Mokume Gane (pronounced Moe-koo-may Gah-nay) is an ancient Japanese metalworking technique, developed in late 1600 Japan by master swordsmiths. The name translates as "woodgrain metal," referring to one of the most popular patterns created to adorn samurai swords. In the Mokume Gane process, layers of contrasting coloured metals are fusion welded, using very high heat and pressure, into one solid block or billet of metal. The billet is then further manipulated by forging, twisting, and carving to expose multiple layers, in order to develop more and more complex patterns. Traditionally, Mokume Gane utilized copper, silver, and gold alloys.
At Mom's Own Milk, we have perfected this centuries old technique that takes a number of days to complete. We use copper and fine silver and typically our creations consist of at least 16 or more different layers of metal.
Copper naturally changes colour when exposed to air and moisture. This natural process is called oxidation.
Copper based Mokume Gane jewellery can be patinated (tarnish produced after oxidation) to a rich chocolate brown colour or left its gorgeous rose gold colour. Over time it will naturally oxidise turning darker and showing the rich colour contrasts.
Upon request we can add a layer of fine silver to pendants and rings that will be most in contact with your skin. Oxidation is what turns your skin green or blue. You could also wipe your jewellery with a clean soft cloth before putting it on or after taking it off. This helps remove the sweat and oils from your skin which causes oxidation. Keeping your copper jewellery clean will prevent it from turning your skin colours.
Mokume Gane jewellery is available in rings, charms and pendants. The jewellery can be made with our without your inclusions.