copyright EJR Ceramics 2016

Helen Smith

Sterling Silver & Mokume Jewellery

Helen graduated from Sir John Cass Faculty of Arts and worked in the jewellery trade for several years before specialising in Mokume Gane.

Mokume Gane is an ancient Japanese metalworking technique developed in feudal Japan by master swordsmiths. The name translates as "wood grain metal," referring to one of the most popular patterns created with this laminated metals technique.     

In the process, layers of contrasting coloured metals are fusion welded, using very high heat and pressure, into one solid block or billet of metal. This block is then worked - drilled, punched and filled to reveal the layers. The metal is then forged, and the process repeated to develop more and more complex patterns. Finally, the laminate is milled flat forming sheet metal with intricate and permanent patterns.

Helen creates her Mokume from 21 sheets of sterling silver and Shibuichi metal. The process takes over 2 weeks to complete and many years to master. This highly decorative metal is then formed into simple, but elegant forms to create the distinctive jewellery displayed here.


All pieces are hand-made and because of the technique, totally unique.