gold leaf

Process.1 Grinding Gold Ribbon
Stretch 3 tickles (1.928 oz) of gold bullion till it become a third
ribbon of 20 feet long. Then, cut the ribbon into four equal pieces of 5 feet in length. One such 5 feet ribbon
is again cut into 200 equal pieces that are then wrapped up in a heap of bamboo-made paper with every
piece of gold separted by a layer of paper. These 200 pieces of wrapped gold make a unit.

Process.2 A unit of packed gold pieces is hammered with a 6 lb hammer for about half an hour

Process.3 Cut each enlarged gold flake into six equal pieces and wrap them in the bamboo-made paper
as have done before. Thus, we get 1200 small gold flakes that are packe as one unit.

Process.4 The packed unit of 1200 gold flakes is beaten again with a 6lb hammer for about half an hour.

Process.5 After that, every five gold flake out of 1200 are made into three. Thus, we get a total of 720
flakes that are wrapped again in 5.5 * 5.5 inches bamboo-made paper as in Process.1. Then, they are
hammered with a 6lb hammer for about 5 hours.

This is the final stage as well as the most important stage. While the beating is going on, the time is counted with a clepsydra or water clock. which is made of a halved coconut-shell cup with a small hole at its bottom through which the water leaks in. The gold leaf beater has to finish 120 strokes before the cup is full. It usually takes an hour to have the cup filled with water 18 times.
It requires three persons to take turns in beating a unit of gold leaf. The first one has to beat it so that the paper package becomes hot; the second to makethe size of gold flakes wrapped in the package expanded; the third to make gold flakes not to stick onto the paper. Normally, three beaters take about five hours to finish beating a unit of gold leaf. Howeve, the beating time may very due to the changes
in temperature of the working place.

Process.6 The gold flakes in this stage are called gold leaves that are cut into required sized(2*2, 1.5*1.5, 1.75*1.75 inches). Then, paste them onto the hay-made paper and packed up with thread. The ready-to-offer gold leaf is thus made.

(a)Gold leaf is used to offer to sacred shrines, pagodas, and images; gild to the inner walls, ceilings and pillars of monasteries, palace and the royal throne.

(b)It can be used in combination with Myanmar traditional medicines.

(c)It can also be used by women in making up their fair and lovely.