M3 Mokume v. Traditional Mokume Gane
Traditional “Mokume-Gane” (pronounced Moe-koo-may Gah-nay and translates to “wood grain metal”) is the ancient Japanese metal working technique where 2 or more layers of contrasting color metals are fused into one solid block of metal.
The layered structure may be formed by soldering, welding, powder metallurgy or some other process. The decorative visual effect, or pattern, is inherent to the structure of the metal and cannot wear off. Often the structure of the mokume is similar to natural layered materials such as wood or agate, hence the visual similarity.
Today there is still a small community of talented metal workers that carry on these age old traditions and produce master quality Mokume Gane that is far superior to any other Mokume including M3. The only similarities between M3 Mokume and what masters like Binnion and Ploof produce; both are made up of layers of contrasting materials and both mimic natural wood grain patterns that no 2 will ever be alike. Beyond that these materials are completely different, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
“M3 Mokume” is a modern interpretation of these ancient metal arts utilizing some of today’s most advanced material technology. The short version is this. We have taken the same advanced material technology that has revolutionized the aerospace, medical, marine and construction industries, and applied it to producing beautiful materials that will literally last forever. In the 21st century, engineers use STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to produce materials that meet a multitude of specific needs, rather than designing around any single materials limitations.
Our R&D engineers discovered a proprietary process that allows us to layer contrasting M3 materials while still in a liquid state. This process together with the natural interplay of the materials during the resulting exothermic reaction creates beautiful random patterns akin to Mokume Gane.
Examples of M3 Mokume Gane, Damascus and Pattern Metals