What is Keum-boo?
Keum-boo literally means attached gold. It is an ancient Korean technique used to fuse thin sheets of pure gold onto silver using heat and pressure.
When using sterling silver sheet as I do, a layer of pure silver must first be bought to the surface. This is done through heating the silver multiple times, also known as depletion. This is essential for the fusing to be successful.
The 24 carat gold foil is then cut into the desired shapes and laid on top of the silver. A combination of heat and pressure is applied to the two metals, causing an exchange of electrons between them and creating a strong and permanent bond. Magical science!
I use a simple hot plate with a steel plate on top to provide the heat and rub over the gold with an agate burnisher, providing the pressure. I also always wear long sleeves and leather gloves to prevent burns! It can be hot, hot work in the summer months!!
Each of the pieces that make up my work are cut, formed and applied by hand, so whilst the overall affect is the same, each item has it’s own individuality and is completely unique.