Steel is the New Black.

I recently took a workshop in Pagosa Springs with Chris Nelson who has recently focused his extensive talents on fusing high-carat gold to low-carbon steel (aka iron) with spectacular results. Here’s a few of my creations. They haven’t been posted to the website yet but if you’re interested in knowing more, contact me. The process involves hammering mild (low-carbon) steel with handmade chisels to produce a texture that will enhance the fusing of high-carat gold, when the piece is exposed to high temperatures with a torch. The gold is placed on the textured steel in flake form and then heated till it flows. The pattern that the gold creates when it flows is somewhat unpredictable but can be helped by the surface texture of the steel, which is accomplished by a Japanese technique called nunome zougan. In the pieces below, I used 20k green gold on steel and created textures with handmade chisels and hammers.

Steel and 20k Fused Gold Cuff Bracelet

Steel and 20k Fused Gold Cuff Bracelet

Noir Triangle Steel Earrings

Noir Triangle Earrings of Steel, 20k fused gold, set with white diamonds

Steel fused gold workshop

Steel and 20k fused gold jewelry, photo courtesy Chris Nelson

Steel bangle detail

Detail of Bangle Bracelets, Steel with 20k gold and fine silver accents, Sterling silver bangle with sterling silver and 14k gold accents

Steel ring spessartine

Steel and 20k fused gold ring, set with a 5mm spessartine garnet in an 18k royal yellow bezel