Posted on March 20 2017
Very recently, Molley from the SEED team, went along to one of Linda Sandeman's jewellery making workshops to learn about the traditional art of Keum Boo. The word Keum Boo refers to a traditional Korean jewellery making practice and literally translates as "attached gold". Linda describes the process as "An ancient Korean gilding technique used to bond pure gold and silver to the surface of jewellery." It's a process that can be used to create a variety of techniques and we began the class by looking at examples of Linda's own work and how she has developed her practice with this skill. After looking at examples of Keum Boo Jewellery we were guided into designing our own pieces, making sure that they would fit within the amount of silver we were given. We were all encouraged to make anything we wanted and to not feel limited in regards to design. It was surprising how much you could create from the piece given to you and everyone at the class made more than one item in the time. After a period designing, we began the making process. In the morning we worked with preparing the silver, this involved a process of heating the metal with a soldering iron, before dunking into a solution known as pickle until it was completely white. This was to bring up the fine silver in the piece so that the gold leaf can be attached. We also embossed the silver using a couple of techniques and cut out any shapes we needed. In the afternoon it was adding the gold using hot plates or soldering irons and attaching all of the pieces together. The workshop covered a large range of jewellery making techniques and felt like a great guide to Keum Boo. As complete beginners this class was perfect, but we're sure it could be adapted for more experienced makers or those visiting again! We all came away with something we were very happy with and all different from each other, one person made three stacking rings, another a pair of long dangly earrings and Molley made a necklace and small ring. Linda was a great teacher and explained the whole process with patience and enthusiasm, the small class size making the lesson feel personal and very educational. If you want to find out any more information about Linda Sandeman's jewellery making workshops, all of which are based in the Round Tower at Black Swan Arts, you can find her listings here.