Mokume gane is a traditional Japanese technique whose name translates as “wood grain metal”.

Mokume heart website  A stack of many alternating layers of two or more types of carefully prepared metal sheet is clamped together and heated in a forge. Diffusion bonding takes place at a temperature close to the melting point of the metals and fuses the stack into a single solid billet. Subsequent forging and patterning of the billet allows the creation of sheet metal with intricate patterns. Heat or chemical patination can be used to enhance the colour contrast between the different metals.

Mokume earrings website

Making mokume is an extremely labor intensive process with a lot of room for error. This is reflected in the price of finished mokume sheet metal, particularly when precious metals are used, in which case it is best used as an accent on larger pieces. Copper/brass mokume is more affordable, and just as pretty, although it must be sealed with a lacquer to maintain its appearance and should not be used for pieces such as rings that will see a lot of wear.