Mokume-Gane Safety

The Mokume-Gane process involves the use of processes that are potentially dangerous to you and your studio. Below are some safety tips which you should consider while making mokume-gane. There is also a very good reference book on safety in the studio titled "Artist Beware" by Michael McCann, PH.D it is published by Watson-Guptill Publications and every metalsmith should have a copy. These precautions and warnings are taken from that book.


  • Hazards
  • Precautions
  • Alkalis

  • Hazards
    1. Most alkalis are highly corrosive to the skin and eyes. Ammonia is particularly hazardous to the eyes.
    2. Ingestion of small amounts can cause severe pain and damage to the mouth and esophagus and can be fatal.
    3. Inhalation of alkali dusts can cause pulmonary edema. Some inhalation solutions may occur during ingestion.
    4. Dilute alkaline solutions are more irritating to the skin and eyes than dilute acid solutions.
  • Precautions
    1. Where gloves and goggles when handling alkaline powders and solutions.
    2. In cases of spills, wash with lots of water; in case of eye contact, rinse with water for at least 15 minutes and call a doctor.
    3. Do not induce vomiting if ingested.

  • We will heating the metal in a kiln to 1600°F this can cause severe burns and is a possible fire hazard when the metal is removed from the kiln. Always use leather gloves to protect your hands while using tongs to handle the hot metal. Have a heat proof ceramic or metal area to set the hot metal when it comes from the kiln. We will also be using burs to grind into the metal this produces flying slivers of metal always where goggles or safety glasses when using burs.

    © 1996 All Rights Reserved James E. Binnion / ArtMetal

    Author: James E. Binnion
    ArtMetal Editor: enrique
    Last Updated: Tue, Feb 6, 1996