chasing and repousse'

Posted 11/24/2014

Today was the final day of my chasing and repousse' class at the Des Moines Art Center this semester; & I'm happy to say I was able to complete 2 pieces!

For those not familiar with chasing and repousse', both are metal-working techniques in which malleable metal is shaped by hammering.  Repousse' involves hammering from the back to raise the design, while chasing is used to refine the image on the front by sinking the metal.

The class was taught by Sheena Thomas, one of the owners of Elements Ltd. here in Des Moines & a great instructor.  It was absolutely one of my best classes I've taken, although I was a bit nervous about it at first.

The first piece I made was inspired by a trilobite fossile I saw at this fall's Gem, Mineral & Fossil show.  Here's a picture I took of the trilobite fossil . . .

and here's the pendant I created . . .

I used liver of sulpher to get the rich patina that you see -- I especially love the way it highlights the detail of the hammering!  I plan to hang it on leather cord -- either brown, black or blue -- I haven't decided which yet.

The 2nd piece was based on a gingko leaf . . . here's a picture of a gingko leaf I found on the internet . . .

and here's the pendant I created . . .

I used liver of sulpher again on this one to get the rich patina -- I'll hang this one from leather as well.

One of the things that really surprised me about chasing & repousse' was the number of times you had to hammer the front & back (& anneal the metal -- in this case, copper -- in-between) to get the design you're wanting.  It was challenging at times, too, figuring out just which chasing tool to use to get the effect you want. 

That's all for today . . . as always, thanks for reading and for supporting small businesses!