I started doing mokume gane (woodgrained metal) in the seventies, after learning about metalsmithing while working for a small company that built Le Mans racing cars for Ford," says Minneapolis jewelry designer George Sawyer. "At that time, mokume, which originated as an ancient Japanese sword-making technique, was unknown in the United States. So I studied samurai swords, made of two colors of iron, and invented a way to make patterns by folding different-colored golds together like layers of phyllo dough and cutting the metal to get whirly patterns, as you do in a pastry. It's all about symmetry, color, and abstract images."
Rings in yellow, red, and gray gold, some with diamonds, rubies, silver, or copper ($2,090-$7,310; 800-440-5453).