October 30, 2014
Here is a quick video of the behind the scenes process of creating jewelry using the ancient Keum Boo technique. This is originally a Korean technique of fusing pure 24k gold foil to pure silver, fine silver, through the use of heat and burnishing.
Starting with a sheet of fine silver, which is very soft and takes embossing beautifully, sandwich it between two textured brass sheets. The metal sandwich is then put through my rolling mill and the textures of the brass are transferred onto the fine silver through the pressure of the rollers.
The leaf shape is traced onto the embossed silver and then each piece is individually cut out with a saw. The silver leaves are then drilled with holes and sanded on the edges. Now they are ready to be heated up on the little hot plate.
As the silver is heating up, I cut out a tiny hydrangea flower shape from a sheet of paper thin 24k gold. Very carefully the gold piece is placed with tweezers onto the silver piece that has been heated. This process is a little stressful because the gold can easily tear or get blown off the silver at this point. The gold flower is then gently burnished down onto the silver with various metal tools using a circular motion.
The metals are permanently fused together through this process. It will usually take about a minute or two, depending on the heat which is between 500-700 degrees. There isn’t any glue or adhesive of any kind used, the fusing is done through the heat and burnishing.
I am in the middle of creating a series of new Keum Boo jewelry pieces. Some of them I will leave as is with the silver and gold combination and others I will dip into a silver blackening solution to create a gold and black combination. Here are some examples of the finished jewelry. As you can see through this video, each piece is a one of a kind original creation. No two pieces are alike.
Hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes peek as to the magic that happens daily in my studio! Be sure to ‘Like’ Garden of Silver on Facebook and sign up for our VIP list to stay updated about new jewelry, events and secret sales. Thanks!
A special thank you to my Advanced Computer Graphics student, David Garcia, for editing this video!