torsdag 29. september 2016

Silver Shines Nano-Bright

-     The Prepper Diaries 
In the Field with Warblogger Wood

Is it safe to park here?, asks Tomboy. She stares worriedly down on the red car. It is blocking only 90 % of the trash-y bikeway outside the sushi bar, Kyoto Delights.
-There are more traffic wardens in this area than cars, I answer laconically and continue with tales of badly tattooed wardens prowling the streets, hunting for unwary prey. The silversmith smiles wryly and disappears faster than the Silver Surfer. She comes just as fast back after having moved the old Ford to a nearby parking lot.

The Silversmith
Kyoto Delights has, like many other sushi bars in Oslo, reproductions of Hokusai’s thirty-six views of Mount Fuji, plastic chop-sticks Made in Hong-Kong, fake wasabi and a not so genuine Japanese sushi master behind the counter. You can’t help thinking you are stuck in an alternative universe.
- If I had known what I now know and had the right equipment in my youth, I would have specialized on 3D printing and silver design. Then I would now have been in the forefront with silver sintering, or low temperature joining technique as it is also called, says Tomboy as she thoughtfully contemplates the landscape repro on the wall.
- But as a student I could not afford a very expensive 3D printer, and instead I figured I could specialize on analog drawing and painting. Drawing- and painting materials are so cheap that you can explore the media without ending up living with your parents. Basic knowledge of colors and illustrating are honest knowledge, and you need only a piece of paper and a pencil to draw anywhere, anytime.
   The silversmith picks a silver dollar seemingly out of thin air and flips it back and forth between her fingers.  - I hoped I would get famous enough to be independent of grants and greedy art dealers. However, it has not happened… yet.
   One of Norway’s most innovative silversmiths is busy reflecting upon the metal she tries to bring to a futuristic level.

Who wants gold? 
- Gold might be mightier than the sword, but silver is better to work with when it comes to experimental production and silver designs, Tomboy continues.  - You know that silver is an industrial metal, but the price of this precious metal is artificially linked to the price of gold. It’s just a matter of time before silver will break free of gold. For the time being the price is artificially low by speculative buying and selling. Silver is dead cheap compared to gold. But what is gold good for? The question is rhetoric, but since I have a Canadian Leaf gold coin in my pocket, I feel obliged to point out that a silversmith can buy quite a lot of tax-free silver with an ounce of gold.
   Tomboy wrinkles her nose and mumbles something about price manipulations of the metals.  Yes, shop-silver design is expensive… but quality has always been expensive. However, metal-prices were her main reason for specializing in silver. She knew, as a young student, that she never could try out her original ideas having to pay 1300 dollars for an ounce of gold versus paying 20 dollars for an ounce of silver.

Stimulus and response
- I got a small breakthrough when I designed children silver spoons with a heat-sensitive receptor, Tomboy continues. - The receptor activates two tiny lights in the handle, which blinks when the spoon is in the child’s mouth. Most children find the blinking lights funny and want another spoonful of food to activate the blinking lights time and time again.  On the other hand, parents love the spoon because it makes it so much easier to feed the child. A classic example of stimulus and response, Tomboy says a little guilty.
   With a death wish and tears in the eyes we devoured a rather strong sea-urchin dish. The only thing missing was a yellow comic-book burst of flame from our mouths. Greedy gulps of Perrier quenched the fire, but not the lingering heat in the deep throat area. I blink away the tears and look wondering at the fierce dish. Not Japanese at all. This is what you get when the sushi cook is Cantonese.
   I look at Tomboy, who is still shell-shocked by the spice, and shoot a direct question. – How many silver coins have you been prepping so far?
- So far, I have two Monster boxes. That means 1000 coins. I also own a couple of one kilo coins for future production. Don’t forget that also kilo-coins are sold without value added tax. The coins are cheaper than 1-kilo bars which are sold with sales tax. Don’t ask me why, because silver is silver. When I melt down the coins, nobody will know that I have used tax-free silver in my designer jewelry.
- And you prepp silver because you believe that the price of the metal will skyrocket?
- Yes! It just is a matter of time. The solar panel producers are buying up silver, silver EFT are investing their dollars in the metal, and maybe most important of all:  China is buying tons.

Tales from the Crypt
At this point of the interview the enthusiastic silversmith places different types of small silver items in front of me, and I get an excellent lecture on the history of silver and its many uses. How the metal historically has been refined, coined, hammered and defined as something valuable. And even more important I get to hear about her maybe not so crazy new ideas.
 - I needed help from specialists from different fields to develop a new kind of personal jewelry. I am dating a young graduate from the Department of material Science and Engineering at the University in Oslo. He is working on a master’s degree on energy transfer between different types of materials. In short… if the energy of my heartbeats can be used as a nano-source of energy to charge a tiny battery hidden in, let’s say, the ring on my finger.  Hopefully, the battery will have enough power to light up a micro-led hidden behind a zirkon embedded in the ring. The idea is that more aroused the ring-wearer gets, the led will glow brighter and brighter. The perfect acid test for couples of all ages. The love-ring will show if your partner turns you on.
- Isn’t it risky to be in the forefront of innovation in an old-fashioned and conservative trade as silversmithing, I hesitatingly ask.
- Well, I work with other things than nanotechnology in silver objects, answers Tomboy and tries to bite over the leatherish squid which should have been the tenth dish.
Tomboy pushes a man-sized polished silver-ring across the table. - Try it on! Think about something that makes your heart beat harder. I am convinced that you, as a writer, have fantasy enough to make it shine. The young woman smiles bashfully and picks up a piece of glossy red sushi, dips it in soy sauce showing a green neon glow of too much wasabi.

The Future is Bright
The silversmith has a special affinity to rings, especially combination rings with patterns. - My boyfriend and I are working on attuning the rings to different types of heartbeats. You wouldn’t want the ring to light up during a business meeting if you need to hold your cards close to your chest. In short… take the ring off your finger if you don’t want anybody to… see the light?
- So, the future is full of opportunities?, I ask.
- Definitely! I will continue to experiment with silver and new technologies as I acquire more knowledge about silver sintering. Markets for innovative silver products are ready to explode and it’s just a matter of time before silver gets really expensive. And when that happens, I will have a nice collection of silver coins hidden safely away, the skilled and future sighted young woman adds optimistic: - Anyway, there are always opportunities for people with knowhow and the will to do something new and exiting!
Hard facts – Best and Worst
Pseudonym: Tomboy
Profession: Silversmith with an Analog Twist
Age: 26 years
Education: Two years at specialist school and two years as trainee.
Favorite prepper scenario
A market-driven price-level on silver
Favorite prepper tool
The 3D-printer
Worst prepper trap
Getting too negative about a mad reality
The worst being a prepper
Combining work, a relationship and prepping
Would really have liked to have
A rich patron of silver art
Favorite prepper item
Tax-free 999.9 one oz. silver coins

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