Working with gold leaf forces you to work slowly, methodically and meditatively; even to the point of watching your breath. Hence talking is not a good thing. So you are also forced to be silent. Towers fall or crumple when you do anything out of rhythm, like the single movement of your arm causing a miniscule draft. No surprise this: as ever, every unthinking gesture and habitual movement that one makes and which one is mostly unaware of, are brought out and emboldened in all their stumbling, crude folly, when writing icons.