A Life of Varied Endeavors

Tag Archives: repousse

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…..

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

Repousse Pitch Has Arrived

The pitch I ordered from Northwest Pitchworks arrived.  As expected it was in milk cartons – two lumps totalling 7 lbs – and with instructions on how to break it up and melt it.
pitch in the box

Pitch in the Box

I’d been thinking about purchasing all the things needed to do chasing and repousse in my own studio – ruminating on it for months.  There were several reasons to hesitate:  cost, more Stuff being acquired, more chemicals and processes to accommodate, and missing some community time at the Pratt studios.  But it finally came down to putting more flow into my work process:  being able to execute ideas or test them on the fly, or even completing pieces that just needed a bit more work.

With the holidays, it took a few days to get in touch, but Northwest Pitchworks’ sent me my 7 pounds of medium pitch in one day.  I’ve worked with their pitch at Pratt and like it a lot.  And it’s certainly the local favorite.

The pitch bowl arrived today as well.  With the starter set of chasing tools I ordered from the MettleWorks in Minnesota (my Christmas present to myself), I’m excited to put it all together tomorrow.