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Kum-Boo Workshop


#1

Hello - Just thought to let the group know that Hawaii Craftsmen is bringing Komelia Okim for a 3 day workshop on Kum-Boo - in Honolulu on March 26, 27 and 28 for theirAha Hana Lima spring
workshop series. If you are interested in participating - please
feel free to contact me directly for the details
(@ocean).

Were the questions on gold leaf answered? I will be happy to
check with Ms. Okim for her recommendation of sources. Am looking
forward to a new experience. Aloha Cynthia


#2

Good Morning - I’ll be taking the Kum-Boo workshop with Komelia
Okim this coming weekend (March 26, 27 &28th) and will ask about
her recommendations for sources of gold leaf. Were there any
other questions you would like me to ask? If something comes to
mind on short notice - please feel free to email me directly ( to
avoid the time lag through Orchid) and if the info is of
interest to the Orchid group - I will pass it on. Am looking
forward to exploring a new technique. Aloha Cynthia @ocean


#3

Cynthis, Yes! I have a question. Can kum-boo be done on shakudo
and if so how is the metal prepared to receive the gold? There
were some posts several weeks ago saying other metals could be
used beside silver for kum-boo and I would love to learn more!
Lisa Pilchard


#4

I just finished a kumboo workshop with John Cogswell in Mesa
Arizona where we made our own 24karat gold leaf. Begin with a
one inch square piece of 30g 24 karat yellow gold sheet. (about
37$ from Hauser & Miller in St. Louis MO). Roll it out in the
rolling mill until the rollers cannot be adjust closer.
(There’s no need to anneal). Once the rollers cannot be adjusted
further, roll the strip 5 or 6 more times. From a one inch
piece of 30g 24kt piece of sheet you should get about 8 to10
inches of material for Kumboo. The gold will be thin enough when
the strip crackles when flexed. Remember to anneal your strip
before doing the Kumboo fusion! If you want even thinner Kumboo
gold, continue to roll the gold strip 8 to 10 times once the
rollers meet! The workshop with John was great!!! and the
Kumboo technique quite easy


#5

Does “30g” = 30 grams, 30 grains, 30 gauge? I think you mean 30
gauge, but just thought that I would check.

Cheers

Virginia Lyons
Metalsmith


#6

Dear Julie, John is one of my favorite person and a wonderful
teacher. If he told any jokes, and I know he must have, since he
always does, some of those are from me. We exchange jokes on a
regular basis. That, however is not the reason for this note.
Since you enjoy the technic so much, I’d like to suggest an
addition to the basic application of 24k gold. I expanded the
palette of colors, by alloying an 18K gold of 75% Au and 25% Ag, a
12K gold of 50% Au and 50% Ag. These give a pale yellow- green
and a white color respectively to the appliques and they bond
very well to the base of silver. I’ve also tried a palladium-gold
alloy for a grey color. What you’re getting when you roll your
gold out is foil, not leaf. Gold leaf is entirely too thin for
this technic. I only mention this, so others will not buy the
booklet of 23K leaf that is available, only to find problems of
bonding to the base. For what it’s worth

J.Z. Dule


#7
   I just finished a kumboo workshop with John Cogswell in
Mesa Arizona 

I went to the workshop as well. Hi Julie! Good to hear from
you.

   Remember to anneal your strip before doing the Kumboo
fusion! 

John recommended against annealing by torch. To anneal, we
heated a steel plate on top of an electric burner then placed the
foil on the hot slab til the gold “relaxed”.

   The workshop with John was great!!!! and the Kumboo
technique quite easy 

She speaks true! What a jam-packed 3 days and it just flew by.

Pam Chott


#8

Hi, Julie. I was so interested to hear how kumboo is taught by
Cogswell. It appears that it can be done more quickly than I was
taught and have done for quite a few years. My system most
closely resembles that of Komelia Okim in the Metals Technic book
edited by Tim McCreight. To prevent the gold from adhering to
the rollers, we place the gold between sheets of oxidized copper
and anneal the gold and the copper after 2 or 3 passes in the
mill until the gold is about .03 to .05mm. I prefer to anneal
the gold in a kiln. I’ve always said there must be an easier way
to do this. Of course, I say that about a lot of procedures.
Thanks for the news. Frances Visit me or “beam me up” at:
http://www.toast.net/~frangro/index.html


#9

Hi Lisa - Good question - I will ask about her about preparing
other metals and shakudo. We will be only using the 24k foil on
sterling silver - as far as I know. That is what we were asked
to bring to the workshop. Cynthia


#10

Hi Julie - Thank you for your great description of rolling out
the gold foil. For the jewelers who may not be familiar with
Kum-boo - there is a section by Komelia Okim in the book “Metals
Technic”. This book is a wonderful collection of techniques -
nicely written and very carefully illustrated - by a selection of
contemporary jewelers today - including Charles Lewton-Brain’s
Fold Forming (another winner!). Anti-clastic raising is on my list
of techniques to explore. Will write a post after the workshop
this weekend. I have a piece of 24k gold - purchased for plating

  • but maybe will bring it along and hopefully we all (in the
    workshop) could benefit from rolling it out. Hope there is a
    rolling mill where the workshop is being held. More later . . .
    Cynthia

#11

We just moved to Arizona from Northern California where I had a
marvelous outlet for different types of metalsmithing classes.
Who or where do I go for on classes and seminars here
in Arizona?


#12

Dear Frances,

Thanks for the info on how Komelia makes her foil. John
Cogswell mentioned that he does prefer his foil a little thicker
than Komelia’s. I guess it’s a matter of choice.
Each has it’s own look so to speak.


#13

Cynthia, you can purchase gold foil from Enamelworks Supply Co.
1023 N. E. 68th, Seattle, WA 98115 1-800 596-3257. The owners
name is Coral. The foil is about $16.00 a sheet and comes in
about 2 days. Coral is wonderful for anyone who is into
Enameling. She has not only published an enameling book but is
more than willing to answer any questions about enameling. Also,
when you get into anti-clastic I have a great source for
sinusoidial
stakes.


#14

Dear JZ:

Thanks for the info regarding additional alloys for the Kumbo
technique. I had some difficulty figuring out how to compose the
alloys… could you be a little more detailed and specific on how
to make them?! I’d love to try them all, expecially the palladium! Thanks


#15

Actually leaf can be used in Kum Boo and them rolled on a
rolling mill for texture. To use the leaf, watch the heat
intently and burnish quickly as the gold begans to adhere to the
silver. I used an old copper bottom skillet on an electric stove
for my Kum Boo. Try it! you might just have a use for your gold leaf.


#16

Hi Frances,

I too was at John’s workshop… He taught us to anneal the gold
by placing it in a DIRTY piece of copper on top of a heating
element… and turn it on high and you will see the gold go
limp… Don’t let the gold touch the element and make sure the
copper is dirty sot he gold doesn’t kum-boo to the copper.

Joan


#17

Actually leaf can be used in Kum Boo and them rolled on a
rolling mill for texture. To use the leaf, watch the heat
intently and burnish quickly as the gold begans to adhere to the
silver. I used an old copper bottom skillet on an electric stove
for my Kum Boo. Try it! you might just have a use for your gold leaf

The trouble with leaf isn’t only that being so thin it’s harder
to work with. The real problem is that it is so thin that it will
fade in color in a fairly short time (like a year or two,
perhaps) Silver and gold diffuse into each other a bit, even at
room temperature. so over time, silver can migrate through the
gold leaf, and the color you see at the surface of the leaf gets
paler and paler with time, as more and more silver makes it to
the outer surface, and gold gets diffused into the silver base.
I once did some pieces using Kum Boo made with ordinary thickness
gold foil, then roll printed to both press the already adheared
gold flush with the silver as well as bringing in a texture at
the same time. Then the thing got further assembled with easy
solder. Not much, but some heating. And then it got oxidized
with liver of sulphur. The key point here is that with just this
additional bit of heat from soldering the piece, sufficient
copper or more likely, silver, from the base sheet was able to
migrate through the gold enough so the liver of sulpher was able
to give the gold a wonderful series of oxidation colors. Pure
gold, of course, would not have done that at all. A quite
graphic demonstration of how much diffusion can take place even
with a foild, instead of leaf…

Peter Rowe


#18

Dear Dr. Dule,

Sounds as if you do a lot of kum-boo foil making. Would you
please share your techniques for rolling the metal to the proper
gauge? Do you use an electric mill? Do you roll the gold between
sheets of something else? Etc…?

Having a variety of colors to work with sounds interesting. Is
there a Webb site to view your work?

Thanks in advance for the info and help

Carol Holaday in Monterey


#19
    I too was at John's workshop... He taught us to anneal the
gold by placing it in a DIRTY piece of copper on top of a
heating element... and turn it on high and you will  see the
gold go limp 

Joan, by “'DIRTY” copper do you mean oxidized copper? Or are we
talking actual dirt here?

Reading all this info being shared by students who took John’s
workshop, or read Komelia’s article, I am wishing we could hear
directly from these experts. Some of the instructions being
passed along are less than clear and bring up more questions.

Seems it is possible to make our own foil for Kum-boo, even
without a power roller, and I would like to try it. Just don’t
want to adhere the expensive gold to the copper or the rollers.

Thanks for all the hints.

Carol


#20

Dear Julie

Since I am alloying small quantities for this technic, I use a

very simple set-up. I hollow out a shallow rectangle in a
charcoal block,and place my gold in this “well”. For example if I
want an 18K gold for this purpose,I would place 3dwts of of 24K
gold in the well, and 1dwt of fine silver ready to be added when
the gold starts to melt. To insure as best I can that I have a
uniform mixture, I stir the molten metals with a carbon or
graphite rod. I then cover the still molten alloy with another
piece of charcoal, press down lightly to flatten the ingot
slightly. Let it cool, and then proceed to roll the ingot in a
mill to the desired thickness. The other alloys are done in more
or less the same manner,measuring out the proportions of each
metal.

I usually melt the palladium first and add the gold in that

case, since the palladium melts at a slightly higher temp.

Hope this helps JZ