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Turquoise Inlaying

Posted by craftihouse on

First of all, the turquoise inlayer buys waste turquoise chips from turquoise forming workshops or turquoise mines in Mashhad, Neishabour or Damghan. Since such turquoise chips are usually accompanied by some earth and ordinary stone chips, they are first separated and cleaned. Then, the turquoise chips are graded based on their sizes so the right size turquoise chips are used in making each Turquoise Inlaying object in proportion to the surface area. In the next step, the object is heated (to about 30oC) and, while heating, a “walnut lac” is sprinkled onto the parts that have to be turquoise laid so that the lac powder is almost melted and covers the intended surface.

While the lac is still soft and sticky on the object surface, some of the turquoise chips that were prepared before based on their size are placed on the work surface. The chips must be placed in a way so that no space is left between them as far as possible. In order to fill the possible gaps between turquoise chips, temperature is added (to about 40oC) and some more lac powder is sprinkled onto the chips until the lac layer is softened to a melting form, and then try to fill all the spaces by adding smaller turquoise chips, or, as they say, the chips sit well on the surface. This is usually done by pressing the turquoise chips by hand onto the surface so that they stick fast to it. After the object is cooled, the lac covered parts become rigid.

After that stage, the parts covered by lac and turquoise chips are polished with emery so the extra lac and little raised parts of the chips are flattened. That is the stage where the colour of the turquoise chips becomes visible as turquoise and that of lac as black (or dark brown) in the spaces between the chips. After this stage is completed, if there is still some fallouts in some parts of the work, the object is heated again, and the empty parts are restored with small turquoise chips and lac.

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