Mokume gane is a traditional Japanese metal forging art that originated in feudal Japan in the 17th century. Mokume gane translates closely to “wood-grain metal” or “eye of the wood-grain metal” due to the organic patterns that can be achieved. Originally used to decorate samurai swords, mokume gane has experienced a resurgence in the production of fine jewelry.

The top image shows silver and copper mokume gane, the bottom image shows woodgrain.

The top image shows silver and copper mokume gane, the bottom image shows woodgrain.

Mokume gane is made by fusing a stack of different precious and/or semi-precious metals into a single piece called a billet. The stack of metals is bonded together at very high temperatures where a eutectic alloy forms between the layers that essentially fuses the stack into a single piece. The beauty is that each of the metals in the stack retains its own colors and properties, but the stack can be worked as if it were a single metal.

Wilson is drawn to the multi-tiered process of fusing precious metals through the application of heat and pressure. In order to create the beautiful designs in mokume gane jewelry, each billet, or stack of fused metal, must be patterned by twisting, grinding, and forging. This process seems to yield an infinite variety of organic shapes and patterns.

Wilson creates mokume gane in-house and uses it to create heirloom quality fine jewelry. Mokume gane can be made with 14k and 18k yellow gold, rose gold, green gold, and white gold as well as silver and copper.