News

Use this section to provide a description of your blog.

The Custom Design Experience

Posted by Arn Krebs on

At Arn Krebs Mokume we offer the unique opportunity to customize and design an heirloom piece of jewelry within our mokume aesthetic. We are so honored to create these pieces for our customers and to work together to build truly special and one-of-a-kind pieces of work.

We have put together this overview to help you understand the steps and conversations involved in creating your completely unique piece of art, and hopefully make it a truly enjoyable process.

Read more about it here and check out some killer examples below.

 
image
image
image
 

 

 
 
 

 Consultation & Design

How long this part of the custom process takes varies widely depending on how complicated the design is. Sometimes people come to us knowing exactly what they want, while others have more of a general concept or an idea for something new. We’ll work with you to build out the details from the ground up!

 

When you inquire about a ring design, we start the process of your custom order with a conversation about what you are looking for. Do you know what pattern, palette, finish, and other design options you’d like, or would you like some guidance? Do you want a plain band, or are you looking to incorporate stones? If you want to use stones, what kind? How would you like them set? And don’t worry — we’ll guide you through this process!

 

Also during this time we’ll create quotes, Arn may make some sketches, and we will answer any questions you have.

 

Communication & Details

 

Once all the details have been decided on, you’ll place your deposit and enter our work queue. We ask for a 50% deposit to get started, with the remainder due once production is complete.

Sizing

Did you know your ring size can vary depending on the width of a band? We’ll send you a few different sizers (plain metal bands in different sizes) for a $50 fee, and you’ll have two weeks to try them out and send them back. We recommend you wear them as consistently as possible, because finger size fluctuates throughout the day and even from week to week. We want to create a ring that will fit you comfortably every day.

Gemstone Sourcing (Heirloom, Lab-grown or Natural?)

After we begin our conversations, you are welcome to send us heirloom stones if you’re reusing them from older jewelry pieces. Please let us know if you send them by mail; we'll want to keep a close eye out for them. We love being able to give these sentimental pieces a fresh breath of life by incorporating them into new designs!

We have some great suggestions of gemstones we work with, and love, on a regular basis, but Arn is also available to personally source stones for your design based on the setting style and your tastes. We have trusted stone dealers with established relationships from whom we can source lab grown or natural diamonds, sapphires, moissanites, and other stones. Understandably, this does increase project scope and turnaround time. We also welcome stones that you have sourced, but Arn must check them out first to be sure they are quality cuts and suited to the setting.

 

Recycling Your Metal

We’d love to be able to re-use your metal, but unfortunately we can’t properly fuse metal with unknown alloys into mokume. BUT, we can take it and melt it down and give you a credit towards your final purchase. Or, if the the metal has sentimental value, we have a few creative ways to incorporate the metal into a rail or a dot in all of our rings.

Production Time

Production time varies depending on the design and pattern. Most of our standard bands will be ready to ship in 6-8 weeks, but more complicated and customized rings can take closer to 10-11 weeks, so keep this in mind while planning! We do offer rush services for an extra fee, but it’s always best to plan as far ahead as you are able.

If you have questions that come up while you’re waiting for your ring to be completed, we are always here to answer them!

 

Project Completion

Once your ring is finished, we’ll be in touch to let you know that we are sending over professional images of your completed ring so that you can preview (and have a keepsake). Once you approve your order, we’ll send an invoice for your final payment and ship it out! So exciting!

Shipping

We use secure USPS Priority shipping for our US orders, which is included in your final cost, and UPS for international orders, which is an additional fee. Both are very reliable services, and we purchase insurance for all shipments. We’ll notify you when your ring ships with all tracking info, and follow-up to make sure you love your ring!

 

We hope this has answered your questions and shown you that designing a custom ring is really quite simple (especially when someone else is doing the hard work!). We'd love to share more and guide you through the process, so please don't hesitate to contact us by just hitting reply to this email, or clicking the button below. Lastly, check out our NEW website, it's gorgeous!

Be well!

Arn Krebs, Sue Freda &
The Arn Krebs Team

Read more

The Custom Design Experience

Posted by Arn Krebs on

At Arn Krebs Mokume we offer the unique opportunity to customize and design an heirloom piece of jewelry within our mokume aesthetic. We are so honored to create these pieces for our customers and to work together to build truly special and one-of-a-kind pieces of work.

We have put together this overview to help you understand the steps and conversations involved in creating your completely unique piece of art, and hopefully make it a truly enjoyable process.

Read more about it here and check out some killer examples below.

 
image
image
image
 

 

 
 
 

 Consultation & Design

How long this part of the custom process takes varies widely depending on how complicated the design is. Sometimes people come to us knowing exactly what they want, while others have more of a general concept or an idea for something new. We’ll work with you to build out the details from the ground up!

 

When you inquire about a ring design, we start the process of your custom order with a conversation about what you are looking for. Do you know what pattern, palette, finish, and other design options you’d like, or would you like some guidance? Do you want a plain band, or are you looking to incorporate stones? If you want to use stones, what kind? How would you like them set? And don’t worry — we’ll guide you through this process!

 

Also during this time we’ll create quotes, Arn may make some sketches, and we will answer any questions you have.

 

Communication & Details

 

Once all the details have been decided on, you’ll place your deposit and enter our work queue. We ask for a 50% deposit to get started, with the remainder due once production is complete.

Sizing

Did you know your ring size can vary depending on the width of a band? We’ll send you a few different sizers (plain metal bands in different sizes) for a $50 fee, and you’ll have two weeks to try them out and send them back. We recommend you wear them as consistently as possible, because finger size fluctuates throughout the day and even from week to week. We want to create a ring that will fit you comfortably every day.

Gemstone Sourcing (Heirloom, Lab-grown or Natural?)

After we begin our conversations, you are welcome to send us heirloom stones if you’re reusing them from older jewelry pieces. Please let us know if you send them by mail; we'll want to keep a close eye out for them. We love being able to give these sentimental pieces a fresh breath of life by incorporating them into new designs!

We have some great suggestions of gemstones we work with, and love, on a regular basis, but Arn is also available to personally source stones for your design based on the setting style and your tastes. We have trusted stone dealers with established relationships from whom we can source lab grown or natural diamonds, sapphires, moissanites, and other stones. Understandably, this does increase project scope and turnaround time. We also welcome stones that you have sourced, but Arn must check them out first to be sure they are quality cuts and suited to the setting.

 

Recycling Your Metal

We’d love to be able to re-use your metal, but unfortunately we can’t properly fuse metal with unknown alloys into mokume. BUT, we can take it and melt it down and give you a credit towards your final purchase. Or, if the the metal has sentimental value, we have a few creative ways to incorporate the metal into a rail or a dot in all of our rings.

Production Time

Production time varies depending on the design and pattern. Most of our standard bands will be ready to ship in 6-8 weeks, but more complicated and customized rings can take closer to 10-11 weeks, so keep this in mind while planning! We do offer rush services for an extra fee, but it’s always best to plan as far ahead as you are able.

If you have questions that come up while you’re waiting for your ring to be completed, we are always here to answer them!

 

Project Completion

Once your ring is finished, we’ll be in touch to let you know that we are sending over professional images of your completed ring so that you can preview (and have a keepsake). Once you approve your order, we’ll send an invoice for your final payment and ship it out! So exciting!

Shipping

We use secure USPS Priority shipping for our US orders, which is included in your final cost, and UPS for international orders, which is an additional fee. Both are very reliable services, and we purchase insurance for all shipments. We’ll notify you when your ring ships with all tracking info, and follow-up to make sure you love your ring!

 

We hope this has answered your questions and shown you that designing a custom ring is really quite simple (especially when someone else is doing the hard work!). We'd love to share more and guide you through the process, so please don't hesitate to contact us by just hitting reply to this email, or clicking the button below. Lastly, check out our NEW website, it's gorgeous!

Be well!

Arn Krebs, Sue Freda &
The Arn Krebs Team

Read more


To Ox or Not to Ox?

Posted by Arn Krebs on

We offer a few different options for the finish of your mokume gane ring, and each offers a different look and quality. One of these options is oxidation, where the silver layers in a ring are darkened to increase the contrast between the metal colors! It’s great for those who want a bold, high contrast look, and makes the patterning stand out more.

Read more

To Ox or Not to Ox?

Posted by Arn Krebs on

We offer a few different options for the finish of your mokume gane ring, and each offers a different look and quality. One of these options is oxidation, where the silver layers in a ring are darkened to increase the contrast between the metal colors! It’s great for those who want a bold, high contrast look, and makes the patterning stand out more.

Read more


Noble Mokume Gane: An Education on the Art Form

Posted by Arn Krebs on

As many of you may know we have spoken a few times about mokume gane, what it is and how its made. Our original blog post here "What is Mokume"states :

"Mokume gane is an ancient metalworking technique in which layers of base and/or precious metals are alloyed together with heat and pressure, then twisted, carved, and forged to create beautiful organic patterns. Mokume Gane is Japanese and translates to "wood eye metal" which reflects the wood grain patterning admired by the Japanese craftsmen. This rare metal lamination process is similar to Damascus and was developed and used by Japanese swordsmiths in the 17th century to adorn samurai swords."

But as of late we have seen many pieces of jewelry flooding the market under the umbrella of "mokume" or "mokume gane".  Arn and I have begun looking into what determines if something is or is not mokume in the traditional sense. We want to make sure that our customers understand what they are buying and what the differences are in the landscape of this amazing, valuable, and skillful craft. 

Essentially mokume can be broken into two categories, base metal and noble metal mokume.  The highest quality mokume which is the only combination we feel is suited for rings is made from layered noble metals. Noble metals are also called "precious" metals. They are ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum, and gold. When something is made from copper, brass, nickel, or any other metal not listed as precious it is called base metal. Base metal is inexpensive and can have issues in rings as it can causes allergies in many individuals, skin discoloration, and may erode and delaminate over time. In our opinion these metals should not be made into wedding rings because they won't last.  You can see this discussed in greater detail here in a blog by renowned mokume jeweler James Binnion.  Another aspect that a buyer might encounter is liner on the ring. Often the liner is made of gold or silver. There is nothing wrong with an added liner but it does cut down not the amount of mokume in your ring. Mokume is more valuable that gold or silver because of the labor, skill,  and uniqueness of it. If you purchase a solid mokume ring it will inherently have more value than one with a liner. 

Another aspect of true traditional mokume is how it is made.  Mokume is created by diffusion bonding different metal alloys together in either the solid or liquid phases of the metal.   If a material is cast or 3d printed to create it then it is not mokume gane.  This means there are no layers and instead there is a surface texture that resembles the patterns you see in mokume. Mokume is made by fastidiously layering and fusing precious metals and then twisting, carving, forging this material to create patterns.  The cast method is a short cut to just show a surface pattern that is similar. While this is not a bad thing in itself it is no way mokume gane and can't be called that or demand the same prices. The surface pattern could wear away over time and doesn't show a variety of color unless there is metal plated on the low areas. This will also wear away over time and does not go through the whole ring. Even layered precious metal clays are not strictly mokume as they are actually sintered particles of metal and are not solid or ductile.

Yet another variation on the theme is damascus. Damascus is perhaps the original form of mokume and was used in swords in Japan. It is very similar to mokume but differs in that it is made from steel and not precious metal and since it is made from alloys of steel it has variations of greys in color and not the colors than gold can provide.  Also any steel alloys that are not stainless will eventually rust and may eventually delaminate.

There has been a recent explosion in the use of non-traditional metals to make layered metal billets using metals like titanium, tantalum, zirconium and other exotic metals.  These combinations are stable but share the same limited palette as steel unless they are anodized which produces rainbow colors, however this is a surface treatment microns thick which will eventually wear away which will obliterate any visible pattern. Only Mokume shows the wonderful innate variation of colors of silver, all the colors of gold, and the contrasting greys of palladium and platinum.

In terms of value damascus costs less than mokume gane because of course steel is less costly than gold. Other materials such as brass, nickel and other base metals are by far the least costly but are only appropriate for jewelry that is not worn in a daily sense, less you risk the metal eroding or discoloration on your skin.

Hopefully this overview has been helpful in understanding this landscape and educating our amazing patrons who collect fine jewelry and love the art form as much as we do!

Thank you!  

 

 

Read more

Noble Mokume Gane: An Education on the Art Form

Posted by Susan Freda on

As many of you may know we have spoken a few times about mokume gane, what it is and how its made. Our original blog post here "What is Mokume"states :

"Mokume gane is an ancient metalworking technique in which layers of base and/or precious metals are alloyed together with heat and pressure, then twisted, carved, and forged to create beautiful organic patterns. Mokume Gane is Japanese and translates to "wood eye metal" which reflects the wood grain patterning admired by the Japanese craftsmen. This rare metal lamination process is similar to Damascus and was developed and used by Japanese swordsmiths in the 17th century to adorn samurai swords."

But as of late we have seen many pieces of jewelry flooding the market under the umbrella of "mokume" or "mokume gane".  Arn and I have begun looking into what determines if something is or is not mokume in the traditional sense. We want to make sure that our customers understand what they are buying and what the differences are in the landscape of this amazing, valuable, and skillful craft. 

Essentially mokume can be broken into two categories, base metal and noble metal mokume.  The highest quality mokume which is the only combination we feel is suited for rings is made from layered noble metals. Noble metals are also called "precious" metals. They are ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum, and gold. When something is made from copper, brass, nickel, or any other metal not listed as precious it is called base metal. Base metal is inexpensive and can have issues in rings as it can causes allergies in many individuals, skin discoloration, and may erode and delaminate over time. In our opinion these metals should not be made into wedding rings because they won't last.  You can see this discussed in greater detail here in a blog by renowned mokume jeweler James Binnion.  Another aspect that a buyer might encounter is liner on the ring. Often the liner is made of gold or silver. There is nothing wrong with an added liner but it does cut down not the amount of mokume in your ring. Mokume is more valuable that gold or silver because of the labor, skill,  and uniqueness of it. If you purchase a solid mokume ring it will inherently have more value than one with a liner. 

Another aspect of true traditional mokume is how it is made.  Mokume is created by diffusion bonding different metal alloys together in either the solid or liquid phases of the metal.   If a material is cast or 3d printed to create it then it is not mokume gane.  This means there are no layers and instead there is a surface texture that resembles the patterns you see in mokume. Mokume is made by fastidiously layering and fusing precious metals and then twisting, carving, forging this material to create patterns.  The cast method is a short cut to just show a surface pattern that is similar. While this is not a bad thing in itself it is no way mokume gane and can't be called that or demand the same prices. The surface pattern could wear away over time and doesn't show a variety of color unless there is metal plated on the low areas. This will also wear away over time and does not go through the whole ring. Even layered precious metal clays are not strictly mokume as they are actually sintered particles of metal and are not solid or ductile.

Yet another variation on the theme is damascus. Damascus is perhaps the original form of mokume and was used in swords in Japan. It is very similar to mokume but differs in that it is made from steel and not precious metal and since it is made from alloys of steel it has variations of greys in color and not the colors than gold can provide.  Also any steel alloys that are not stainless will eventually rust and may eventually delaminate.

There has been a recent explosion in the use of non-traditional metals to make layered metal billets using metals like titanium, tantalum, zirconium and other exotic metals.  These combinations are stable but share the same limited palette as steel unless they are anodized which produces rainbow colors, however this is a surface treatment microns thick which will eventually wear away which will obliterate any visible pattern. Only Mokume shows the wonderful innate variation of colors of silver, all the colors of gold, and the contrasting greys of palladium and platinum.

In terms of value damascus costs less than mokume gane because of course steel is less costly than gold. Other materials such as brass, nickel and other base metals are by far the least costly but are only appropriate for jewelry that is not worn in a daily sense, less you risk the metal eroding or discoloration on your skin.

Hopefully this overview has been helpful in understanding this landscape and educating our amazing patrons who collect fine jewelry and love the art form as much as we do!

Thank you!  

 

 

Read more


How is Mokume Gane Made?

Posted by Susan Freda on

 

Arn put together this video for Youtube on how his mokume is made....see it here!

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c6LRW7IQz8&feature=emb_err_woyt

Read more

How is Mokume Gane Made?

Posted by Susan Freda on

 

Arn put together this video for Youtube on how his mokume is made....see it here!

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c6LRW7IQz8&feature=emb_err_woyt

Read more


Mokume Gane Engagement Rings!

Posted by Susan Freda on