Gold Leaf in Mandalay

January 11 (part 3): All the gold leaf that covers temples and Buddha statues in Burma has to come from somewhere, and today we saw how it's made: by hammering an initial small lump of gold between sheets of parchment in successive stages until it becomes just a few microns thick. Each stage (there are four, if I remember correctly) takes about 30 minutes of steady hammering, and reduces the thickness by about a factor of 10.

Click photos to enlarge them.


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The hammering

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The final result: a book of 100 sheets

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This page contains a single entry by Victor Bloomfield published on February 16, 2013 8:45 AM.

Amarapura Monastery was the previous entry in this blog.

Along the Irrawady River in Mingun is the next entry in this blog.

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