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Pocket Change Mokume, Spring 2014 Edition


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Seems like these come up every 3 or 4 months. I recently had a request for one of these pendants, and so I made two just for the sake of variety and insurance against failure, because I usually try something new every time.

 

First up, the more ambitious attempt - a twisted bar of 5 dimes. First fused, then forged out to a blunt square nail shape, I hot-twisted it gently, and when shears started, I gently hammered it square and got it hot enough to re-fuse the joints. Can't do that with Damascus steel, and it saved me twice in the process. While I was hoping to see stars, what I ended up with was just as good - they look like long dunes to me, seen from space.

 

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For the second one, I kept it simple, just a flat laminate, but went to the drill press and tried to hit it with a raindrop pattern. It's not as stark as the steel I treat this way, but it still made an interesting pattern I think, and almost looks like hidden faces peeking out - I see eyes and some noses, with my whimsical eye.

 

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Thanks for looking!

Edited by Christopher Price
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Too cool! I was never brave enough to play with the patterns because of all the shearing and seam splitting :rolleyes: Great execution, I especially love the first one. Sort of looks like the metal has scars that were filled with the nickel.

 

John

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I too really like the pattern of the first one. I do like the faces on the last one though too. Great work.

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Thank you, all. I'm rather partial to the first myself, and naturally that's the one the customer chose out of the two.

 

Here's a couple more pictures on 1/4" graph paper, for scale:

 

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As for the twisting, that was a new thing for me to try. I quickly found it wanting to de-laminate, so I was able to rescue it by gently hammering it flat enough to be in full contact again, and getting it up to fusing heat, so the copper would run just a bit and fill the tiny gaps through capillary action. It's a delicate balance, how much you can torture this stuff, and how much it can be repaired without ruining the pattern you're going for. I'll probably try it again, I learned a few things that may help, and we'll see what comes out the other end.

 

Thank you all for your compliments and comments. I really enjoy making these, they're something you can get done in a day.

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It's all done by eye. I know what it looks like when it's right, the trick is to get it liquid enough to let surface tension work, but not so much it pools or drips. I don't know how to explain it better than that without showing you in person.

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Well you're on the wrong side of the country for that! (Notice I said you not me.) :D

I'll just have to play with it then. That description is helpful. Thanks for sharing!

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