There are 4 types of natural cracks on surface of Somdej Wat Rakhang which are oftenly seen
1. Crazing Crack : This type of crack would occur and find in Phra Somdej Wat Rakang which were originally brushed or dipped with black lacquer to preserve their durability, thus this kind of crack would appear trace of lacquer penetrated in the crack crevice. Important points about crazing cracks are
• Due to high to low range temperature environment in a year round and not corresponding co-efficiency of expansion of black lacquer and lime.
• Reaction from inner while texture still had moisture and not dry due to water and oil inside, on the contrary, the outer skin layer had already dried and hard. Brushing black lacquer outside while moisture still contained inside, thus black lacquer would be penetrated into texture, moisture from water and oil inside mixed with moisture from black lacquer outside, air bubble inside was unable to emit out due to black lacquer covering. The reaction from inside and outside made the pressure in texture causing crack in flake all over surface at frontside by aging process
• Cracks on surface can be occured to any amulet of strong and inflexible texture. Crack on surface can be seen after black lacquer has been peeling off and seen black lacquer remained in the crack crevice. (Causing from moisture of black lacquer penetrated into front surface layer when brushing ealry before inner texture drying)
• After black lacquer peeling off, there was possibly no crack happen or appear only shallow linear crack even that amulet had been brushed by black lacquer, this is because it was fine texture and high oily mixture or brushing lacquer while texture was dried completely.
• Crack would occur on frontside only, backside would not occur in the same crack feature definitely due to naturally, placing amulet would turn face up (not turn down), so front surface was effected pressure from inside, while no pressure effect at backside, thus this type of crack would not occur at back side. If crack on surface of both side occurred in the same feature, assuming first that is the artificial hand made.
• Crazing crack can be divided into 2 patterns
- Rough Crazing crack : causing from high concentration of lime mixture which impact to highly natural shrinkage of texture from dryness, crack crevice is wide and deep which look comparatively like cracked ground of paddy field in hot season.
Black lacquer remained in the crack crevice and appear at front, not occur the same feature at back
Hard, stong and deep crack of paddle field ground
- Fine Crazing Crack : causing from lesser lime mixture which impact to less shinkage of texture, crack crevice is softer, narrower and shallower than rough crazing crack which look comparatively like soft crack on bulbul bird's egg
Fine crazing crack is soft, narrow and shallow which look comparatively like crack on bulbul egg
2. Celadon ware - like crack :
• It was the shallow crack lines which are thin, fine and smaller than crazing crack. Feature of crack is small geometric shapes consectively crack, scattered to whole surface in net and cracking from inside to outside like crack in celadon ware.
• Mostly cracks occurred at front surface and sometimes occurred at back but crack line at backside is shallower than frontside.
• This type of crack had not occurred from brushing black lacquer so, no trace of black lacquer penetrated into crack crevice. Causing from reaction of shell lime due to amulet mixture substance disproportionately between shell lime and oil. Dryness and hardening of inner and outer texture were not corresponding co-efficiency, then crack occurred afterwards by aging process. Celedon ware - like crack would occur in strong and rough texture only.
Shallow net crack in Phra Somdej which look comparatively like celadon ware
3. Fuzzy Crack : Causing from small or big grain of mixture compounds were sunk into amulet texture. Surface tension and natural shinkage of texture occurred by aging process afterwards. This made fuzzy crack around area of materials grain sunk which look similarly like celery root.
Fuzzy crack which look comparatively like celery root
4. Linear Shallow Crack : causing from dryness and shrinkage of the amulet mixture substance (mostly shell lime) quite a long time gradual dryness resulted cracks with specific linear pattern. The artificial cracks may be made by baking with spotlight, but the cracks are deeper and carry sharp edges