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Mokume-Gane, an ancient metalsmithing technique brought to present day

Mokume which translated means “wood grained”, and gane which translated means “metals” is a metalsmithing technique created around 300 years ago in Japan. First used as adornment for the swords of the Samurai, this unique art has found its way back into modern jewelry.

A billet of layered metals

A billet of layered metals

 

Mokume-gane uses the colors in different metals to create a pattern. The metals are layered then using pressure they are bonded together by the precise temperature that will allow the layers to merge without melting. This stack of layers becomes one which is known as a billet.  The billet is then carved, hammered and rolled out in order to create the pattern that the artist wants to create.

mokume-gane and palladium earrings by Philip Voetsch

mokume-gane and palladium earrings by Philip Voetsch

 

The Mokume-gane sheet that we use to create our jewelry uses sterling silver and copper to create its pattern. There are 21 layers of metal in one top piece of our Window Earrings that is .02″ thick. Each layer has been worked by carving, and compression by rolling to make this fine sheet. The pattern in Mokume-gane is incredibly durable because of the process used to create it.

It has become another palette to create with, and has inspired a collection of money clips with two versions; a surfer stripe and a classic wood grain.   A meaningful gift made of metals that have a permanent bond.

surfer stripe money clip

surfer stripe money clip