“This series “Natural Expressions” calls for a return to valuing organic visual textures over other or more commercial textures. The symbolic return to pre-industrial aesthetic values represented by this work is pivotal to my artistic perspective. The creative processes used to make the mokume and to form each piece are ritualistic and invite meditation. My meditation often focuses on nature’s gift to mankind. As an artist, my intention is to draw our eyes back to nature and its imperfect perfection.”
– Marcus LoPopolo
Mokumegane – A process wherein metal sheets are stacked and carefully heated creating a solid billet of simple stripes that could then be forged and carved to increase the pattern’s complexity. Bonding in the traditional process is achieved when some or all of the alloys in the stack are heated to the point of becoming partially molten (above solidus) this liquid alloy is what fuses the layers together. Careful heat control and skillful forging are required for this process. After the bonding of layers, the surface of the billet is cut with tools to expose lower layers, then flattened or compressed. This process of cutting and flattening is often repeated to develop more intricate patterns. Successful lamination and pattern creation using the traditional process requires a highly skilled smith with a great deal of experience.