Steel stamps, Chasing & Repoussé tools & how to use them! Thursday evenings, April 5th thru 19th 6:30pm – 9:30pm
$175 per person, ALL materials included.
Make your own mark! Learn how to create stamping tools for decorative use, and chasing/repoussé tools traditionally used in making dimensional forms/decorations in copper, silver, gold for use in armour, architectural designs, and jewellery.
Students will spend the first evening designing and making their stamps and chasing/repoussé tools. The 2nd evening learning how to use these tools working with copper, a cast iron pitch pot and German pitch. Demonstrations in how to transfer pitch to their pots, transfer designs/images to metal, and through hammering/chasing these images will appear as low relief in the metal. Students will also have time to make a simple copper pendant using their decorative stamps made the 1st evening! Copper will be used in this workshop. Note: students receive pitch bowl/pitch, copper for projects and a minimum of 12 stamping tools. Students leave the workshop with their copper practice pieces, stamps made from the first evening and the basic knowledge to continue forward. Hammers sold separately, but are available for use during class.
Repoussé is a metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is ornamented or shaped by hammering from the reverse side to create a design in low relief. It is a form of toreutics.
There are few techniques that offer such diversity of expression while still being relatively economical. Chasing is the opposite of repoussé, and the two are used in conjunction to create a finished piece. It is also known as embossing.
While repoussé is used to work on the reverse of the metal to form a raised design on the front, chasing is used to refine the design on the front of the work by sinking the metal. The term chasing is derived from the noun “chase”, which refers to a groove, furrow, channel, or indentation. The adjectival form is “chased work”.
The techniques of repoussé and chasing use the plasticity of metal, forming shapes by degrees. There is no loss of metal in the process as it is stretched locally and the surface remains continuous. The process is relatively slow but a maximum of form is achieved, with one continuous surface of sheet metal of essentially the same thickness. Direct contact of the tools used is usually visible in the result, a condition not always apparent in other techniques, where all evidence of the working method is eliminated. An incredible example from antiquity is the late Eighteenth Dynasty mummy mask of Tutankhamun. The lapis lazuli and other stones were inlaid in chased areas after the height of the form was completed. The majority of the mask was formed using the technique of repoussé from what appears to be a single sheet of gold (the ceremonial beard, Nekhbet vulture, and Uraeus were attached separately).
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