Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Damascene gold overlay

Can anyone tell me the process for damascene gold overlay. the type
that was done on 18th century high art firearms in france and
europe.It was some type of thin gold overlay.
thanks to all Jerry huddleston.

 Can anyone tell me the process for damascene gold overlay.  

Jerry, they still do damascene workmostly jewelry and plates, in
Toledo, Spain and when I lived in Spain I used to watch the work in
workshops. They used a steel base and annealed it, which made it
black, then they took tiny gravers and incised the designs into the
steel using a pitch bowl. Once the design was the proper depth (and
it’s not very deep) the piece had high karat gold hammered into the
design depressions. If you want to see some, e-mail me off list and I
will send you scan.

Hello Jerry; As far as I know, the “damascene” overlay you refer to
is not overlay but actually inlay. Refer to Oppi Untracht’s book,
Metal Techniques for Craftsmen, pages 134-158 for a few techniques of
this sort. I’m afraid it’s not a simple trick, but rather a method
requiring patience, practice and perseverance. I’ve done a few
pieces in this manner and it’s quite satisfying, in my opinion, when
one succeeds.

David L. Huffman

Very pleased to see Damascene come up on the list here, as I’m about
to start work on an article about the craft for the March AJM. Would
anyone here have the name(s) of artists who do a lot of Damascene
work or who might be considered an expert? I’m particularly
interested in the Asian version of the art (forgive me if I get this
wrong), poe-maak-san-gum.

All help is appreciated!

John Shanahan

John, Bruce Clark in Tucson Az. does incredible Damascening. I’ve
seen him teach the technique as well. He’s great. He teaches at
Pima Community College in Tucson.

Andy Cooperman

John, I met an artist at the Charlotte ACC show who had some of the
most beautiful contemporary damascene work I’ve seen in a long time.
He was in my same row several booths down from me. His name is
Namu Cho and his studio is in Bethesda, MD. I believe you can get
ahold of him at this number 301-767-3388. Good luck and tell him I
said hello.

Larry Seiger

I took a Kum Boo Workshop with Komelia Okim a couple of years ago
and it also included damacene inlay. She would certainly qualify
as an asian expert in the technique. She teaches in Maryland. If
you need contact info let me know and I’ll dig around for it.


I have an old aquantance, a blacksmith and master metalsmith in
general who has done workshops on the technique. You’d love the
marvelous chasing hammers he makes, hand forged, inlayed and
chamfered with exquisite detail. Here’s his name and number. If he
is no longer at that address, ask to speak to Jim Wallace, he can
probably provide a current address.

fax 774-6382
proprietor: James D. W. Cooper
National Ornamental Metal Museum Inc.
Metal Conservation and Restoration Services
374 West California Avenue
Memphis, TN 38106-1539

is name is Namu Cho and his studio is in Bethesda, MD.

Ditto! I hadn’t yet gone out to the studio to pull his postcard and
respond to this thread. Truly impressive work… won an award at the
Charlotte ACC show! I thought it was ironic that someone inquired
about this somewhat obscure art form so soon after I had seen such
fine examples first-hand. I could be wrong, but I doubt there are and
contemporary artists doing a better job.

All the best,


Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)