Earlier in the year, I mentioned that I had a new book and was experimenting with a new technique called repoussé. This had allowed me to create a primitive medal for the PSTOIC annual get together. Since then I’ve read the book in more detail but still need to practice the techniques.
Chasing and Repoussé by Nancy Megan Corwin is about the ancient techniques of chasing (surface detailing and texturing) and repoussé (to punch sheet metal from the back to create volume).
The thing I love about this book is that it includes absolutely everything you need to get working with chasing and repoussé. The book sequence is logical starting with materials and preparation, looking at different techniques and styles, then working up to advanced techniques. Interspersed with these are exercises to try and fantastic examples for inspiration. At the back of the book are featured artists and a gallery.
Another plus are guides on how to make the necessary tools or prepare shop bought ones. There is a suppliers list but it is very local to New York, however I have seen the specialist materials needed such as different kinds of pitch available in the UK and Europe.
For me, it’s a case of practice, practice, practice as well as experimenting with different technique and tools. I should be able to quickly make some basic tools from pieces of tool steel. I can thoroughly recommend Chasing and Repoussé and I will be dipping into it again as I hone my skills.
Nancy Mēgan Corwin is a jeweller/metalsmith, teacher and writer in the field of art metals. She teaches workshops around the United States, Canada and England.
Here’s Nancy at work.