James Binnion

Final Link

Medium/Materials:  Sterling Silver, copper, steel, forged and carved mokume gane

Dimensions:  2 x .6 x .17 inches

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Artist Statement: 

After extensive research on this ancient technique, I developed my own modern method for making mokume gane using currently available equipment and materials. I pioneered the use of the electric kiln for the lamination of mokume. This lamination process involves clamping layers of selected metals between steel blocks and heating the resulting stack in a kiln. With carefully controlled conditions the combination of heat, pressure, and protective atmosphere allow the layers to fuse but not melt. This is called solid-state diffusion bonding. The resulting fused stack of metal, called a billet, is then hot and cold forged then rolled to reduce its thickness. The mokume gane wood grain like patterns are created by carving down through the layers in the laminated stack and then forging the carved laminate to flatten it out or leaving it in relief in the Guri Bori style. The process of carving, forging, rolling is repeated many times to create the finished pattern. The patterns formed in this manner are almost like a topographic map, showing the depth of the carving into the original laminate.