Keum Boo magic at Flux

Students show a flair for Keum Boo on our latest 2 day workshop

I’m endlessly surprised and delighted by the ingenuity of the people who join our jewellery courses at Flux.

For the Keum Boo course last week we had an array of students with the full range of experience in jewellery making, from zero to semi-pro. The results exemplify why at Flux we prefer to offer our courses by technique, rather than classifying by level….

Having equipped the students with some basic guidance prior to the course (check out our pinterest page if you want to be inspired), all came with some notion of how the technique of Keum Boo can be exploited in jewellery. Less clear perhaps was what they might be able to achieve in 2 short intensive days of immersion in the process!

Victoria and Rebecca had never made jewellery before; Sandy and Chris came with some jewellery skills, and Brandon has been jewellery-making in earnest for some time now.

Meanwhile Nilofar, Mike and Judit are regulars at Flux, and knowing how we work here, they came with clear ideas about how best to utilise 2 intense days of access to our workshop facilities with expert tutor guidance and support.

Our first day focussed on exploring the parameters of Keum Boo as a technique. First working with copper sheets the students applied a range of textures, then got to grips with the foil application – in this instance using fine silver foil. Because fine silver does not oxidise, there is room to heat-colour the copper sheet meanwhile leaving the silver bright and shiny, and students made good use of this technique to produce some pretty test pieces…

Keum Boo technique - silver foil on copper Keum Boo technique - silver foil on textured copper

(I especially love the fern-like pattern that Victoria  layered onto her onion-skin-textured copper sheet)

Equipped with a day’s experience of what might be achievable, all were asked to return on Friday with a design they would like to produce in silver, with gold.

8 entirely different ideas emerged around Friday morning’s table…

Chris  wears the most magnificent jewellery (her own of course!) that demand a long gaze as your mind makes connection with re-appropriated elements of the everyday. Having a background in assemblage and using found objects her plan was entirely fitting; to incorporate all she had made in copper, with an additional silver and gold element, and to create a suitably large and jingly necklace through careful and varied linkage systems….

Keum Boo assemblage by Chris

Judit, having an eye for the precise, and a desire to extend her existing making skills, got to work on this ambitious pendant design, knowing that she will have time to complete it during her regular Thursday evening class at Flux. I’m looking forward to seeing it in its final state 🙂

In progress - Judit's Keum Boo pendant

Mike’s rich life experiences always lead him towards fantastical designs, complicated projects that naturally stretch the bounds of conventional technique. Here is no exception… Intended as a floral ring, this to me presents itself as a musical sculpture, or something you might (try to) wear – Amazing!

Sculptural ring with Keum Boo

Victoria, having never made jewellery before, decided that she would like to make 3 rings of varying proportions, to be worn together on one finger. These would be embellished with a range of textures, and ideally have a Keum Boo leaf pattern (like her copper test pieces, above) running across the 3 surfaces.

No small order then!

Measure, cut, file. Solder. Shape. Texture. Keum Boo. Times 3. Order complete, 3pm on the dot…

Victoria's 3 silver rings with Keum Boo

Nilofar. a long time friend at Flux, has a background in sculpture and her wild imagination combines well with her instinct to explore, experiment and extend the bounds of convention. I love this brooch…

Copper and brass brooch with silver foil, by Nilofar

This was Brandon’s first visit to Flux. Wearing several of his own impressive creations, we could see that his making skills were already well established and he settled straight in with the Flux flow… His final pieces exemplify how this technique of Keum Boo can be used to enhance your existing aesthetic. Lovely, dug-up, just-made, ancient-new pieces here..

Brandon's ancient-new silver jewellery with Keum Boo

Sandra had in mind a desire to make something special for her son. Lucky him..We were all quite envious! A bracelet seemed the most fitting item for him, and so Sandra made this wide, textured silver band, to be attached with silver chain and a clasp. I especially like the variation in the colours of gold on the surface here, it’s so evident against the oxidised silver background. The effect was achieved through overlapping of the foil in places to create denser layers of gold.

Sandra's oxidised silver bracelet with Keum Boo

The plumber got in the way of Rebecca completing her lovely textured ring on Friday, as she had to leave 2 hours early for him…. So far she has a textured, soldered ring that fits 🙂

She’s taking advantage of our flexible access offer to return this week to complete it. We’ll post it here when it’s done….