What is Mokume-Gane? To know, one must return to the late 1600s in Japan. When the Samurai sword fell out of popular use as a weapon and gained meaning as a status symbol, demand rose for elaborately decorated handles and sheaths. Enter Mokume-Gane – meaning ‘wood grain metal’ in Japanese – an intensive metalworking technique that Metal Urges has mastered in their Hobart studio.
Today, Metal Urges applies time-honoured methods blended with modern refinements. The result? A merging of metals as rare and distinctive as the couples they custom-design them for. No two are ever the same.
‘We embrace new technology and have developed a system that enables us to make it consistently and beautifully. We’re not using steels, we’re using 18 carat golds, platinums and pure silvers, and we’re making this amazing patterned material. Put it in front of anyone and they will be mesmerised by it. It’s a material that draws you in. More and more detail becomes apparent as you look closer and closer at one of these stunning pieces.
Metal Urges make Mokume-Gane entirely in their Hobart workshops and they’ve just launched a new business, operated by several of their younger jewellers, called Mokume Australia.
‘We’re thrilled to offer this 17th century Japanese technique in a way that no-one else does, and we’re in the process of partnering with design jewellery businesses right across Australia.’
MASTER JEWELLER CHRIS HOOD'S TIPS
Where’s your pick for coffee in Hobart?
I really like Villino and Pilgrim. Criterion Street Café is also doing really wonderful coffee. It’s hard to find bad coffee in Hobart!
A weekend away?
That’s easy. I would be camping on top of my car by a beautiful river in the north-east looking for sapphire. It’s my job and it’s my passion.
VISIT: Suite 3/105 Liverpool St, Hobart, Tasmania
WEB: Metal Urges