This past weekend, there was a 2-day Mokume Gane workshop in the studio.
Mokume Gane is a traditional Japanese decorative technique, that uses compressed layers of contrasting metal (called a billet) to create varied and unique patterns. It is labour-intensive, but the results are well worth the effort.
The students, Lissa and Silvia, made billets of sterling silver and copper. The sheets of metal are soldered together, rolled down, cut in half, and then these halves are stacked and soldered together. This process is repeated until the desired number of layers has been achieved. The end result in this class was a 16-layer billet. Here are the lovely students hard at work:
There are a few different ways to produce patterns. In this class, Lissa and Silvia tried two variants: hammering and burring. In the first instance, the piece is hammered, which produces raised bumps on the opposite side. These are then filed down reveal the pattern within the piece. In the second instance, the piece is burred to reveal the pattern below, and then rolled level.
Some shots of the work in progress:
The samples, at the end of the weekend:
Silvia had some extra time, so she domed her piece (above left). Both of them had great Mokume success, good work ladies! Hope to see you again soon, for another workshop!