I’m teaching myself Mokume Gane for my traditional processes class
at my college, I’m in the third year of a jewellery and object design
course. I’ve successfully laminated 12 layer copper/brass billets,
which i did in an electric kiln at 880 degrees C (1616 degrees F) for
10 hours. I used bolted mild steel torque plates, in a tool wrap
envelope filled with aquarium charcoal. I flattened them by hand
forging, we don’t have a drop hammer. I’m about to fire my first
billet containing silver, and am in a bit of a quandry about the
temperature to select. Being a poor student, I can’t really afford
for the billet to fail.
It will be 18 layers, copper, 15% shibuichi, and fine silver. Does
anyone have experience with this combination? Would people recommend
sterling over fine silver?
Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated.
1350F - 1400F do not exceed 1435F or it will melt! If you are very
certain of your kiln temperature you can go for the higher end but
if not best to stay at the lower end of the range.
James Binnion Metal Arts
Our resident expert should be able to give you some advice.
I’m only starting on Mokume also, I have done ferris metals, I
finally got my bronze sheets happenning the way I wanted them to, so
the plan is to make some silver sheets (or buy some).
I use a forge, have some stainless steel that I’m going to use as
the torque plates, and I’m just going to wire mine. And it shouldn’t
take 10 hours, but I’ll share my findings.
I’ve got some fine silver, fine gold, and fine copper ready to make
into shibuichi, and shakudo.
Sterling over fine silver (?), well sterling has a lower melt point,
that seems to lower the heat required to bond the sheets.
Regards Charles A.