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First tentative steps towards mastering the ancient metalsmith technique of  Chasing and Repousse.  Straight lines made with a chasing tool and then repousse in between the lines.  Always a good beginners start – straight lines.  Mastering straight lines always makes me feel good because straight lines are a design staple (like salt and pepper).  The next step will be curves and circles. (eggs and milk!).

The first photograph is the reverse (back) side of the sample piece.

The second is the front side.

It is pretty obvious from the first session today, that most of this year will be spent learning and perfecting this new technique and any  silverware will be designed with a technique-based emphasis.  The difficult bit, I think, when using such an ancient method of producing craft, is to be contemporary with your design.  Obviously, there are a lot of artefacts discovered through archeology, that use the chasing technique.  Therefore, most of the examples I see of this sort of work are traditional pieces.  These ancient objects work so brilliantly and their designs have transcended the passage of time.   It is therefore tempting to just copy a winning formula!!  That is the difficulty!!!  Bringing such a beautiful way  of working metal into the modern world, without losing the things that it has, through the years, always emphasised the best in the metal.

Thought I would post some photographs of where I am working, which is the Metal Department of the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham.


The photograph of the beautiful repousse horse, is of a piece of work that has been left in the metal department, by a UCA student.  It is such a lovely example of the technique, and I am sorry that I do not know the name of the person who made it.  The first full day back at college is always so TIRING, after a long holiday.  Instead of the one hour normal journey to college, the drive took me two hours this morning.  The traffic was exceptionally bad.  Of course, that makes me tired before I even get to UCA.  Metalsmithing can also mean a lot of time standing, depending on what work you are doing.  It is, of course, a very physical activity.  All these are reasons why my one and only (child) not husband, (I’ve got three of those – no only joking!) has had to forage into the fridge by himself tonight.  I AM TIRED.

Another day tomorrow – another BABY STEP towards CURLY TAIL ANIMALS.