Favorite Project of the Week: Mokumé Gané Snake Pendant

Jeweler Roger Halas shared his stunning Snake Pendant project in the July 2011 issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine. His pendant design is as awesome today as it was back then. It uses a technique called mokumé gané, which beautifully combines different metals into a single piece.

“Once mankind harnessed fire, the ability to work metal was the next logical step. Even with a limited knowledge of chemistry, early cultures took advantage of metals and used them to fabricate all kinds of things: tools, weapons, even currency. Pure metals were smelted to form new materials with processes that have outlived the civilizations that invented them.

One of these processes is mokumé gané, a laminating technique that dates back to the days of the Samurai. This is not only an exercise in jewelry design, but also an ode to the brave and battle-hardened warriors whose deadly blades clashed in the misted forests of Japan. In a series of precise steps, we focus on the principles of forging, patterning, annealing, and using a rolling mill to fabricate a metal laminate into a powerful symbol that honors the memory of its homeland.”

-Roger Halas


MATERIALS

  • Mokumé bar stock
  • Two small diamonds
  • Super glue
  • Radio Shack PCB etchant solution

TOOLS

  • SOLDERING: Soldering setup
  • EQUIPMENT: Rolling mill, anvil, vise
  • HAND: Metal forging hammer, plastic hammer, small round mandrel, mini file set, round nose pliers, jeweler’s saw
  • FINISHING: Flex shaft, 2mm round cutting bur, set of stone setting burs; 3M radial bristle brushes, blue and peach; abrasive pins, fine sanding cloths, rubber gloves, scrap leather

-Kerry Bogert
Editorial Director, Books


Dig deeper into mokumé gané!