Materials experiments-mokume gane

I am starting to experiment in earnest with mokume gane. I have a press:-




The metal needs to be cut, pickled and cleaned to remove all oxides, it is then kept in water until needed.

mokumevice1The pieces are dried and stacked in the press. I used flux between layers. The press in then pressed in the vice and the nuts tightened to bring the metal surfaces as close as possible.



Then the whole thing is heated slowly until red hot and the metal with the lower melt point starts to flow, then keep it there to hope that all parts flow.




When the press is cooled the fused piece is taken out, reheated and hammered to thin out the metal sheet and return some structure to the metal.

mokumehammered2Initially I rolled this piece, which was too stressful for the brass (I think) and it split along the brass layers, but this is how to learn.


week 8



I decided to re etch the mokume gane disc as I was unhappy with the finish. This time I etched it deeper and revealed more of the silver solder which I then patinated. It has a better texture and is a jolly bright blue.


I took the pressed mussel shell shape and started repousse with it:-


I liked the pitch bowl that you fix it in as well:-

reposse pitch

The large berry vessel is drying well and no longer has flies:-Image

The small vessel selection are on display for the college open day.

This week we tried cuttle fish casting, which smells terrible, but is good fun. I did some keys and an acorn

Week 5

My berry vessels are shrivelling nicely. Such a contrast to D. Huycke’s vessels – they’re outwith my control, temporary, and organic:-

dryberries copy dryberriesorange copy

I used scrap silver to make another ring vessel, which reticulated rather nicely, although some of the ring solders popped, which was not intended.


I patinated the large ring vessel, partly after speaking to Alistair McCallum who uses ammonia to bring out the silver in his mokume gane pieces, I wanted to see how it picked out the silver solder in my piece.


I drilled and made pins for some shells. I found one riddled with worm holes and thought the repetition of simple pattern was something that D.Huycke uses and it’s appealing.

shell1 shells

I photo-etched a piece of mokume gane as an experimentation with technique. The process of making mokume gane involves either soldering, which is what Alister McCallum does, or hot forging which is what Craig Stuart does. He’s invited me to his workshop, I must work out when I can go. I thought the technical challenge of making mokume would be something D.Huycke would approve of. And I really like how the acid has eaten away the copper to show the gilding metal beneath.

etching etchclean

Finally I liked the stalks I had left over from getting the berries, so I tried some fusing of copper wire to produce simple stalk forms that can be repeated and will try and make a vessel from the stalks.

fusing2fusing copy

Week 31

I read up some more on mokume gane and made a new billet, which is ready to roll some more. I spent some time at the MakLab working through the Rhino tutorial. Visited Dot Sim at her Fife open studio. Visited Marion Kane at her West Kilbride workshop and heard more about her Silver of the Stars piece, also explored ideas around advent.

mokume gane billet, copper and gild metal

mokume gane billet, copper and yellow metal

Heard Hiroshi Suzuki speak about his career, I would have liked more info on his working methods.

mokume gane billet

mokume gane billet