A Life of Varied Endeavors

Tag Archives: metal chasing

A small copper piece to hold

Copper leaf pattern

Copper leaf pattern

Earlier this year I took a  workshop ( my second) given by Candace Beardslee at Pratt Fine Arts Center.  She teaches chasing and repousse using small Japanese chasing tools called dashitagane.  My experience this time was that I was finally getting the hang of using these tools, and I love them.

Dashitagane are small steel tools that give me the ability to do things with chasing and repousse that I could never accomplish with the usual chasing punches and tools.  For me, that means making small lines, shapes, and textures:  more refined and delicate and “intended” than with other chasing tools.

This time, inspired by the amazing work of Julie Blyfield, I started with an idea about making something I thought I’d really like (for a change – I’m usually not too fond of a lot of flat chasing and repousse pieces, especially beginners’ work like my own).

I really didn’t know where this piece would end up. In fact, where it ended up wasn’t revealed until the last “fold”.  The picture above shows the pattern I started with, in a flat sheet of copper (probably 22 gauge).  Below is the result.  A small, rounded object, folded and shaped, lots of texture inside and out.  It’s about an inch and a half in all directions (4cm).  Feels good to hold, feeding ideas for other things…..

Coleus & Pearl

Here are a couple of pictures of a piece I finished a couple of months ago.  It was a long time from start to finish, and then it had a couple of “finishes” before it was really done.  The enamel piece was one of the first pieces I ever did. I think it’s about 2 and a half inches long.

Repousse copper label – Chinese Pink garlic

Having a little fun, needing the practice, and needing to know which garlic is which next spring, I made this label a couple of weeks ago.  In theory, there will be three more!

Chinese Pink repousse copper label

Chinese Pink repousse copper label

Used my Northwest Pitchworks pitch, some of the tools I made in my Pratt class, some of the tools from MettleWorks, and a couple of hours of my precious time.  It was fun!

Repousse Tools Mostly Done

I didn’t get a chance to log each of the four classes of my Making Tools class at Pratt, and I only made it to one Free Friday, but I do feel like I got a good start on making chasing and repousse tools.  The days sort of ran together for me.  So here are some pictures of the tools I made.  Most still need final polishing, and two are just in the first stages of shaping.  This was a great class, I met some great people, and I’m looking forward refining what I’ve learned and done.

Repousse 2

Repousse 2

Repousse 1

Repousse 1

Dashitagane (dashtagane)

Dashitagane (dashtagane)

Texturing Hammer

Texturing Hammer

Making metal working tools – Day 1

Last Wednesday I was back at Pratt for the first time in a few months, to take a tool making class taught by Roger H.  Roger is one of the most skilled and knowledgeable metals people in town, and it’s wonderful to get to learn from him.
Fortunately, I’ve done some studying on the subject of tool making, and had a one day class on the subject before (also with Roger).  So I wasn’t as intimidated as the first time, and could be a little more comfortable with the processes.  So I did anneal, forge, shape, harden, temper (yahoo!), and sharpen a narrow chisel in this class.  
Heating the Tool Steel

Heating the Tool Steel

Making Tools Day 1 - Full Chisel

Making Tools Day 1 - Full Chisel

Making Tools Day 1 - Chisel

Making Tools Day 1 - Chisel

I’ve wanted to take this class so I can make some repousee tools, and some chasing tools.  But it will be great to learn to make stamps and texturing hammers as well.

I need to get better at the shaping and filing, so I can get a good and consistent edge.