Demo: Keum–Boo Demonstration by Jessica Jue

Jessica Jue

Keum–boo is the ancient Korean technique of fusing thin sheets of 24-karat gold foil onto silver. Watch London-based silversmith and jeweller Jessica Jue create a richly textured silver sculpture, followed by a drinks reception.

Jessica Jue is a silversmith and jeweller based at The Goldsmiths’ Centre in London. Known for her sculptural aesthetic, Jessica’s designs are deeply influenced by her Chinese heritage and Austrian upbringing. She reinvents traditional techniques in silver to craft elegant, contemporary designs that have won her many accolades.

Inspired by balance and harmony, Jessica draws and sculpts with a dramatic use of fluid, organic and playful curves, aiming to create a sense of rhythmic movement within her collections. She skilfully manipulates her forms through the ancient art of hammering, while also introducing an abundance of rich surface texture through the use of pattern and gold.

One of Jessica’s specialisms is the ancient Korean art of Keum-boo: the technique of fusing thin sheets of 24-karat gold foil onto silver using heat and pressure. The process requires fine silver to be brought to the surface, which is done by heating the silver multiple times, known as depletion. Heat and pressure are applied to the two metals, which causes an exchange of electrons between them, creating a strong permanent bond.

The golden brushstrokes in Jessica’s work are always applied in a very painterly and fluid way. The process involves cutting gold foil into fine and delicate strands which are fused one after the other, similar to an artist applying brushstrokes to a canvas.