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craft&design Selected

  Selected Makers

Craig Stuart

Broughton-Stuart Jewellery
I design and make unique pieces of fine jewellery using my contemporary adaptation of the ancient Japanese metalworking technique, mokume gane.  The name Mokume Gane literally translates as 'woodgrain metal' and is a process which involves producing a billet from alternate layers of contrasting metals and working them to reveal swirling patterns akin to the grain of a piece of wood.

I make mokume gane by hand from precious metals in the tradition of swordmaking. I cut sheets of contrasting metals and alternately stack them.  I then bond the metals, without the use of solder, by fusing them together using heat and hand forging. This process is done with an open forge and requires the metals to be held at a precise temperature that can only be judged by eye and then hammered at exactly the right moment to create the bond.  Each metal combination I create presents its own unique set of challenges.  Once the bond is secure I then pattern the billet by using various techniques; twisting, filing and engraving then re-forge it to create, develop and reveal the patterns in the metal. The patterns I create are not random, they are controlled throughout the whole process with every tool mark or hammer blow affecting the final piece. I start with an end result in mind and push the metals to achieve the look I require. The results are intricate, capturing moments of movement or growth.  The pieces are designed to be examined; the closer one looks at the surface the more there is to see.

craft&design Selected Silver Award Winner 2012
 
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