"Solo travel to developing countries is an essential part of who I am. The constant change of venues and cultures, and the element of constant surprise are what inspire me."
Jeweler Lisa Grant creates exquisite Mokume Gane earrings and necklaces using the traditional process for creating Samurai swords. Mokume, which translates directly to "wood grain metal," is created using precious and non-ferrous metals such as platinum, gold, palladium and silver. Upwards of 30 layers of different metals or alloys may be stacked together, heated, and forged to form one piece of metal. The finished product displays myriad layers of colored metals, all chosen by the artist, rippling and flowing in various directions.
Traditionally, Mokume was a very difficult process due to the fine line between fusing and melting the metal. The contemporary use of hydraulic presses, kilns and rolling mills helps to control the process. Despite these modern amenities, it is still unusually laborious and time-intensive and can result in metals failing to fuse. The successful result is a stack of several layers of metal diffusion-bonded (not soldered) together so that they atomically function as one piece of metal. Lisa Grant first creates the Mokume Gane billets in her studio and then designs her pieces of jewelry from this material.
Influenced by her travels around the world, Grant is drawn to the simplicity of metal and the complexity of Mokume Gane. Her design goal is to let the eye be drawn to the metal with simply constructed, contemporary, and well crafted pieces.