Mokume Gane literally translates as 'woodgrain metal' and is the development of a technique originally used by Japanese swordmakers. The ancient swordmakers combined different grades of steel in a multilayer laminate to create flexible and strong sword blades. The surfaces of the finished blades featured beautiful swirling patterns caused by the different alloys used. Throughout the centuries, as the swords became more decorative, the technique was translated into other metals and was used to decorate the sword hilts (tsubas).

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In our workshop, Craig Stuart uses the principle behind this ancient technique to create exquisite laminates from fusion bonded 32 layer blocks of contrasting precious metals. He creates these billets by alternately stacking the contrasting metals and subjecting them to ferocious heat and pressure thereby bonding the metals together so they act as one. The billet is then formed and hand forged and uniquely textured creating subtle waves, flows and eddies in the combined metals.

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Craig Stuart

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