust the angle slightly to move to the next facet, grind, until the whole was cut. Then she was once more quickly changing out her wheel for the copper lap and adding the paste. Then she polished to her heart's content, bringing the gemstone to a high gleam.

After a quick double-check to makes sure all the facets on the entire gemstone met perfectly, Kelski took time to admire the stone and determined it done. Once she was done, she freed the garnet from the dop, cleaned it, clear coated it with a stone protector, and recorded its caret and weight in her ledger, placed a jeweler’s loop in her eye, and studied the stone in bright light. She carefully sketched the stone out on a small white sheet of paper, marked the inclusions that made it unique and filed it in a small wooden box with similar cards under ‘garnet’. It was slid into a velvet pouch with a small slip of paper that was numbered – a number which was recorded on the card – and she priced both the numbered tag and the card before she escorted the finished little velvet pouch into her vault.

The finished ruby was almost 5 carats, cut from a 14 carat rough. Kelski did some quick math dividing 5 by 14 and multiplying it by 100. She’d saved 35% of the total stone after cutting down the rough.

Image


It was time to work on another gemstone. This time, she would do multiples at the same time – in mass – since her stock was low and she had a batch of emeralds that just begged to be square cut and put into some sort of jewelry set.




Count: 797
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1570
Words: 2000549
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)

[Painted Sky Jewelry] Blood Red

Postby Kelski on February 29th, 2020, 4:19 pm

G R A D E S
Kelski - +5 XP Singing
Image
They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Freedom is earned. Fight for it.
 
Posts: 1570
Words: 2000549
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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