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Back in July 2001, I wrote an article for AJM Magazine on the
keum-boo process. I spoke with Komelia Hongja Okim, Charles
Lewton-Brain, and designer Jayne Redman. If anyone would like a copy
of the article, please e-mail me off list with your mailing address.

John Shanahan
Staff Writer/Webmaster
AJM Magazine/MJSA
800-444-6572, ext. 3037

Hello all. Here is an overview of the process. I use fine silver and
24K as my overlay materials on sterling silver or 18K jewelry and

	Overlay preparation:
  • Roll out 24K or fine silver to .03mm or thinner.

  • Cut shapes with exacto knife, paper punches, scissors, disc
    cutters, arch punches, etc…

  • Sandwich 24K gold or fine silver in-between sheets of vellum or
    tracing paper as support.

  • Zerox or print designs onto vellum or tracing paper for

Surface preparation of sterling or 18K item to receive overlay: -
Heat to annealing temperature, quench in water then pickle. - Repeat
process 2 to 3 more times for sterling, 4 to 5 for 18K.

	Overlay Application:
  • If the pieces to be keum-booed are flat, place them on a sheet of
    metal (copper, brass, steel). The items in my production line start
    out flat so I lay out several pieces at once on the metal sheet,
    then place the sheet on the coils of the hot plate. If the pieces to
    be keum-booed are dimensional, find or make something that will
    conduct heat to as much of the surface as possible.

  • Brush water or a thin solution of gum tragacanth over the surface
    of the sterling or 18K item. Water acts as a lubricant, gum trag as
    a glue for dimensional items.

  • Small pieces of gold or silver can be picked up with a paintbrush
    dipped in either solution.

  • Make sure everything is dry before heating.

  • Turn your hot plate on High. After the overlay is tacked in place
    you may turn it down to Medium to finish burnishing. This is a
    general guideline. Use whatever setting you need to get the metals
    hot enough to bond). Heat with a torch if necessary.

  • Wear gloves heavy enough to protect your hands from the heat and
    have tweezers on hand to hold pieces down.

  • You will need to cool off your burnisher in cold water or 24K will
    stick to the burnisher.

  • Tack the overlay first by pressing hard, not rubbing, in one

  • It is very important to work from the center out to the edges.
    Trapped air will form bubbles. They can be pricked with a pin and
    then re-burnished, or flattened when cooled. Feel free to e-mail me
    with questions or better yet come to Maine and take my workshop at
    Workshops at Wolf Designs, October 17-18. The leaves will be

Jayne Redman