Sun Two was another, literally golden day at Kauai Aadheenam. Light morning showers were followed by sunlight and everywhere light was glistening, but nowhere as brightly as on top of the Iraivan temple.
Front to back in the photo: William Hayden, Michael Kramer, founder and president of Gilders’ Studio, Jill London and Dennis DaSilva in the back.
Today we take a brief look at the gilding process. Earlier this morning the sizing (type of varnish) was applied and allowed to dry to just the right tackiness.
Here is William showing us what is called the gilders’ roller. It actually has two rollers, one is for a roll of goldleaf on paper backing and the second looks like small painting roller.
The gilder presses the strip of goldleaf down with his hands as he moves the roller along the surface.
The gold leaf sticks to the size and comes off the paper backing and is left “flapping in the breeze”
William is laying down the gold leaf.
Dennis is using a super-soft brush to burnish the gold leaf down to stick onto the sizing.
Jill is monitoring “touch up” where inevitably small spots are not covered with gold. She will find each of these, and paint a fresh coat of sizing on them and mark them with small tags of blue tape
If you look closely you can see the small blue flecks indicatings spots where gold leaf will be applied again.
Here she found a small ungilded area, she paints it with sizing.
She then puts down a small blue tape-tag to mark the spot that needs to be gilded. It takes a very sharp eye to see the difference between the gilded and ungilded yellow mica primer.
Ooops! this is an area 4″ X 8″ that was missed. The team jokingly refers to these as “Holidays”… if they missed a really large area, they call it a “vacation” (smile)
Covering every square millimeter is important as ultraviolet sunlight cannot penetrate the gold, but any area that is missed will allow the light to penetrate an break down the underlying layers of primer and sizing.
In the background, Jill is training Deva Rajan and Tandu Sivanathan to look for and spot areas requiring touch up.
Meanwhile down below our silpis continue work on the temple floor and railings
The blessings of Lord Murugan awaken wisdom which resides in his chakra. "Pray to Lord Murugan to unravel the great mysteries of the universe." When we get emotional we lose touch with our wisdom. Murugan inspires penance to soften karmas and purify the mind, chitta-shuddhi. If you do kavadi in the right spirit, to get the full blessing, have in mind specific misdeeds, apologize to the deity, learn from it, promise to do your best. Visions are still happening. Feeling the energy of the deity is stronger during festivals such as Skanda Shashti.