Japanese ingot casting technique

In my student days (30years ago) I learned a Japanese method for
producing very clean lentil shaped silver ingots. The equipment
comprises a cloth ‘hammock’ (more like a slightly sagging
trampoline) suspended about two inches below the surface of tepid
water. Pouring the molten silver into the hammock, the silver is
enveloped by a steam bubble that insulates and keeps the water at
bay, the molten silver does not seem to touch the cloth, and the
ingot cools slowly until it quenches. I have used this method for
melts ranging from 20 to 100grams. Does anybody know the name of
this technique? I would love to know more about it because it is so
simple and effective.


The Satsuo Ando technique. The water, I believe, is to be steaming
hot, and the cotton may be denim or a baby nappy (US: diaper).


B r i a n A d a m

I do not think there is a name for it but there is a description and
pictures showing how it is done on page 33 in the MOKUME GANE book
by Steve Midgett.


Hi Alastair;

I’ve seen this, but I don’t know the name. What we did with it was a
little different. We used rape seed oil instead of water, and I
believe the cloth used was linen, which has a high burn temperature.
We were melting copper and silver simultaneously in separate
crucibles. The molten silver was poured over the copper and before it
had time to mix, it was poured into the oil. The result was a silver
clad copper lentil, obviously used by flattening and engraving
through the silver down into the copper, then flattening again.

David L. Huffman

I don’t know if it has a specific, English name, but if any of you
want to learn more about this technique, it is detailed in both of
the most recent books on Mokume:

Mokume Gane: A Comprehensive Study, by Steve Midgett

Mokume Gane, by Ian Ferguson

Mitch Adams

Thank you Brian for the name of the process, David for a fascinating
avenue to explore, and Lloyd and Mitch for references.

A google for Satsuo Ando found a reference to my teacher in
Adelaide, Wonho Chong, who was once a student of Satsuo Ando; along
with a look into the beautiful work by Steve Midgett. I spent the
afternoon reading and reminiscing, ordering a book, and looking at a
change in creative direction.

Regards, Alastair