Follow-up on Mokume-Gane with Copper and Silver

First – this is the last call for entries: my book Patterns of Color in Metal Clay: Canes, Gradients, Mokume-Gane, goes to the printer in about three weeks. If you have pieces that you would like to include, please hurry.

While mokume-gane literally means “wood grain metal,” when we say “mokume-gane design” we mean a much wider range of designs. Some of them I’ve shown in my blog posting Sterling Silver Clay, Copper Clay, and Mokume-Gane, and many of them will be introduced in my upcoming book. In the pieces shown in the next two photos, I’ve tried a design that looks like natural wood grain.

Both sintered at first firing, with no need to repeat the second phase. A project of mine about making wood grain design in copper, bronze, and Pearl Grey Steel is about to be published in one of the next issues of Jewelry Artist (Lapidary Journal).

Then I tried gradient surface, stripes, and mixed copper and silver.

The bird is made from pure copper clay. After the first firing it fell off and I had to re-attach it with paste. The paste was a mix of copper and silver, and so is the backing layer. The sun is made from a mix of equal amounts of copper and silver.

I was not so happy with the gradient part (the sky), so I made another attempt.

Both the sun and the bird came out very well attached to the background, but the copper part in them required repeating the second phase of firing. The gradient area sintered the first time.

These pieces bring to mind old sepia photos. It’s good to know that this option exists. Maybe when the price of silver becomes reasonable again we can practice it more widely. In the meantime, I am sticking to base metal clays, which are reasonably priced and allow a wider, richer range of color combinations.


8 Responses to “Follow-up on Mokume-Gane with Copper and Silver”

  • Laura Hoyman Says:

    Thank you for all this info! I look forward to reading your book.
    In the last picture, the ‘sunset over water’, which clays did you use? I want to try bronze, copper and silver clay. Do you think these three will sinter?

  • Hadar Jacobson Says:

    Laura, I used just silver and copper. You can do it with copper, bronze, and White Bronze, but don’t fire bronze in combination with silver.

  • Virignia Says:

    “I CAN’T WAIT”!!!!!
    I am so pumped! I just posted a question for you Hadar, on your canning technique on the round Mokume-Gane(patina clip pieces). I wish I would have read this a while back, I have finally perfected my wood grain bronze/copper pieces. I would have loved to send some pics.
    Anyway, I am on the edge of my seat waiting for your new book. Any idea on approx. time frame?
    Thanks for a peak inside of your wonderfully creative mind!!
    Virginia
    South Louisiana

  • Hadar Says:

    Virginia,

    The book will be out this summer.

  • Marie weinstein Says:

    Hi hadar! I was in your class this past weekend and I was wondering how you keep your pieces from oxidizing? Did I do something wrong with the mixture perhaps because the pieces just won’t stay polished?
    Thanks!
    Marie

  • Hadar Jacobson Says:

    Marie, Copper tends to tarnish quickly. Sealers help only for a limited time. You just need to keep polishing it. Baldwin’s Patina keeps it shiny for a long time.

  • Melody Pierson Says:

    Dear Hadar,

    Did you blog anywhere regarding how to make gradient clay?
    I can’t seem to find those instructions.

    Thanks…

  • Hadar Jacobson Says:

    Melody,

    You can find it through the search engine on the blog. However, this has evolved, so you may want to wait for the book (3 weeks or so).

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