Mokume Gane Greatness with Krikawa

Many moons ago (a.k.a 4 years ago) I was engaged. Prior to the long awaited engagement, we had dated for over six years. In that amount of time, many a conversation was had about getting married and what-not. Typical of most long-term relationships. And so there came a time in that relationship when I started to look at rings.

I was in a lovely jewelry shop in Lafayette when I came across mokume gane for the first time. For those of you who just want the quick and dirty explanation of mokume, here goes…mokume gane, which translates to “wood-grain metal”, is the end result of layering several metals and then folding them and blending them to create something new and totally unique. This method was used in ancient Japan to create Samurai swords.

I’ve said time and again that I like things that are out of the norm, and mokume gane is the pinnacle of that, in my opinion.  Yes, people can make the same style of mokume over and over buy using the same metals (things like platinum, palladium, yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, silver, etc.) and the same method of folding, but by the very nature of the process, no two outcomes can be the same. And frankly, I’ve never seen someone wearing mokume gane, which is a shame, because it’s breathtaking in person.

So, yes, my engagement ring was made of mokume gane and I loved, loved, loved it. But the marriage was not meant to be and he asked for the ring back. Not that I would have continued to wear it, mind you, but still. Is asking for the ring back tacky? I’m not sure what the social norm around this is. Anyone? Bueller? Someday I will have another mokume ring to cherish and this time it will be a gift I give myself and one I’ll never have to give back! Muah ha ha! Oh, sorry.

Below are some pictures from my favorite mokume gane designer, Lisa Krikawa. Trust me, I did HOURS of research into the best mokume jewelers and her pieces blew the others out of the water. Yes, you’ve seen one of these before, but I just love it so much I couldn’t help but include it.

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  1. Felicia

     /  April 28, 2010

    I totally agree, Annie! I love mokume gane! Oh, and yeah, if you call it off, he gets to keep the ring.

  2. Glad there’s other mokume lovers out there! And thanks for reading and cluing me in :)

  3. Hi Annie,
    Wow, with a title like that, what can I say? Thanks for the awesome kudos :)

    I’m sorry about your loss (the ring, not the boy ;) ) hahaha, just kidding. Yes, in a broken engagement, he gets to keep the ring, but in a broken marriage, the ring belongs to you.

    Thanks again! I hope I can make a ring for you someday!

  4. Hi Lisa! Thanks so much for reading and commenting – I’m flattered, because I pretty much think you rock! And thanks for explaining the rules. I was bummed to have to hand over the beautiful ring you and your staff made for me. But I’ve got some ideas for another one that involves a beautiful white star sapphire handed down from my grandmother to my mom and so on :)

  5. Oooh, I love star sapphires! We have yet to make a ring with a star sapphire; that would be awesome!


  6. Toni Rexroat

     /  April 29, 2010

    I am in love with Mokume as well. My father is a mastersmith who has used damascus and mokume to craft knives for years. When I realized you could created jewelry with this technique as well I was hooked!

  7. Hi Toni! It’s a totally fascinating process and the end result is just amazing to me. Glad to know there are others out there who like it, too. I hope you visited and enjoyed Lisa’s site! Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Howard

     /  August 17, 2010

    I love Mokume Gane jewelry & damascus/forge folded steel.
    I saw a demo of forge folded “turkish” damascas at an NWBA conference one year; just spectacular. I collect a few items (as I can afford them).
    Check out William Henry’s damascus knives & the Shun kitchen knives too. I like them all. For jewelry you might like, Kaelin has a neat blog comparing Mokume to her favorite Ice cream!

  9. Hi Howard! Thanks for the recommendation. I will definitely check out her site. I think mokume is just so inventive and cool!

  10. I actually ponder why you named this specific article, Black Out Shades “Mokume Gane
    Greatness with Krikawa | Perpetual Ramblings”.

    Either way I personally enjoyed the blog!Thanks,Del


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