COPPER – 2 Copper Compounds

COPPER – 2 Copper Compounds

Post 479  by Gautam Shah


Once distinctive properties of the pure copper nodules were known, no efforts were spared to reestablish the same results. The intention was to derive a copper material easily and locally, similar to the quality of a pure copper nodule. These search resulted in discovery of many copper-containing substances. The substances were realized while processing the raw materials and finishing copper products. It helped realize many ‘copper like’ materials, but with different properties. It was found that copper became more flexible and easy to work with when heated before hammering, a process of annealing. For example, it was known that beating or forging a copper made it little brittle, but stronger for tool making. It was known that some materials could be heated to very high temperatures, in restricted air or closed environment to extract copper metal, a process of ore smelting.

Copper figure of a bull from the Temple of Ninhursag, Tell al-‘Ubaid, southern Iraq, around 2600 BC. app 600 mm

Egyptians used copper minerals like malachite and azurite for green and blue colouring the murals and also for lip colouring make-up or body colour. Copper Sulphate was used as a mordant in the dyeing to improve colour fastness. It was also used as a topical application for skin deceases and as biocide additive in mural colours. Copper compounds like cupric oxide were used in the ceramics for achieving blue, green or red tints in glasses, glazes and enamels. Chalcopyrite a mixture of pyrite and copper sulfide, is the most common copper ore, and it has been used to extract copper compounds besides the copper metal. Mineral chalcocite, a cuprous sulfide, was used as black powder.



Hathor, Egyptian goddess of the sky, music, dance and art, was also the patron of Sinai, the copper sourcing region for the Egyptians. She was often referred to as Lady of Malachite (the copper mineral). Copper is comparatively environment friendly material. But, historically copper ores were with natural Arsenic. The presence arsenic in copper made it a castable metal and strong enough for weapons and sharp edged tools. Osiris, an Egyptian god, often called the Great Green, is portrayed with green skin. Green malachite was a symbol of joy and the land of the blessed dead was described as the ‘field of malachite.’

Green coloured Osiris tomb of Nefertiti

The smelting process for arsenic containing copper produced poisonous fumes. Tin-bronze was a better choice as it was easier to add tin then control the amount of arsenic. But tin was comparatively rare material. Arsenic copper processing was at peak during Roman times, and its traces have been found in ice layers of Arctic regions.



MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – I

MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – I

Post 478  by Gautam Shah


Stating design fees or charges to potential clients is a routine exercise, but one that needs lot of thought, and reconsideration or improvisation from one project to another.

The discussion here is based on presumption that the designer is practicing a ‘pure design’ or ‘design-only’ business, and not co-conducting build or supply work for the projects. In the later case the person or the organization may be liable for paying other taxes.

Interior of Phillips Exeter Academy Library, Exeter, New Hampshire (1965–72)

A person-organization operates as an Architect, Interior Designer or Landscape architect. In each of these case the basis and terms for fees are different. It is advisable to state fees separately for each aspect of practice, while clearly stating ‘what constitutes that project. This also follows that drawings, details etc. must remain distinct documents for each practice. Inclusion of following clauses is advisable >>

1These terms, conditions and fees are for the Architectural (or Interior Design or Landscape Architectural) Services only, and must not be clubbed with any other service or services that have been provided, or will be offered by us.

2The services are offered by me/us in our capacity as an Architectural Designer (Interior designer or Landscape architect, as may be relevant). As a professional designer we do not sell or supply any components, units, goods or materials, or provide on rent, hire or provide on any other basis: human resources, plants, tools, equipments, implements or gadgets. We also do not undertake any type of operations or servicing job. We do not provide any operational surety or performance guarantees or warranties for the items, systems, or schemes likely to be generated or formed through implicit or explicit design, suggestion, instructions drawn, described, specified in our design.”

Tokushima Castle Lordly Front Palace Garden in Tokushima, Tokushima prefecture, Japan

Fees’ details must be stated (submitted), discussed, or negotiated in one meeting, or through one statement-letter. A designer nominally provides professional design services and the Invoice will include charges only for this. Other costs for like extra copies, documentation, additional survey or report preparations, conveyance, must be billed separately. It is better to use external agencies that provide such services, and bill the client directly. These arrangements reduce many tax hassles.

Trevithick’s 1804 steam-powered railway locomotive full-scale replica National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.

Cost of a model, Sample, Prototype, Pilot, Animated walk-through or a Typical design (to be repeated number of times) is always problematic. Delivery of such an item at ‘actual making cost’ can deny the designer ‘the cost of concept’. Charges for such an item must be inseparable part of the main design fee. Which in other words mean, the main design fee may mention delivery of such an item, but details that can give impression of its exclusive cost may be avoided.

A professional like an Architect, Interior Designer or Landscape-architect is retained by the client-owner-organizer of the property, and not by the executing agencies like Vendors or Contractors. So discuss and insist on payment of professional fees directly by the client-owner-organizer of the property. A professional designer must declare that the charges discussed here are for One site, One project, Only for the service that is mentioned, and for One year currency of the project.

Architectural Fees are of several types

1 A fee on Lump-sum base, or a fixed amount irrespective of the cost of execution of the project.

2 A fee based on total cost of man-hours (and stationary, use of equipment, etc.) plus some Lump sum amount or a percentage amount for ‘other expenses’.

3 A fee based on the percentage of the cost of the project. This has the advantage that a percentage share goes up (or down) with project cost escalation. To avoid losses due to down scaling of the project and too much escalation for extraneous circumstances, an upper and lower tag is considered prudent, respectively, by the client and the professional.

Amadavad ni Gufa Ahmedabad India


In next few articles of the series other aspects of Building Design Fees will be discussed, such as:

  • What is the scope of Project?
  • Meaning of Design services,
  • What is included in the total cost of a project?
  • Stages of Fees collection-payment,
  • What is requested Design?
  • What is an approved Design?
  • What is an executed Design?
  • Currency period of the Design Services?
  • Assumed cost of the job,
  • Estimated cost of the job
  • Actual cost of the job
  • Specific issues of Interior Design services.



Post 477 –by Gautam Shah


Pure copper nodule 40 mm across

Copper resources of the world are estimated at nearly 5.8 trillion pounds. Of these only about 0.7 trillion pounds have been mined to date. The recycling and recovery rates of copper are so high that of nearly all of the copper mined throughout history, is still in circulation today. This means nearly 80 % of all copper ever mined is still in use today.

Malachite, Zaire> Uploaded by JJ Harrison

Copper was discovered by prehistoric man, in search of shiny stones that when beaten did not break down but rather flattened out. This was sensational discovery leading to search of shiny nodules across lands. Pure Gold and Copper nodules were forged into items of adornments and tools. It was known that several nodules of such pure metals could be forged to form a larger piece. Such nodule findings were rare. But two forms of copper carbonates greenish malachite and bluish azurite were easy to identify and collect from the grounds. Malachite was also used as a gemstone. Similarly many other bright minerals were identified.

Neoclassical vase in malachite in the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg Uploaded by Dezidor

Azurite 80 x 60 mm Azuritechessy.jpg Uploaded by Archaeodontosaurus

Copper was known around 10000 BC or even earlier. Earliest copper object, a pendant dating 8700 BC, was found Iraq. Copper, in natural nodules form, remained a prized material for a while, but soon became a metal of utility. Unalloyed copper is soft for tools and weapons, but fairly suitable for shaping of utensils. Mesopotamia and Egypt exploited copper for creating tools used in farming, wood working, cooking, etc. These were hoes, adzes, saws, combs , pots, dishes, chisels, harpoons, cloak-pins etc. By 6000 BC it was realized that, although copper was not amenable to casting, it could be worked by hammering, chasing, engraving, and cold-rolling. Sumerians used copper sheets to form sculptures over wooden forms and fastened on walls with copper nails or wires set in bitumen.

Imdugud (also Zu or Anzu), the lion-headed eagle; Sumerian metalwork (sheets of copper), Temple of Ninhursag at Tell al-‘Ubaid; ca. 2500 BC

The Roman supply of copper almost entirely came from Cyprus, and so was known as metal of Cyprus, shortened to cyprium, later corrupted to cuprum. Copper is found at many locations as a primary mineral in basaltic lavas and also as reduced form of copper compounds. It occurs in combination with many minerals, such as chalcocite, chalcopyrite, bornite, cuprite, malachite, and azurite. It is an extremely ductile and malleable metal with high tensile strength. It is an excellent conductor of heat and electric. It is a very noble metal and by acting as a cathode can corrode other contagious metals except stainless steel. It is resistant to most acids and sea water.

Bronze decoration

A Copper alloy with tin is known as bronze. Bronze is a stronger alloy, and harder than both the pure metals. Bronze can be cast. A copper with zinc is called Brass. It was also known that by hammering the copper became hardened, ideal for creation hard edged tools. Copper and its alloys, bronze and brass, mark the first science revolution of man. However, relative scarcity of tin in many regions of the world did not allow use Bronze equally everywhere. Tin-based bronzes were preferred due to the hazard of arsenic poisoning from fumes produced by the oxidation of arsenic-containing minerals. Copper-arsenic alloys, of superior properties to copper in both cast and wrought form, were produced in many regions. Arsenic contents varied from 1 to 7 percent, with up to 3 percent tin. In many civilizations the production of pure copper, arsenical copper, and tin bronze continued together for some time.




Post 476 –by Gautam Shah


640px-Théâtre_de_la_Reine_-_Galerie_de_treillageThe word Trellis derives from trilicius, (tri- + licium = thread), referring it to a woven entity ‘with three threads. A trellis in old French as treliz simply refers to a fabric of open texture. Basket or matt weave is interpreted as construction where two or more threads of grass, weeds, vines, twigs, bamboo slivers or green cane slip are used in both the warp and filling direction. And so Trellis may have meant an open-mat like weave. These may have been used as screen cover over the gaps or openings like doors and windows, to prevent entry of stray animals rodents, flies, and mosquitoes, to reduce the pressure of heavy winds, or, control the brightness.

Garden Trellis


Matts have Three forms, soft ones have no edge reinforcement and so can be folded in either of the direction. Matts with reinforcement at the ends (usually warp ends) can be rolled up after hanging, whereas with stiff support on all four edges, it forms a panel. Trellises are referred to “as panels, made from interwoven wood pieces”.


Gitterpavillon_SanssouciTreillage is French word (Middle French, from treille or vine arbor) for latticework used for supporting vines and green foliage. Lattices have been used in agriculture for supporting plants, and protecting them in inclement weather. During Renaissance period lattices were key elements of garden scapes. These were used for gates, fences, tree guards and as support structures for pots and vases. For garden scapes metal trellises replaced the wood trellises, post-industrial age. A metal structure gets very hot and fast, burning out the climbers or plants, so wood has continued to be a compulsory requirement.

Cheval de frise, a medieval latticed defense for anti-cavalry measure with many projecting long iron or wooden spikes or spears.

Stone Trellis Cage

Lattices are architectural as well as interior space elements. These are of essentially of Five types.

1 Protective lattices against height related hazards, within openings, spiked one against unauthorized entry, and as spark arresters in fire places.

2 Space dividing elements such as fences, guard rails, reja (screens to enclose a chapel or a tomb in a church), partitions, and as a translucent barrier. Indian balconies, Zarokha and Mid-East countries traditional window form, Mashrabiya, use grills to occlude vision from outside and as a sun shading device.


Iron grating over window Venice

3 Roofing elements are called Pergola or roof screens. Indian urban houses in crowded localities have central open cut spaces called Chowk, and these are covered with a lattice structure at every floor level. These are used for seating, sleeping, craft work, drying clothes, etc. besides providing lighting and ventilation to every floor. Pergolas are used to control the illumination and cutoff sunlight during specific daily and seasonal schedules.

Puerto Rico Convention Center San Juan

4 Flooring elements of lattices are used in walkways and catwalks of warehouses, performance stages. Floor lattices in doors screen dust off the shoes soles. Floor lattices do not allow cattle to enter or leave an estate.

5 Structural Lattices are mainly used for reducing the mass (dead weight). Girders are castrated to increase the depth for the same mass. Brides, towers, pylons, Vierendeel Girders.

Game Nets



Post 475 —by Gautam Shah



Rare professional skills earn a high return in society. Sometimes a professional also earns more by exhibiting exemplary behaviour or professionalism. An experienced professional earns more than an amateur or novice. A young professional with fresh or new talent may demand more fees. Professional fees are often suggested or prescribed by their bodies, public groups or Government, yet professional fees remain subjective and negotiable. It is private understanding or a covenant, sometimes secretive, and no one else needs to know or be informed about it. Professional fees are very subjective. A professional may charge different set of fees for nearly similar project or assignment conditions. Fees vary from a professional to professional, from project to project, and also from one client to another. There are no standards.

Fees’ determination and thereafter fees negotiations are very difficult aspect of professional practice, but (first) fees collection sometimes more worrisome matter.

Senior professionals have experience, and so can prejudge the value of their professional services. Fresh professionals and even seniors venturing into unknown fields cannot do so. They would rather compute the cost of input first, and then add a fixed or a percentage amount, as profit, or more simply find out what others are charging, and follow that up.

A notary at work (painting by German artist Max Volkhart).

To determine a right fee, a professional is expected to know the following:

(a) What is the Value of professional services to the client, and in the society,

(b) What is the cost of providing professional services (cost of input),

(c) Wills there be a surplus (profit) after deducting (b) from the (a).

A professional’s involvement in an assignment or a project depends on many factors: Personal attitude (sincere, commercial), Demands by the client, Nature of the assignment / Competition from others / Client’s readiness to bear the additional costs (of intense involvement), etc. Cost of involvement in the project is as per the agreement on the variety of design services offered and agreed upon, and the scale of the project. Any downward sizing of the project does not automatically reduce the involvement of the professional. Though, upward scaling of a project, increases the professional’s work.

Scale of a project varies during planning, designing and the execution phase. Even at fixed spread or volume, the costs inflate or deflate according to the economic conditions.

Professionals conduct two types of jobs. ONE, where the projects are materialistic consisting of materials, labour etc. and charged on the Cost basis. And TWO, where the projects are metaphysical made up of concepts, advises, ideas or abstract offerings like artwork or literary compositions. These may be delivered as formatted over some media. The cost of creating, delivering such a metaphysical entity is of course negligible, and the cost physical actualizing could also be very small. But the affectations of such offerings are great. A client may gain extraordinary advantage by such professional contribution.

Consultation Desk 1960

Materialistic projects are like Architecture, Interior Design, Software programming, etc. Metaphysical projects are like project consultancy, medical, legal, delivery of proto-types.




Post 474 by Gautam Shah


For creative writing it is important to communicate the concept and purpose of the expression. Stating it explicitly as an introduction, or recapitulating as the summary at the end, serve only a limited purpose. An introduction or the summary, are dulled by the elaborate body, with the passage of time and by other interesting details. Both remain muted if the print style, manners of speech or the media support do not reinforce it. In digital access systems the introduction or summary, are generated automatically, without the author being involved in its creation. The media presentation of this is without any typographical or graphical enrichments.

Jewish Torah scroll

The contents of writing are yet focussed in several ways. In this article the remaining SEVEN methods are discussed, THREE were presented in the earlier article.


4 – EMPHASIS BY CONDENSATION AND ELABORATION: The emphasis in presentations occurs by condensation and occasionally by elaboration of the subject matter. Primarily Condensation eliminates all unnecessary and less necessary contents, and thereby increase the clarity, reduce the expression size, delivery time, perception effort, etc. Condensation is also done by use of abbreviations and symbols that replace large units of contents. These include idioms, proverbs, metaphors, and signs. Condensation is often used to restrict the access to a specific class of audience, like magicians’ instructions.

Archived documents

Elaboration is achieved by augmenting the context of difficult to understand concepts, events, situations, or objects. It is also done by using the same word in different context, and using similar words (synonyms and antonyms from a thesaurus) to redefine the meaning. Multiple explanations help amplify content. Elaboration is also achieved by inclusion of anecdotes, couplets, quotations, footnotes, end notes, and other sensorial effects.

Emphasis is often created by intentional de-emphasis. Obvious details, concepts, ideas, conclusions are not put forward at the nominal time and space, but are placed at the end, or the audience is allowed to draw its own inferences.

The condensation and elaboration are employed to colour a document as a personal style statement.

Processed information often becomes so comprehensive that it becomes a very abstract expression. Abstracted expressions are exploited to achieve new insights.

Writing Declaration of Independence 1776.

5 – BRIDGING AND LINKING: The contents are bridged to create a seamless or a larger concept. The most common bridging is through time and space organization of the contents. The links to other documents (e.g. hyperlinks, bibliographies, index) are such reference bridges. Recorded contents are classified according to the nature of content, names of the author, date of publication, size and form of the document. Such classification identifiers also provide associations. A well bridged or cited content vouches its authenticity through circumstantial referencing.

Search engines list topics in terms of number of users referencing it. Wikipedia -the internet encyclopaedia relies on citations. Preface and such write-ups broach the subject by positioning it in a wider perspective.

Contents are also bridged using conjunctions. Words like and, if, or, when, then, whereas, therefore, etc. connect clauses or sentences. Bullets, numbered lists, also bridge sub topics.

archive store (History Centre) at Herbert

7 – SEPARATING AND ISOLATING: The contents are separated or isolated, by spacing and by tabulation (paragraphs, bullet marking, numbering, hyphenating, bracketing), to highlight or categorize the sub-topics. Separation in writing is achieved by commas, semicolons, brackets, or other interludes (gutter spaces in newspaper columns). In recordings a null space is provided for the machine to recognize the end of one section and the beginning of next one. By isolating the contents it becomes easier to link each such section distinctly.

Language encrypting machine

8 – ABSTRACTION: The contents are abstracted by removing all less important information, time slots and space gaps. The expression language in Internet chat rooms shows the nature of abstraction spreading across the world. Common words are written eliminating vowels and are denoted by their phonemes. Symbols and metaphors are also used to squeeze the contents. Vedic mantras represent knowledge in a very condensed form to easily remember it (‘Shrut Gyan’ -knowledge that is heard). However, such condensation is vulnerable to different interpretation of the contents.

9 – MARKING: Contents are marked to enhance (bold facing, underlining, Italics, large size type faces) their presence. The contents are delivered louder, faster or slower, brighter, repeatedly, and in metres (musical, couplets with rhymes) for the same effect.

Author Ernest Hemingway Writing at Campsite in Kenya

Author Ernest Hemingway Writing at Campsite in Kenya

10 – BY TITLING (NAMING): One of the best way of focussing (by declaration) the contents are to provide a title to it. A title as created by the author is more truthful but is not accepted by the reader or audience, as their intentions of accessing need not match the author’s perceptions. Storage systems create own titles to facilitate access by their users’ needs. Titles often have limitations of size. This is overcome by including long titles or list of keywords or summary or precis.

Presentations styles and techniques used for direct or inter personal communication like elocution, orations, sermons, lectures, cannot be used for, or are useless for reports, etc. Writhing as an assignment from superiors, teachers, retainers, employers have a defined motive, and structure. Method of presentation is essentially tailor-made to satisfy the assignee.


This article in continuation of earlier >>

Creative writing

( )

Creative Writing – 2

( ).



Post 473 –by Gautam Shah


Expression is the chief purpose of creative composition. Expression comes through when the writing is well structured. A structured composition expresses one theme. And since the theme relates to some happening, it must be scaled in time and space. Spoken word is an expression in time due to its sequenced output. Similarly a written composition is spatially set.

Surya (Sun) God on Chariot -illustrations in a Hindi book India

This natural temporal and spatial qualities are lost out when the expressions are recorded and randomly accessed. The random access is centered on a sub topic or sub-part, so as to may be a quick draw due to its immediate relevance to the drawee. Such instantaneous referencing may not reflect the central concept of the whole document.

Sage Valmiki composing epic Ramayana India

These types of random referencing can still be flavoured, through processes of creative writing. For writing the contents are focussed in several ways. In this article THREE such methods are discussed, other Four to SEVEN will be presented in the next article. 

This article in continuation of earlier >> Creative writing ( )

1 – TIME AND SPACE ORDERING: The contents are sequenced, with time as the operative element. The time is apparent in sequencing of events, time-related measurable changes, accelerations and deceleration and for cause-effect presentations. In speeches, the pause is an important time section for concepts to sink in, allow the audience to respond (clapping, thumping or noise to die down), or enhance the delivery of next expression. Audio-video presentations are synchronized to beats, or tempo-pitch of the delivery. Background noise and music are scaled to the nature of contents.

The contents are Space formatted, i.e. graded linearly or branched like a tree to establish an order of relationship among the topics. Such spatial ordering is used to highlight or amplify certain sections as well as to demarcate sections. Other spatial formations are based on some value judgement system. Data base management presentations use such value-based derivations. Spatial formations such as tables, matrices, etc. are used for data management in spreadsheets.

Parchment scroll 13th C

New topics are started on a fresh page or under a fresh heading. Spacing between paragraphs, serves the same purpose. The speaker takes a pause to initiate a new topic. Audio-video presentations have insertion of dummy frames of graphics or pictures to relieve the tedium. Categorization, tabulation, sorting, are common to present concepts in their logical relevance.

Jean Miélot (1472) author compiling the famous Miracles de Nostre Dame

The time manipulation hastens or delays the delivery to allow the audience (and mechanical means) to perceive, record and digest the contents. The space management spreads or squeezes the mass of contents, thereby its clarity.

The street side letter writer

2 – ORDER OF CONTENTS: An expression can begin as an inquiry in to seemingly an unordered arena and conclude a definitive proposition. Other way round, the expression can state a hypothesis or belief, and proceed to present the evidence in support or against it. The third method is hybrid, as it starts by analyzing a happening with all the cause-effect contexts.

Ming Dynasty China wood carving books

3 – SUPPORT FROM OTHER MEDIA: Emphasis by support from other media is exploited to not only enhance the contents but also the presentation style. In writing and print media some of the typographical tools used are: underlining, bold printing, fonts’ sizes, font styles (plain, italics, small caps, with serif, sans serif, etc.) Other graphical tools include insertion of graphs, charts, illustrations, etc. within the document matter. Multi media presentations have more than one media (like static pictures, movies, 3D effects, animations, sound clips, body vibratory systems, olfactory and taste fortification systems).

Oration – Recitation

In oration and recitations, some speakers boost the delivery with body gestures, repetition of words or sentences, pitch variation of voice, use of rhymes, rhythmic, metre oration, poetical recitation, etc. The information gets registered easily when supported by visuals such as tables, charts and graphs, picture slides, movie or video clips, animation. Learning frames or interludes are subtly included to lodge the contents easily into the minds.